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Posts Tagged ‘customers’
Saturday, September 18th, 2010
We do work for several restaurants and retail stores here in Phoenix, Arizona. These shops are all using windows based point of sale systems. While the software and database that run on the computers to transact credit card payments and process menu items are highly customized and supported by the franchise in most cases, the underlying operating system and hardware is not.
We have learned a lot about these systems and can say with certainty that the biggest issues we have run into are lack of proper backups and lack of spare hardware. When a point of sale system goes down for a store, especially a busy store, it is NO FUN. Employees need to process payments manually by hand and write out paper receipts. As you can imagine, the slowdown at the register does a lot to aggravate customers and employees alike. But there are three things that you can do as a retail store business owner to minimize downtime in the event of a system crash.
1. Perform regular system maintenance
Hiring a firm like my PC Techs to regularly maintain your equipment each month can save you from several hours worth of headache and hundreds or thousands of dollars in lost sales. Our technicians will visit your store and examine your systems for irregular performance. System errors, faulty hardware, failing hard drives, botched OS updates, and corrupted data can, in many cases, be identified and corrected before it becomes a larger problem. Dust can be cleaned out (the largest cause of hardware failure), and parts inspected. Unnecessary programs can be removed and system performance improved. The best part of this scenario, the repairs can be performed before or after regular hours, so customers never experience delay.
2. Perform regular, complete data backups
Usually during the same time as the system maintenance, our technicians can perform a complete data backup of all of your POS systems. This is important. When a hard drive crashes, you want to get your system back online as quickly as possible. To rebuild an entire system, restore data from on off site repository, and get all the hardware and software working correctly could take many hours. With a complete system backup, it could be as simple as popping in the right piece of replacement hardware and running a 30 minute recovery.
3. Identify and build an inventory of replacement parts
When a system failure happens, recovery time can be improved considerably when the right spare parts are kept on hand. Rather than buying hard to find computer equipment online, and waiting for it to be shipped, a replacement part can be obtained from storage and quickly installed to replace the broken component. That part can later be replaced to storage, so you always have a backup on hand for the next time disaster strikes.
When you think about the security of your data and your ability to transact business, keep in mind your local computer experts and ways that they can work with you to help improve the reliability of your computer operations. For help with the maintenance and emergency support of your POS systems, contact my PC Techs today. (602) 456-0150.
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Monday, August 16th, 2010
Picture yourself standing in a supermarket aisle in front of the canned vegetables. You are making a new recipe tonight and it calls for one can of peas. You have never purchased a can of peas before and don’t have a preferred company or brand of peas in mind, so here you are with thirty different cans of peas in front of you to choose from. Each can has a unique label and manufacturer and most of them are exactly the same price. Which can do you pick up?
Next you walk over to the fruit aisle. You want to make an apple pie for dessert and look through all of the red apples in stock. It appears that some of the apples are old – they are withered and stale looking. The fresh apples are bright, crisp and fresh looking. Which ones do you choose for your pie?
Research has shown time and time again that looks sell. When people are presented with a choice between similar products that are similarly priced and offer similar features, they will almost always select the one with the brighter, more colorful packaging. A colorful, shiny label will always outsell a dull, bland one. A shiny, bright apple will sell faster than old fruit.
Studies are also very clear in identifying the unmatched power of the internet for business marketing. Search engines give your business power to place advertisements for your products and services directly in front of your target customers the moment they are searching for you. Google and Bing are supermarkets for business, and your products can be grouped with others in a similar category, just like cans of peas. Now, imagine a client searching the internet for your product or service, but really they are standing in the supermarket in front of cans of peas. What happens when YOUR can of peas (website) is placed on the shelf in front of them, right next to all of the cans of peas provided by your competitors?
Trying to design a do-it-yourself free website for your company, or going with the cheapest possible web design offering from the kid down the street working from his moms garage, is like one of those pea manufacturers handing a child a crayon and saying “Go ahead, design a label for our peas.” There are certain things that a professional marketing company will know about label design that a child will not. Important details will be missing from the final design such as branding, calls to action (buy these peas now!), ingredient labels, and all of the other secrets that are so important to help a consumer make the decision to purchase.
When a business website is designed by an amateur, cheaply without concern for quality, or by a web design firm that does understand online marketing, guess who buys the peas? No one. You could have the best peas in the entire world. They could be juicier, tastier and softer than all of your competitors peas. None of that will ever matter. Your potential customers will never get far enough along with your product to pick up your can of peas, read the label, or take it home to find out what’s inside. Considering the importance of online marketing to today’s business success, you could miss out on thousands of dollars in new sales. At the extreme, based on what your competitors are doing online, your business could fail due to an inability to compete in your industry.
“Build it and they will come” is absolutely incorrect when it comes to a new website for your business. Business web design and online marketing firms such as my PC Techs give your new website the upper hand. New websites designed by my PC Techs are built using cutting-edge technologies and incorporate the latest in coding and marketing techniques. With a my PC Techs website, you are getting much more than a new website. You get a proven marketing vehicle for your products and services.
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