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This is a post by Cara Wood.

Perhaps the most important part of retail is the moment of the transaction — when money transfers from the customer to the cashier. This is, after all, the moment that everything else in retail is working towards. As such, it’s obvious that your cashiers must be well trained so that everything goes smoothly.

Retailers tend to approach cashiers in two ways. The first is the way that a store like Walmart approaches it: sales associates spend the whole of a shift behind the register, ringing whoever queues, but not leaving the desk until they’re told to. The second is the way that many mall stores, like Ann Taylor, will do: sales associates will ring customers as necessary. Nowadays, those sales associates may not even get behind a desk to ring but may use a mobile POS to ring right on the floor.

Either way, all of them need to be trained to be excellent cashiers to guarantee that your store is providing top-notch customer service and closing sales well.

What to teach your cashiers

1. Customer service skills

Afully rounded training in customer servicewill serve your cashiers well, but if you only have time for a few things, these are the customer service skills cashiers need to develop:

General friendliness– General friendliness is essential. Your cashier will need to smile and greet customers if they haven’t previously been working with the customer on the floor.

They’ll need to display a positive and upbeat demeanor throughout the interaction to ensure the customer has a remarkable experience. Friendliness is such an important skill that Michael Connolly of Connolly’s Do It Best Hardware & Rental says thathe hiresfor friendliness over skill.

Greeting– Depending on your store layout, cashiers can be the first people that a customer sees. They need to be equipped to get your customers’ shopping experiences off to a positive start, as well as answer their questions and direct them around the store.

Cross-selling– Your cashier will also be the last person to speak to the customer before the sale is officially closed, meaning they have a crucial chance to confirm the customer has found everything they need or to add-on to the sale.

Cashiers who haven’t been working with the customer on the floor should ask if a customer has found everything they were looking for. They should also be trained to ask customers if they’re interested in purchasing whatever small cross-sell you keep at the desk (think gift cards or trinkets). For this interaction, you may want to provide scripts, likeChurch’s Chickendoes.

Handlingangry customers– At many stores, cashiers are the first stop for returns or concerns, and thus, angry customers. So, you’ll have to be sure they’re prepared with the skills (mainly active listening skills) to diffuse situations and turn your angry customer into a happy one. Be sure to arm your cashiers with “phrases of courtesy.” Renée Evenson, the author ofPowerful Phrases for Effective Customer Service, suggests such phrases as “I apologize” or “Will you?” instead of “You will” can make a big difference in dealing with an angry customer.

2. Store policy

It’s imperative that your cashiers know your policies inside and out — particularly when it comes to sales and returns. A cashier who doesn’t know store policy will cost you a lot of money in discounts, fraudulent returns, or manager hours.

In addition to knowing your official store policies though, over time (as your new cashier becomes a trustworthy employee), you also want to let them know how much autonomy they have over making decisions. After all, a good store will, in the name of customer service, take late returns or offer certain discounts when presented with the right circumstances.

3. Actual use of the software/processing the sale

Obviously, your cashiers must learn how to work your POS hardware and software in order to process a sale or return. The skills involved here will be, among other things:

  • Logging into the software
  • Initiating a sale
  • Looking up customers and their previous purchases
  • Looking up products
  • Initiating a return
  • Returning without a receipt
  • Taking mobile and card payments
  • Handling cash: giving change and checking for counterfeit bills
  • Processing a check payment
  • Reloading the receipt paper correctly
  • Processing gift cards
  • Applying promotions

4. Packaging

Packaging items is a huge part of your branding and post-purchase experience, asCostco knows. They’re famous for not bagging their items because it looks too much like a regular retail store, and they prefer to seem more exclusive. Ultimately, your cashiers will be the employees responsible for providing this part of the experience, and so they must know how to package or bag your products according to your branding.

5. Working the POS

Your cashiers will need to know how to run some of the administrative elements of your POS to varying degrees. For your most trusted cashiers, you will likely want to teach them how to close out a register and run some sales reports. Some businesses find it most efficient for all their cashiers to be able to close out.

How to train your cashiers

1. Use any training materials from your vendor

One of the first things you should do is sit your new cashier down with any training resources that your software vendor may offer. (Hey, Vend customers:Here’s ours!) These resources will provide a good baseline for your new cashiers to understand how the software will generally work. This will save you some time, but it will also ensure that you help employees of all learning styles actually get your software down pat.

2. Make it easy for them to memorize PLUs.

For cashiers in certain types of stores, especially grocery stores, it can be a real time saver to know product codes off the top of their head, rather than having to look it up every time they ring. Giving your cashiers sheets or flashcards to help their memorization during off-hours can be a helpful training practice. For reference,here are flashcardsfor Kroger’s PLUs.

3. Practice!

Experience is the best teacher of all, so get your cashier some hands-on experience next. You can walk your new cashier through a practice sale or two on an empty register. Also, walk them through a practice return!

4. Have them shadow your best cashier

Once your trainees have started to get basics, have them shadow your best cashier so they can see real-world “checkout” situations. Cashiers face a lot of different and often unexpected situations throughout the day and the only real way to learn is to observe or participate in them. Your best cashier can explain how policy and technical uses of the POS get applied depending on what a customer is buying or returning.

5. Start them off during off-hours (with a shadow)

Once your new cashier has spent some time watching the best, the only way left to learn is to actually get hands-on experience ringing up sales. It’s best to set them up during off-peak hours, perhaps wearing a badge that lets customers know this cashier is brand new (and asks for their patience).

