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Is Your Restaurant POS Helping or Hindering Customer Service?

March 30th, 2016 Ashley Harbaugh No comments

The customer experience is a crucial differentiator for restaurants. If food and price are similar to other restaurants, what other factor will make a customer choose that particular business? Service that is attentive and accommodating makes patrons feel valued, and motivates them to return again (as well as spread the word to family and friends).

The restaurant point of sale (POS) is a vital part of restaurants’ service efforts as it is the primary communication channel between the front-of-house, customer, and kitchen. If the POS is slow and inaccurate, it can lead to wrong orders and delayed meal deliveries – issues that make angry, unsatisfied patrons.

A state-of-the-art POS system enables restaurants to get tighter control of front-end and back-end processes, and provide the quick, efficient service that patrons expect. The Food and Beverage POS for Restaurants solution is a modern, flexible point of sale system that enables restaurant managers to easily track food creation and delivery processes – resulting in outstanding customer service. See how well your POS matches up to the three service features below in comparison to the Food and Beverage POS.

Mobile Functionality

With consumer smartphones and tablets making people comfortable with mobile device technology, restaurants are increasingly capitalizing on this trend.

For instance, self-service order kiosks are on the rise for quick-service restaurants, where customers can type in their order, along with any order customizations, directly onto the POS. Casual dining restaurants are also providing tablets at customers’ tables, where customers key in their order after being seated, and wait staff deliver their orders. Waiters are also now being equipped with tablet devices to take orders instead of the traditional paper and pencil.

The Food and Beverage POS for Restaurants is fully mobile-optimized, allowing restaurants to take orders from smartphones, tablets, or traditional PCs. With the system’s easy configurability, restaurant managers can set up the appropriate permissions for employees so that employees only see the POS buttons that are relevant to their job functions – making processes more secure, and staff more productive.

Food and Beverage POS enables access to the point of sale from any mobile device and PCs.

The Food and Beverage POS enables restaurants to access the point of sale from any mobile device, as well as traditional PCs.

Customer Seating

Making customer seating smooth and speedy, and wait staff rotations fluid (even during the busiest times) are key elements of the customer dining experience. The Food and Beverage POS solution enables restaurants to minimize seating time, and ensure the right wait staff are assisting the right tables. Restaurant managers can set up table layouts in the system, and assign layouts to particular locations. The system’s real-time updates also show which tables are occupied or available at all times.

Food and Beverage POS has the ability to configure table layouts and to see which tables are open or occupied.

The Food and Beverage POS makes seating a breeze with the ability to configure table layouts, and to see at-a-glance which tables are open or occupied.

Food Quality

The most negative experience a customer can have at a restaurant is if the food isn’t good. Nothing will turn off a customer faster than if a beloved item on the menu didn’t turn out the same as the last time, or if a meal doesn’t taste right.

The Food and Beverage POS ensures each stage of food preparation is completed precisely and in a timely manner. Restaurant managers can enter recipes detailing exact ingredients, quantities, and steps needed for cooking into the system for employee reference, preventing any deviations in the meal’s taste or presentation. Setting up work stations in the POS (e.g. cutting station, baking station, etc.) also help keep kitchen staff organized and focused on the tasks at-hand.

Step-by-step recipe and cooking guides stored in the Food and Beverage POS.

Step-by-step recipe and cooking guides stored in the Food and Beverage POS steer kitchen staff toward making each meal consistent and delicious.

For more information on how the Food and Beverage POS can streamline restaurant operations and improve customer service, please email retail@ignify.com.

Ashley Harbaugh is a Marketing Coordinator at Ignify – a Hitachi Solutions subsidiary. Ignify is a Worldwide Microsoft Partner in 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010, and offers eCommerce, ERP, CRM, Order Management and POS solutions based on the Microsoft Dynamics line of products. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing business in North America for seven years in a row by Inc. Magazine and Deloitte in the FAST 500 from 2008 to 2013.

