How important is technical support for your restaurant point of sale system?
In a perfect world, your POS works round the clock, 24/7, without a hitch. But every restaurant operator knows that from time to time (Murphy’s Law would say at the most inconvenient time) you may need help with your POS system. You may need help to troubleshoot a hardware failure or add special pricing for a package deal. You may need answers to routine questions, or refresher training to help you improve performance or streamline operations.
When a hard drive fails in the middle of your Friday night rush, how critical is it that you have a qualified support technician at your call?
Your restaurant POS choice has to take into consideration many factors beyond the basic order entry. There are other key features to consider: inventory and employee management, marketing and loyalty tools, scheduling, delivery and mapping, web and mobile ordering. And there’s the piece you won’t see in a POS demo: the support.
You’re going to want to ask some key questions about the provider’s support services.
- Does the provider have a call center, or only an online form for submitting issues and asking questions? Often when problems arise, immediate answers to complex questions are required, and an online form simply will not do the job.
- When you call, who answers the phone? Will you be able to talk to a support technician directly, or will you be asked to leave a voicemail message?
- How are the company’s support technicians trained? Are they certified?
- How is the support call center staffed? What are their response rates?
- How do restaurant operators rate the company’s support services?
- Can you talk to some customers about their experience with support services?
At the International Pizza Expo in March, I heard many compliments for our Support team’s response time, expertise, and service levels. And I heard the flip side in a conversation with a frustrated pizzeria operator who shared the challenges she was facing with another POS provider: limited hours of operation, lack of expertise, and poor follow-up.
The problems she was experiencing could have been avoided by looking more closely up front at these key factors:
What happens after standard office hours? What are the hours of operation for the call center—both during the week, and on weekends? Will the call center’s time zone work for your pizzeria’s calls? Will it be staffed during holidays? Ask yourself if there is value to a call center that is not operational when you need it.
What’s the wait? Have you ever been on hold for 10 minutes or more wondering, “Will I ever get through?”. Ask about staffing levels. If there are only one or two techs on staff, will this be adequate to answer your calls in a timely, efficient manner? Ask about policies, and how they track and manage their “grade of service.” (Hint: if they aren’t sure what “grade of service” is, or can’t tell you their numbers, run the other way.)
How knowledgeable are the techs? When something goes wrong with your POS system, isn’t it nice to know that when you call for help, you will be greeted by a friendly professional who can actually answer your question? You can’t put a price on that. And if the problem cannot be fixed immediately, does the technician take it one step further by researching the issue and calling you back with a resolution? That’s the sign of top notch tech support. Find out how the provider trains technicians. Do they require certification? Ask about their experience: long tenure is a key factor in great support.
Your decision to purchase a POS system is only the beginning of your relationship with a new technology provider. The POS is integral to your daily business tasks, so ongoing support can make or break your pizzeria’s operation.
Evaluating POS systems? Find out more about the range of services provided by the SpeedLine Support Center to help manage your restaurants effectively and profitably:
Posted by Tricia Hoy| Author's website