Talk to Sales

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The Buck Stops Here, Plus or Minus 10%

The idea of Point of Sale is a relatively simple one. You’re selling something—a good or a service—and, in most …

By Dave Eagle

Photo by Katie Sayer (Flickr)
Photo by Katie Sayer (Flickr)

The idea of Point of Sale is a relatively simple one. You’re selling something—a good or a service—and, in most cases, you’d like to be compensated for the thing you sold. And while you can set up just about any kind of tender type you can imagine, with Kounta, generally your compensation will take the form of money, either directly from the customer or from credit issuing bank on the customer’s behalf. The POS makes it easy to document the item sold and the money received. But what happens when you need to change the price of an item? Or make an adjustment to the entire bill? Or if you need to issue a refund after the fact? These are the kinds of questions the world’s meteorologists have been wrestling with for centuries. No one knows why meteorologists have been asking these questions, since it’s way outside their job description. Maybe they’re just so used to being wrong they like to try and fail at other things, too.

Lucky for you, the Kounta user, your POS wasn’t created by meteorologists. It was developed by highly skilled programmers and retail/hospitality refugees who understand that things don’t always go the way you’d like them to. That’s why making these kinds of pricing adjustments has always been a part of Kounta. But a funny thing happened on the way to reporting. Business owners would notice that prices changeD, or refunds were given, and they’d ask the kinds of questions that business owners tend to shout very loudly from the rooftops: “WHERE THE HELL DID ALL MY MONEY GO?” So, with this in mind, we’ve added some extra features to Kounta that will help make sense of all this marked down or lost revenue.

Photo by Ben Husmann (Flickr)
Photo by Ben Husmann (Flickr)

One of Kounta’s newest add-ons helps you to cite specific reasons for why refunds were given. The add-on itself is called “Refund Reasons,” a name created by the same team that came up with “Tables.” It’s a pretty simple implementation. Once you’ve installed the add-on, it’s just a matter of configuring it with various reasons someone might want a refund. Perhaps they changed their mind, or didn’t get what they asked for, or the customer is just a miserable person who’s never satisfied and the easiest thing to do is just give him his money back and send him on his way. When processing the refund, Kounta will prompt the user to select the appropriate reason and then the tender type. When it comes to reporting on the refunds, this becomes incredibly helpful:

  • In retail, if a ton of the same item are being returned as defective, you know you’ve got problems up the distribution line. You might be due some refunds of your own.
  • For hospitality, lots of unhappy customers mean it’s time for a staff meeting, at least. Lots of unhappy customers who are all unhappy with the same employee means it’s time for a new employee.
  • In either situation, this is helpful in identifying potential theft by employees. If you notice one of your staff has a tendency to give refunds as cash on bills that were paid with credit cards, that would be a major red flag.

Of course, not every modification to the price of an item, or total on a bill, has to go down. You can add surcharges as well, and this is where price adjustments come in. You can use adjustments (also enabled as an add-on) to go up or down in price, actually, but for the sake of example here let’s focus on surcharges. Within the Kounta back office, you can define all sorts of adjustments to price, by dollar amount or by percentage. You can tack on a predefined gratuity as a percentage of the subtotal for parties of a certain size by bringing up the adjustment screen before printing the bill. Flat rate charges for something like a delivery fee are also easily added in the same way. And because not all payment types are created equal, you can also create “pop-up” adjustments based on this criteria. popup popupAmerican Express is notoriously more expensive for merchants than Visa or Mastercard, and Kounta can be configured so that once you select American Express the POS will automatically bring you to the adjustments screen to add on a surcharge that covers the added expense. In the same way, you can also give people incentives to purchase gift cards by offering small discounts for their use. Gift cards are always an excellent way to keep revenue in excess of your expenses from month to month because they’re paid for upfront. Offering a little incentive like a discount at the time of purchase can get people to buy themselves their own gift cards (something people don’t normally do) to use at a later date. It might also inspire them to spend a little more when they come back, or to keep filling up the card when they’re down to a small unusable amount.

For a quick look at how these new features work, check out these videos over on Youtube, and learn how to adjust to the age of reason.