Building Loyal Customer Relationships: How the Loyalty Management Solution Keeps the Focus on the Customer

February 29th, 2016 Ashley Harbaugh No comments

A loyal customer isn’t just a statistic – she’s a valuable member of your company’s sales team.

A loyal customer doesn’t just make the purchases that contribute to your bottom line (although that is one of her most important contributions). She is an essential part of your marketing efforts.

She’s the one who, in casual conversation, urges her friends to stop by your store – and follows up to see if they did. She posts your products on her Facebook and Twitter, helping you build up organic SEO, as well as tap into new channels. Using your products in her everyday life is a walking advertisement in itself.

She promotes your brand, and your offerings – showing your appreciation is a surefire way to retain her help and support.

A loyalty program is a valuable tool for signaling your appreciation for a customer’s business, and for encouraging repeat purchases. The Loyalty Management Solution provides businesses with an end-to-end loyalty program management system, offering in-depth data insight and analytics.

Loyalty Tiers: Rewarding Different Levels of Engagement

Different customers have different levels of dedication to a business – some are casual, while others are diehard champions. Providing corresponding perks and benefits to each level helps businesses stay connected to those customers, and can create incentives for customers to engage even more. For instance, discussing the fantastic prizes that Platinum members receive can give the extra push to those Gold member customers to reach the next tier.

The Loyalty Management Solution enables businesses to set up as many loyalty tiers as they wish. In the system, a company can determine what actions are needed in order for customers to gain access to a specific tier (e.g. making x number of purchases; making x dollar amount of purchases, etc.). Also, each tier can have a number of rewards that are exclusive to that tier – for instance, discounts on purchases, free items included in purchase, etc.

Loyalty tiers allows segment customers and target promotions.

Loyalty tiers allow to segment customers and target promotions based on individual spending habits.

Marketing Campaigns: Keeping the Communication Open

If a customer doesn’t know all the wonderful rewards that are unique to her loyalty tier, then she won’t capitalize on them. Maintaining steady, worthwhile communication with loyalty program members is an important factor in keeping customers attached to their loyalty program.

Setting up marketing campaigns is easy in the Loyalty Management Solution – simply enter the details of the promotion, and then apply the loyalty tiers that the promotion is geared toward. There are no limits to a promotion’s parameters – it can be set up to run every day, or only certain days of the week; it can run forever, or only for a limited time; it can apply to all groups, or only select ones.

Marketing campaigns are targeted to specific customer segments.

Marketing campaigns are targeted to specific customer segments. This offer for 20 percent off to all customers that haven’t made a purchase in the last six months is available to the following marketing lists: “Contoso Re-Engagement,” “Female Frequent Customers,” and “Gold Members.”

To-Do List: Seeing Important Metrics at a Glance

Getting a clear understanding of a loyalty program’s operations and metrics is crucial to understanding successful activities and ones that need improvement. With the Loyalty Management Solution’s dashboard functionality, sales and customer service representatives are able to easily personalize their dashboards in order to view the metrics and activities that are most relevant to their job role.

Dashboard graphs and charts are updated in real time, allowing representatives to get the most accurate information right at their fingertips. The dynamic data in the charts also enable representatives to drill down to get a more granular analysis. By seeing their up-to-date activities and data instantly in one place, representatives are able to get a better idea of what actions need to be taken, and more clearly measure results.

Loyalty Analytics Dashboard.

Dashboards display important information at a glance. The above dashboard provides high-level, real-time information such as sales by promotion, top 5 sales by location, actual revenues by year, and more.

The Loyalty Management Solution is an important tool for developing loyalty programs, and analyzing their performance. For more information, please email loyalty@ignify.com.

Ashley Harbaugh is a Marketing Coordinator at Ignify – a Hitachi Solutions subsidiary. Ignify is winner/finalist of the Worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010, and offers eCommerce, ERP, CRM, Order Management and POS solutions based on the Microsoft Dynamics line of products. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing businesses in North America for seven years in a row by Inc. Magazine and Deloitte in the FAST 500 from 2008 to 2013.

