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Hints, Tips & Pointers

Quickly Click These Quick Keys, Please

I saw a guy watching TV while walking his dog this morning. And what I mean by that is he …

By Dave Eagle

What do we want? Instant gratification! When do we want it?Uhhh...what happened?Photo by Matthew G
What do we want? Instant gratification!
When do we want it? Uhhh…what’d you say?

Photo by Matthew G

I saw a guy watching TV while walking his dog this morning. And what I mean by that is he stood in one spot watching Key & Peele on his smartphone while his dog paced back and forth looking for just the right location to foul. It was an interesting juxtaposition: the dog taking his sweet time, patient and determined to have just the right kind of experience, even if that experience was just a matter of biology. And then the man, who couldn’t wait till he got back to his apartment to have a laugh at sketch comedy. He did not once look at his dog or pause to admire any of the several beautiful banyan trees that line and shade the quiet-ish West Hollywood street I found myself on today. Modern humans have a need for speed when it comes to gratification; if we can’t have it instantly than it had damn sure better be drone-delivered by Amazon on a Sunday. I could go on at length about why this is, but I’m trying to finish this quick so I can watch some cat videos. And you don’t want to read it, either. We’ve all got things we’d rather be doing right now, so I’ll just go ahead and get to the point.

If you’re in the retail or hospitality business, you’ve no doubt come across the righteous indignation of people who’ve had to wait too long to place or receive an order, or those who’ve had to stand idly by while the supermarket cashier had to look up the name of the item whose barcode won’t scan. And while it might seem petty for an individual customer to get riled up over an extra few minutes, it should be of great concern for you because those few minutes add up over the course of a day–if you make 10 people wait an extra 2 minutes each, that’s 20 minutes worth of time not spent on customers who haven’t already queued up to buy something. How many of them will give up and just leave? How many will never come back? The answer, my friends, is not blowing in the wind. It’s in your daily sales totals. It might be take a bit of forensic investigation of business reporting and analytics to find out where your bottlenecks are, but there are many proactive measures you can take to avoid even getting to that point. One of the ways to do that is by setting up your POS to ring things up as quickly as possible. Barcodes are great when they work, but we’ve all seen someone behind the register get frustrated when they can’t quite scan the whole thing (maybe it’s folded over on itself, or there’s a sticker obscuring it). And in food service, barcode scanning isn’t going to help a bit. So what can you do to keep the line moving?

Kounta_2_POS_1Give some thought to the layout of your POS (and by POS, I mean Kounta). With a totally customisable interface, you can make sure that items on your menu or in your store–especially the most popular ones–are front and center and waiting to be tapped. Don’t worry about limited real estate on your screen. The layout is such that you can categorize your items down one side of the screen, with each tap on a category bringing up the items within–up to 24 of them–on the same screen. Adding pictures of the item to the button makes things even easier. The same can be done with preset modifiers, making it a matter of several taps to put together an entire order. And it won’t take long before your staff get used to the layout and know where everything is intuitively, making this better than swiping through pages of alphabetical listings or even just having to type a few letters to search for an item. Between the intuitive interface and the muscle memory your staff develops, taking orders or ringing up items at the register will be a painless process. From your customer’s perspective, this kind of experience reinforces the image of a well-oiled machine. With a little bit of training, you can look like old pros on day one.

OK, you’re saying, that’s all well and good for ordering or ringing things up. But what about payment?

I’m glad you asked that. I wasn’t expecting such a hard-hitting follow up question but here we are. At least I have an answer.

Kounta_POS_SplitPaymentsEvery part of the checkout process has been designed with speed in mind, but not at the sake of accuracy. Got a total that’s easy to calculate change in your head, or the customer’s paying the exact amount? Just hit the “Fast Cash” button, and you’re done. The cash drawer pops open, receipts are printed and/or emailed, everybody’s done. Is the math a little funkier and you want Kounta to tell you how much change? That’s a few extra taps. In-house credit account? Tap and swipe. Debit or credit card? Tap, tap, swipe. Even splitting payments is as simple just tapping the split button to divide the bill into equal parts, whether it’s two or three or four or…you get the idea. And if you’re splitting the bill according to who owes what, you don’t have to prepare Kounta for this. Many other POSes require you to hit a “split payment” button before you can add each amount in, and then you process each portion one at a time. With Kounta, you just enter the first amount and if it’s less than the total, a new line appears with the balance. You keep doing this till the balance reaches zero and then you’re all set.

Everything is designed to keep the line moving and your customers and (bank accounts) happy. The only thing the developers haven’t figured out is how to make quick keys for me. I’ve still got to type all these words and I’ve got to take my dog for a walk. Where will I find the time?