When you purchase a new POS system, you aren't just buying software. You're entering into a potentially long-term relationship with a POS partner.
Quality POS support is one of the most valuable things a POS provider can offer you.
Choosing a POS that delivers exceptional 24/7 support will help you with everything from installing the system and training your staff to ensuring your day-to-day operations run smoothly.
On the other hand, If you partner with a vendor who offers unreliable support, you could find that the POS system requires a significant and frustrating time commitment to set up and to maintain.
POS Support for Installation & Training
A reputable POS vendor will want to be involved in the installation process and go above and beyond to ensure that the system is customized to your business. They will likely analyze your floor plan, test your network speed, and experiment with different setup options to determine the most effective layout.
Training is the other component of the implementation process that will have a major impact on your experience with the POS system. You should expect your partner to provide POS system support and make themselves available to train you and your employees on how to use and troubleshoot the system. They should walk you through all of the various features and settings and ensure that you're comfortable with the system before the implementation process is finished.
A POS vendor that is a true partner will want to be very diligent and thorough during the go-live process to make sure that you enjoy a seamless transition and get off to a positive start with their product.
Ongoing POS Support
Once your restaurant has implemented a new system, now what? Are you are able to get the support you need when you need it? If there's an issue with the POS system, you need to know that someone will be available to help you solve that issue ASAP. Time is money! If you're reading this article before your purchase a new POS system, you will have the forsight to take the time to ask the vendor about the intricacies of their support offering and their POS customer service.
Here are a few good questions to ask your vendor:
How can I reach Support when I have an problem?
There are typically two ways to contact your POS vendor when you need support: email and phone. If the vendor does not offer phone support, it will be difficult for you to get immediate help when there's a critical issue with your POS system. If the network goes down during your busiest hours and you can’t get the help you need right away, you could lose thousands of dollars. Not to mention several unhappy customers leaving your establishment unable to be served.
What are Support's hours? Can I reach them on nights and weekends?
Restaurants don't operate on a 9 to 5, Monday through Friday schedule. In most cases, Saturday and Sunday are the busiest days of the week. If you own a nightclub, for example, your establishment is open well into the early morning hours. Before you make the decision to purchase a POS, understand when you will have access to support and how that will impact your operations if you need help outside of "normal" business hours. The best POS systems have 24/7 support.
What is Support’s typical response time?
In addition to ensuring that support is available during your establishment’s hours of operation, it's also a good idea to investigate average response times. If there is a critical issue and it takes the Support team hours or even days to respond to your request, it could cost you not only revenue, but also the opportunity to delight your guests. Looking for an average response time of under an hour will give you a pretty good idea of what to expect when you're on the other end of the line.
Can I be helped remotely or do I need to have an IT person come in?
If you select a cloud-based POS system, the vendor can almost always provide support by securely accessing your information in the cloud server. If you choose a traditional legacy system, it’s more likely that on-site help will be needed because your data is stored on a back office machine. That's why if you have a legacy system, it's especially important to make sure that the vendor has a reputable support system in place. Be sure you fully understand what costs, if any, are involved with sending someone on-location to troubleshoot your system and provide you with the support you need when you need it.
What is included in POS support?
Some POS vendors offer different types of support plans. These plans are similar to an insurance plan, designed to only cover specific issues. Read the fine print and carefully review what is covered by your POS provider’s Support team and how you would deal with potential issues that are not covered in the original plan. Anything can happen!
The people behind your POS system are oftentimes just as important as the system itself. While it's difficult to predict what your exact experience will be with a vendor's Support team, asking these questions ahead of time can help ensure that there are no surprises once you're in that stressful situation of needing help immediately.