The Evolving Retailer: Leveraging Online and In-Store Technology to Adapt to a Changing Landscape

January 26th, 2016 Ashley Harbaugh No comments

The retail industry is one of constant transformation. As consumer technology grows and innovates – connecting people with greater convenience and transparency – consumers’ expectations and interactions also change. Why settle for old ways when new ones promise simplicity and ease?

With different channels offering different revenue streams, retail technology offers a crucial way for better managing operations – as well as staying ahead of both the customer and the competition.

Enhance the Customer In-Store Experience

One of the major benefits of shopping in a brick-and-mortar store is the ability to pick up, feel, and try on merchandise before buying. By engaging with customers at each stage of this journey, and by being able to helpfully instruct and guide the customers throughout their buying processes, stores create relationships that lead to repeat purchases.

Using a mobile, modern point of sale system is an important way that store associates can connect with customers browsing in the store. With Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail POS, store associates can offer customers personalized service, showing them different products that match their interest. Also, store associates can look up customer accounts to get a better understanding of customer shopping patterns and preferences, and can then make informed suggestions.

Coats and Jackets

Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail POS is a flexible point of sale system fully optimized for mobile. Store associates can show customers different items right on the mobile POS screen, and can look up customers’ past purchase histories.

Optimize Online Presence

With more and more shoppers choosing to make their purchases online, retailers need to make sure their eCommerce sites will attract visitors, and facilitate sales conversions. An eCommerce system must be easy-to-navigate, easy-to-checkout, and appealing to browse.

eCommerce for Microsoft Dynamics provides a user-friendly, easy-to-navigate interface for merchants and shoppers alike – enabling quicker checkouts for customers, and insightful online store management for merchants. With the system’s seamless integration with Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM, merchants are able to leverage a powerfully interconnected online selling and IT infrastructure – ensuring customers have access to the most up-to-date prices, inventory, and product information.

Gadgets Online

A sleek, uncluttered eCommerce interface is an important way to connect with customers – and to motivate them to convert. eCommerce for Microsoft Dynamics provides a user-friendly online store platform for shoppers and administrators alike.

Make Mobile-Friendly Online Stores

Smartphones, tablets – it’s not a matter of if people are using them, it’s a matter of how much people are using them. Mobile devices aren’t just for phone calls and text messages – they are key conduits for research, browsing, and making purchases.

eCommerce for Microsoft Dynamics incorporates responsive web design in online stores, enabling the stores to recognize what device a shopper is using, and automatically adjust the design and resolution to the shopper’s screen. By fluidly converting the store to the shopper’s device, merchants ensure that customers on smartphones, tablets, and desktop/laptop computers experience seamless and convenient shopping regardless of device.

Responsive design

Responsive web design provides a seamless shopping experience by enabling online stores to automatically adjust screen size and design to suit a shopper’s device

Create Social Media Connection

Make it easy for your customers to spread the word about your company. With people connected to vast social media networks, allowing them to share your products, and their testimonies, is a remarkably simple, yet productive, form of brand promotion. Because what better way to build trust with potential clients than to have the people they trust endorse you? Adding social media buttons on product pages or marketing collateral makes it easy for clients to show what they like, and what they want.

Building a strong company social media presence is also an important way to get the word out about your company. People want to share new, interesting, cool things, and they want to engage with likable brands. Creating must-visit social channels that listen to shoppers, and share the content they are most interested in, is key to strengthening a significant source of new customers and, most importantly, new conversions.

 

Social Media

Posting visible social media buttons on product pages make it easy for customers to broadcast your merchandise, and help you leverage free promotion.

For More Information

For more information on how technology can bolster retail systems and processes, please email retail@ignify.com.

Ashley Harbaugh is a Marketing Coordinator at Ignify – a Hitachi Solutions subsidiary. Ignify is a Worldwide Microsoft Partner in 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010, and offers eCommerce, ERP, CRM, Order Management and POS solutions based on the Microsoft Dynamics line of products. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing business in North America for seven years in a row by Inc. Magazine and Deloitte in the FAST 500 from 2008 to 2013.

