Lack of personnel has been a serious issue in the service sector for some time already. Long queues and stress of employees do not make customers or employers happy and that is a reason to add more and more self-service points of sale.
From October Ektaco’s self-service POSes are available on the ferries going to Hiiumaa and Saaremaa and it has been obvious during the first weeks of use that the queues go much quicker and the customers can spend more time enjoying their food or reading an interesting book than standing in the queue. It is still also possible to pay at a desk with a sales person, so everyone can make a choice that suits for him/her.
What is a self-service point of sale?
- A touch-screen solution where a client can pay for his/her purchases by himself/herself.
- One can pay for the purchases with a bank card, also a swipe pay.
- The self-service POS talks to the client in his/her language – today the user interface is available in Estonian, English, Russian and Finnish language.
- The self-service point pf sale is suitable for the service providers that tend to have queue at some rush hours – e.g. lunch places, entertainment centres, etc.
- One can sell goods sold in pieces, tickets but also goods sold by weight with the self-service point of sale.
- In case of a restaurant it is possible to connect the solution with table numbers – that makes it possible to know into which table to serve the food.
- In case of a museum etc. a client can buy his/her ticket also at the homepage of the location online and get into the location with this same ticket.
- Names and prices of the goods on sale can be easily changed and added by the administrators of the location in CompuCash and one can also add products with discounts and arrange campaigns.
- CompuCash can also be integrated with a book-keeping software that save additional time and diminishes the possibility of human errors.
In addition to the Take Off restaurants on the ferries the self-service solution is also used as an add-on in Plus cafes on the Mustika Centre and Tallinn Central Bus Station, TalTech student cafe, Fresh Food cafes in some offices and factories, Tallinn Zoo and the Sea Museum. The full self-service solution is used in 24/7 sports club and in Reval Café in Swedbank office building coffee corner.
Considering a self-service POS mostly the three following questions arise
Sales people have a question if they are not needed any more. The answer is: they are still needed. They can use the routine work time they win from the customers who serve themselves for the tasks that need more brain work and creativity. It can also mean that thanks to the self-service POS it becomes possible to pay better salaries to the sales people.
An entrepreneur may have a question, can I trust all the customers and how much will the stealing grow with the self-service option. According to the words of Heli Hansen from Plus cafes a theft is very rare in real life and on top of a video surveillance also occasional control can be applied.
The last question that raises is about user friendliness, if all people would manage with the self-service solution. The experiences so far have shown that they manage well and the only thing that the self-service does not allow so far is paying in cash. A good self-service solution is easy to use, clear and uses the minimum number of steps. The possibility to use the self-service POS in the language of a client makes the process also smoother – not all your service personnel talk freely in four languages: Estonian, Russian, Finnish and English.
What would an entrepreneur win from a self-service POS?
- Save from your personnel costs – it is not possible to manage without any personnel yet as the goods also need to be placed on the shelves and a person may be needed still to help some rare customers. Big part of service work is done by the customers using the self-service POS and you can pay more competitive salaries for your employees, keep the working hours normal and reduce the number of leaving personnel.
- Shorter queues at rush hours make it possible to serve more customers and therefore increase your turnover as the people who would have given up because of a long queue and gone to a competitor’s place stay with you.
- Saving some room – you can place the self-service POS as a small kiosk inside or outside and also integrate it into the wall as it is done in case of ban terminals.
- Increase of customer satisfaction – no one enjoys standing in a queue and serving clients tired from standing in a queue is an additional stress to your sales people that often may lead to a bad service and negative client experience. An easy and logic self-service POS makes the service experience better.
- Integrating the POS system with your book-keeping solution helps to reduce the opportunity of human errors and make management more effective.
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