You’ll also want to have someone shadow them for the first couple of sales, just to be sure everything is flowing well. And even when that person stops actively shadowing, they should remain close by when the new cashier has a question (as they inevitably will).

6. Provide customer service training

We have anumber of postson our blog about how to train retail employees in customer service, so I’m not going to give the whole massive rundown here. But here are some tips that you should definitely use with your cashiers:

Role-playing– Role-playing is a perennial favorite for customer service training because it allows you to create a low-stakes hands-on learning environment, and ultimately customer service skills are best learned through experience. In the words of Bob Phibbs, retail expert, “the more role-playing your team has under their belt, the less likely they’ll sell from their own wallet, give bad customer service, or be stymied by some of the more margin-improving retail sales techniques like adding-on.” (Bob’s tips on role-playing can be foundhere.)

Teach your cashiers theessentials of greetingand conversing– That means teaching them small talk phrases, encouraging them to let customers know (in a non-creepy way) when they remember helping them last to build a connection, and finding or creating common ground with your customers. You can go over these skills in role-playing and/or give your cashiers scripts to learn.

7. Set realistic goals

You’ll want to set some realistic goals for how quickly your sales associates should be able to learn how to work the register efficiently. I say this because when I worked the floor at a women’s clothing store, there were at least a few older employees who never figured out how to work the POS software in their months of employment.

And while you do want to make sure that you’re using intuitive, user-friendly POS software, you can’t have employees intended to ring who never learn how to use your registers well. It creates more work for your other cashiers and can run up real lines and make customers needlessly angry.

Some goals you can set in order to see to it that, after you put in your very best training effort and you’re certain you’re using good software, you’re employing people who are doing well:

  • An amount of time it should take to learn the register. You can be generous here, but something like 40 hours is a very reasonable amount of time it should take for someone to get up and running on easy-to-use software.
  • Items/minute goals. Once your cashier is up and running, if your store is high-volume enough, you can set goals on ringing efficiency to continually make certain your cashiers are keeping up with your standards.

Conclusion

Training your cashiers is a vital process, but good training combined with great hires will result in an efficient closing experience that your customers love. A strong interaction with a cashier can leave a lasting impression on a customer and drive their loyalty.

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How effective is social media marketing?


Marketing through social media is cost effective.

The good news is that even just a few hours a week can have significant results. In fact, HubSpot reports that 84% of marketers were able to generate increased traffic with as little as six hours of effort spent on social media per week.
When you have a limited marketing budget, it is important that you spend it wisely to get the most for your money. Marketing through social media is one of the most versatile and cost-effective strategies that small businesses can use to reach their target audience and boost sales over time. That is why 97% of marketers are using social media to reach their audiences.

Why is social media marketing important?


Social media is an essential piece of your business marketing strategy. Social platforms help you connect with your customers, increase awareness about your brand, and boost your leads and sales. With more than three billion people around the world using social media every month, it is no passing trend.
If people do not know about your business, they cannot become your customers. Social media boosts your visibility among potential customers, letting you reach a wide audience by using a large amount of time and effort.

How does social media marketing work?


Social media marketing involves promoting your content and engaging with your target consumers on social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. This tactic is used in digital marketing to help businesses increase brand awareness, generate more leads, and improve customer engagement
Power of referrals
The Power of Referrals. ... One process that remains a key part to any business's success is the power of customer referrals. Good word of mouth can speak volumes about the quality of your business and a trusted referral can do so much for the growth of a business where traditional marketing might fall short.
Why are referrals so important?
When someone buys goods or services from your company based on a customer referral, then they are more likely to tell others in the industry if they had a positive experience. If each company tells five more companies, and then those companies tell other companies, then you see exponential sales growth.
Power of e-commerce
If you have a physical store, you are limited by the geographical area that you can service. With an eCommerce website, the whole world is your playground. Additionally, the advent of mCommerce, i.e., eCommerce on mobile devices, has dissolved every remaining limitation of geography.

Website marketing!


In many ways, your company’s website is the cornerstone of your digital marketing strategy. This is where many of your target customers first get an impression of your brand, and often, this is where your leads will eventually convert into paying customers. So, let us talk more about how your website plays a role in how digital marketing works.
The goal of digital marketing is to attract, engage, and convert your leads. Many of the tactics that you will use to do this will ultimately lead your target customers back to your website to get more information or make a purchase.

Growing your brand awareness: Social media marketing will make it easy to spread the word about your products and mission.
Increasing your traffic: Using social media and linking it to your website will increase your traffic tremendously.
Promoting your products and services: This is ultimately why you invest in marketing, right?

According to Social Media Examiner's 2016 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 39% of marketers spend more than 11 hours per week on social media and 63% spend more than six hours per week on social media.

The following recourses used!
https://www.lyfemarketing.com/blog/marketing-through-social-media/
https://marketinginsidergroup.com/content-marketing/why-social-media-is-important-for-business-marketing/
https://www.pedowitzgroup.com/the-power-of-social-media/
https://www.lyfemarketing.com/blog/how-digital-marketing-works/
https://POSitive-sa.co.za

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Congratulationsto Misrah Innovative Solutions based in Harare, Zimbabwe who was signed up as our second SADEC partner.


We would like to welcome Rob Makosa and his whole team to the POSitive Point of Sale family. We believe that our companies share a similar culture and work ethic and trust that this partnership will be prosperous to both parties and that the retailers in Zimbabwe will benefit from this partnership.

POSitive Point of Sale is a feature rich, easy to deploy and robust Point of Sale application which is particularly suitable in the small to medium sized retail stores. It provides full cash and stock management with many vertical specific features.

Once again welcome Misrah Innovative Solutions!