Point-of-sale (POS) systems are changing and for many businesses, there's no going back to traditional POS terminals. Technological advancements at the point of sale are making it easier than ever to run a business.
Compared to traditional POS systems that merely complete orders and payments from a standalone terminal, today's POS systems can do everything from processing credit cards using mobile devices to transmitting sales data to other software a business already uses. Many POS systems now come with built-in customer relationship management (CRM) features.
Imagine never again having to manually perform CRM tasks, like inputting customer information, creating sales reports and updating customer databases in the cloud. These are just a few of the things POS systems with CRM functionality can do. By integrating POS systems with popular CRM solutions — such as Salesforce, SugarCRM and Magento, among many others — businesses can save time and money, while also growing their business by using POS data to build solid relationships with customers and deliver the best customer experience possible. [Read our guide on CRM for Small Business]
Here are five ways CRM-enabled POS systems that can help your business.
1. Quickly capture customer information
Need to collect customer information? A POS system with built-in CRM functionality makes this easier by automating information-gathering to quickly capture customer data. Instead of inputting customer information into a CRM solution by hand, CRM-enabled POS systems can collect, then automatically export and save the data taken straight from a transaction. These POS systems can transmit all types of information your CRM solution requires, such as customer names, billing and shipping addresses, email addresses and preferred nicknames. This automation saves businesses time and money by eliminating the labor required to manually input data.
2. Increase sales by improving the customer experience
One of the most effective ways to increase sales is by paying attention to what customers want and need. With a CRM-friendly POS system, businesses can easily collect and keep track of customer preferences and buying histories — as well as specific details like personal tastes, allergies, aversions and other information — and transmit them to CRM systems in real time. Not only does this information help businesses better target marketing campaigns and upsell at the point of sale, but it also lets them cater offerings to individuals or groups of customers to improve the customer experience.
3. Find the most loyal customers
Go after the right customers and keep them coming back. One of the primary benefits of CRM software is that it can identify the most loyal customers — integrate that with advanced POS systems and it can help businesses discover their three main customer groups: those who have the greatest impact at the point of sale, those who are likely to return, and those who are not worth the time and effort to pursue. Combine all of this with loyalty programs, rewards systems and gift card functionality built into POS systems, and you've got a return customer powerhouse.
4. Synchronize with multiple departments
As a small business, distributing and sharing information among staff members can become chaotic. Take the difficulty down several notches with a CRM-enabled POS system, which can organize and synchronize transactions, customer details and other sales data in real time across departments. This information is always updated, available anytime to staff members, and will only require logging in to a single platform for access. This means no more wasted time sifting through inboxes, folders and random corners of your server, and no more confusion over the most current version of a file or database.
5. Automated backend processes
CRM-integrated POS systems don't just automate tasks at the point of sale. They also automate backend tasks like reporting, exporting data, creating client records and even populating email marketing lists — all straight from the POS system. This means there's no need to go into multiple programs or solutions to manually perform these functions, taking the burden of monotonous, CRM-related administrative tasks off your staff's shoulders.
Originally published on Business News Daily.