The Universal Banker: Using CRM for Banks to Provide the Outstanding Service Customers Demand

November 24th, 2015 Ashley Harbaugh No comments

While consumers are increasingly engaging with banks through mobile devices, that doesn’t mean the job of the teller is dying – far from it. Bank tellers are instead evolving into a role that is quickly adapting to better serve customers’ new expectations and demands: the universal banker.

People enter brick-and-mortar bank locations because they need one-on-one interaction to answer a question, resolve an issue, or get educated on something specific. Those customers don’t want to sit around waiting, and they don’t want to be shuffled across departments. They want to walk into the bank, speak to the nearest representative, and have that representative handle their needs.

And that’s where the universal banker comes in. Customers are used to getting lightning-fast answers from a Google search on a smartphone – they expect from a bank rep the same in-depth knowledge, and speed in getting that knowledge, that the Internet delivers.

Getting Insight with CRM

A customer relationship management (CRM) system is an important first step in equipping bank reps with the information they need to quickly, and effectively, serve customers. Ignify’s CRM for Banks solution is specifically tailored to banking institutions’ customer service processes, and provides a valuable tool for productive, efficient customer service management.

CRM for Banks contains a comprehensive customer database that stores all bank customers in a central, standardized repository. Reps can simply type in a customer’s name in the search bar, and immediately be directed to the customer’s CRM record.

The CRM record provides a detailed outline of the customer’s engagement with the bank, allowing reps to instantly view the customer’s account transaction history, past interactions with bank reps, and specific bank preferences. A bank rep can use this information to identify cross-sell and up-sell opportunities that would best match the customer’s preferences and history, and can share this with the customer during their discussion.

The customer records also show multiple accounts that a customer belongs to. For instance, if a customer’s company and personal account are both with the same bank, that bank can see the customer’s activities on both accounts. There’s no need to toggle between different systems; CRM for Banks keeps customer information in one user-friendly place.

CRM for Banks’s customer record provides important customer information (contact details, etc.), and includes a history of the customer’s previous interaction with the bank (such as if they called in with questions, if they had any issues, etc.).

CRM for Banks’s customer record provides important customer information (contact details, etc.), and includes a history of the customer’s previous interaction with the bank (such as if they called in with questions, if they had any issues, etc.).

Access Information Quickly with the Knowledge Base

The quicker a customer gets what they need, the better. Giving bank reps the ability to quickly search and locate collateral that helps the customer is an effective way to speed up issue resolution.

CRM for Bank’s Knowledge Base is a consolidated database of all documentation, whether it’s in the form of marketing collateral, step-by-step guides, or answers to frequently asked questions. Bank reps can search for articles using keywords, or search by article category, and then select the article that is most helpful. Bank reps have the ability to upload and share links to articles in the database, making collaboration easier.

The CRM for Banks Knowledge Base provides banks a consolidated repository of documentation, allowing bank reps to find the articles that will help them better assist customers with questions, or requests for more information.

The CRM for Banks Knowledge Base provides banks a consolidated repository of documentation, allowing bank reps to find the articles that will help them better assist customers with questions, or requests for more information.

By keeping the customer experience at the forefront of customer service initiatives, banks will more smoothly transition into the digital era of banking without losing the personal touch of the brick-and-mortar location. For more information on how CRM for Banks can strengthen your customer service processes, please email banks@ignify.com.

Ashley Harbaugh is a Marketing Coordinator at Ignify. Ignify is winner/finalist of the Worldwide Microsoft Partner Award in 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010, and offers eCommerce, ERP, CRM, Order Management and POS solutions based on the Microsoft Dynamics line of products. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing business in North America for seven years in a row by Inc. Magazine and Deloitte in the FAST 500 from 2008 to 2013.

How to Protect Customer Loyalty with the Loyalty Management Solution

November 20th, 2015 Ashley Harbaugh No comments

The relationship between a customer and a business is no different than any other type of relationship. It requires connection and trust by both sides to keep running smoothly, as well as commitment. And if a customer doesn’t feel they are getting value, or don’t feel appreciated, then they have no qualms about breaking it off.

