The holidays are stressful enough for retailers – pressure to win over customers, effectively manage long lines, staff locations properly and more. With so much already on their plate, it can be hard to fathom what would happen if the technology they so heavily relied on stopped working.
Think about it: Your store is packed with anxious customers ready to finish up their holiday shopping, only to find out that your POS isn’t working. How many sales opportunities would you lose due to non-operating equipment? How much unnecessary staff overage would you have standing around when you’re not able to ring sales? As for the customer experience your store visitors will have…do you think they’d be coming back anytime soon, or would they just take their business to a competitor instead?
Well, that exact scenario happened to one of our clients. Their card readers stopped functioning, and if it wasn’t for the quick response from Worldlink’s field tech support, the downtime could have significantly impacted their costs, sales, and reputation. Read on for the details:
Installing a New Card Reader Technology
The client was a specialty retailer that had a footprint nationally as one of the top stores within their segment, to shop at in the country. Heading into the busy holiday season, the card readers in an inordinate amount of their pin pads were beginning to stop functioning. There seemed to be no correlation between the stores in which this was happening, until they started to look at where they were located.
Most of the locations in question were in areas with colder climates, where rain and snow was accompanied by heavy winds. Customers who entered these specific stores were often wearing heavy winter coats that were quickly removed upon entering the store. At face value, that doesn’t sound like an issue. But as each customer would take off his or her coat, a static electricity buildup occurred. This pent-up electricity was strong enough to cause the card readers to malfunction – being rendered useless to ring up sales.
Pin Pads were being replaced at an alarming rate, one which could not be sustained through the busy season. There was no way that they could get new devices out to the stores in time without turning away customers and losing sales.
So, what did they do?
Luckily, the client had thought ahead and partnered with Worldlink to be on-call during their peak weekends throughout the holiday season.
Locations in major markets throughout the country had technicians on call from 2 hours prior to store opening to 2 hours after store closing, and were able to arrive at any store within the market inside of a four-hour service level agreement (SLA). This service ensured there was enough time to have non-critical components serviced during off hours, and critical components serviced at any point during store hours.
Additionally, centrally-located stores were utilized as depot hubs to store replacement components and equipment. This approach ensured that no time was lost due to the need to have them shipped. Allowing the neighboring stores the comfort of knowing that there would be minimal downtime, and that they would be able to ring sales again within hours.
Worldlink’s Field Tech Support
Having dedicated tech support from a partner you can trust is a retailer’s way of creating a safety blanket around its operations. Without having a third party that’s invested in your stores’ best interests, you risk being dangerously exposed should something go wrong with your technology. The Holiday season only amplifies this need.
Worldlink clients agree that this technology partnership eliminates their stress of losing not only sales but return customers. Having field tech support during the time it counts the most ensures the customer experience will be minimally impacted by IT-related issues.
Advantages of Worldlink’s Field Tech Support:
- On-call service available from 2 hours prior to store opening to 2 hours after store closing
- Typically will arrive within 4 hours (can vary based on geographic range to covered and desired turnaround by the client)
- All critical components like POS systems, pin pads, and network equipment can be fixed by a qualified onsite technician, removing the need for your IT HD to disrupt your staff and store associates
- All non-critical components serviced before or after store hours, or during times when customer traffic is lighter to avoid interruption
- Guaranteed performance during peak weekends during the holiday season like Black Friday, weekends leading up to Christmas, and the weekend after Christmas which can be a hotbed for returns
The bottom line is that you shouldn’t be waiting until there’s an emergency to begin planning or looking for help. The best brands are proactive with their approach and build relationships with trusted experts like Worldlink so that they know they are safe. Zach Fecteau, VP of Client Services at Worldlink, put it best by saying:
“An exceptional customer experience and reliable systems are vital year-round, especially as brick-and-mortar retailers work to win back sales lost to e-commerce. Their importance is only heightened during the busiest and most profitable time of the year – the holiday season. Taking steps to ensure systems are operable and running efficiently ensures the customer will have the best experience possible, while also minimizing lost sales. Your store associates are also able to focus on the consumers walking into the store to provide a personal touch that would otherwise not be present. In short, a small investment not only breeds peace of mind but also increases sales and fosters strong loyalty to your brand.”