A loyal customer base is the core of a company’s business, and keeping them happy is a crucial way to maximize business investment.

An existing customer already understands what you offer, and what sets you apart from your competitors – you don’t need to spend the time and energy trying to convince them of this. With industry thought leaders putting new customer acquisition costs at four to ten times more than it takes to retain an existing customer, businesses can better protect their profits by protecting their customer loyalty.

And companies don’t need to take wild guesses about how to accomplish this. With loyalty management technology – such as Ignify’s Loyalty Management Solution – giving businesses insight into loyalty program members and their behavior, companies can more quickly identify customer needs and how best to serve them.

Check out three ways the Loyalty Management Solution helps companies provide the consistent, targeted engagement that cements customer dedication.

1. Create Personalized Offers

Loyalty program members want offers tailored to their specific circumstances – and the more tailored the offer, the more likely it will convert into a purchase.

The Loyalty Management Solution offers a centralized customer database that provides all relevant information pertaining to the customer. Merchants can include any type of data parameters they wish, such as a customer’s birthday, anniversary, age, preferences, etc. Also, the merchant can identify if the customer is connected to any other customers in the system (e.g., a spouse, a child), and can create offers based on that relationship.

The Loyalty Management Solution provides a comprehensive look at loyalty program member information

The Loyalty Management Solution provides a comprehensive look at loyalty program member information – from personal details, to recent issues, to recent loyalty transactions.

2. Create Loyalty Tiers

Exclusivity works because people like to be thought of as special, unique – not like everyone else. But interestingly, people also like being part of a group – a like-minded group helps validate choices and preferences, which can in turn be a powerful motivator.

By creating different tiers in a loyalty program (bronze, silver, gold, etc.), as well as specific rules for gaining membership into those tiers, companies are able to create both a sense of community, and a sense of distinction. Award tiers also give customers a goal – if they want the more exciting perks that are in the higher level, they have an incentive to complete the actions that enable them to do so.

The Loyalty Management Solution enables companies to easily create multiple loyalty tiers and input the criteria customers must follow in order to gain membership into the tiers.

Easily create different reward tiers and the criteria customers must meet in order to gain access to that tier. Also tie reward bonuses into tier membership

Easily create different reward tiers, and the criteria customers must meet in order to gain access to that tier. Also, tie reward bonuses into tier membership (e.g. customers who reach 1,000 points are labeled as Bronze customers, and receive a $10 gift card upon entry).

3. Measure What Works – and What Doesn’t

If a company doesn’t have any insight into what initiatives are successful and which ones aren’t, then they won’t be able to pinpoint the initiatives that are contributing to that success, and which ones are hindering it.

The Loyalty Management Solution provides in-depth analytics and reports on loyalty program activity, enabling companies to identify reward response rates, redemptions, accruals, responses to promotional campaigns, etc.

The Loyalty Management Solution dashboard is also an excellent way for sales reps to see, at a glance, loyalty program performance and trends in one place. These quantitative measurements provide businesses valuable data, which in turn helps guide companies toward developing loyalty programs that deliver popular rewards.

Dashboards are a helpful way to see a quick graphical overview of loyalty program data

Dashboards are a helpful way to see a quick, graphical overview of loyalty program data. As the dashboard graphs are dynamic, sales reps can simply click on the graph – or parts of the graph – to drill down further into the data.  

Creating a loyalty program that not only generates an initial attraction but also increases customer lifetime value is an important way to both give – and receive – value from customers. If you have any questions about how to leverage Ignify’s Loyalty Management Solution for loyalty program initiatives, please email loyalty@ignify.com.

Ashley Harbaugh is a Marketing Coordinator at Ignify. Ignify is winner/finalist of the Worldwide Microsoft Partner Award in 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010, and offers eCommerce, ERP, CRM, Order Management and POS solutions based on the Microsoft Dynamics line of products. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing business in North America for seven years in a row by Inc. Magazine and Deloitte in the FAST 500 from 2008 to 2013.