Keeping Customers Returning

Keeping Customers Returning

Have you ever thought about why you return to the same retail stores again and again? Most of us do not stop to analyze this, but should! The reasons why you shop at your favorite stores are the same reasons customers come to your place of business.

Here are some of my reasons:

  • Good parking facilities
  • Friendly, helpful employees who can answer my questions about products
  • Clean atmosphere (floors, counters, windows, restrooms)
  • Good management of unsupervised children in the store
  • Adequate inventory to provide choices
  • Good prices, clearly marked on easily seen labels
  • Efficiency at checkout – no long lines
  • Adequate staffing to prevent long lines
  • Monitors, so I can see prices as they are scanned
  • Receipts that I can read and understand
  • Good return policy, with clear information on receipt
  • Ease of using my preferred debit/credit cards
  • Loyalty benefits

Want your customers to come back? Make sure you consider the above and make changes accordingly. We at CCS can’t help you with all of these factors, (we don’t do windows, parking lots, or supervision of children) but we can help you with many of them.

Do you need assistance with inventory, labels, receipts, use of debit/credit cards, loyalty points, scanners, monitors, registers, or training employees on the use of your Counterpoint software? We can provide excellent service on all of these things and much more. Call us at 425-672-4806 or email us. We can help you help your customers!

Marlene

Importance of Updates

Importance of Updates

My daughter was flying in to visit me, and I needed directions to the newly-opened airport in my town. I decided to take a test run a few days before her arrival, so I checked out the address on the Internet and got into my car. I reached into the glove box for my road map and then realized that I had destroyed my road maps when I got my first hand-held GPS unit.

My car is older and does not have GPS installed, so I re-entered my home and got my hand-held GPS. It needed to be re-charged. After the re-charging completed, I again got into my car and proceeded to drive to the airport. The only problem was that my GPS had not been updated and the roads had changed! Of course, I got lost and had to recalculate on my own.

Why am I telling you all this? I want to emphasize how important it is to keep up with updates. Think of all of the things in your business that have been altered by our changing technology. Constant updates (and upgrades) are now needed on POS software, printers, registers, scanners, anti-virus programs, mailing machines, delivery company software, postage, credit card machines—the list goes on and on.

Don’t “get lost” as I did! Make sure that you stay current on all technology that keeps your business healthy, running, and competitive in the marketplace. If you need help, we’re here to answer your questions, give expert advice, and dependable service. Just email us at CCS.

Marlene

About Customer Service

About Customer Service

Have you ever said to yourself, “I’ll never shop here again!” as you left the store in which you were shopping? That has happened to me numerous times throughout the years, and it’s often for the same reasons. Here are some of them:

  • The clerk was talking to a fellow employee about his/her work schedule rather than paying attention to my order.
  • Groceries were loaded haphazardly into the bags with bread and eggs on the bottom.
  • Bills, receipts, coupons, and coins were thrust at me with the coins on top. (The coins always get spilled!)
  • The clerk had a sour face and barely acknowledged my presence.
  • The clerk acted annoyed if I had coupons or because I had a question about a product.
  • The clerk wasted a lot of MY time talking about his/her life while checking out my order.
  • The clerk started ringing up the next person’s purchases while I was still loading my purchases into my cart. (Here’s your hat, what’s your hurry?)

The list goes on and on. I’m sure you could add a few of your pet peeves to my list. While I know that everybody has a bad day now and then, putting yourself “in the shoes of your customer” can go a long way towards correcting many errors that could turn business away from you.

Good customer service provides something to the customer as they exit your business that causes them to remember their experience and want to return for more of the same. Here are some examples of things that you can do to please, not annoy, your customers:

  • Stay focused on your job. Chat small talk with fellow workers at a better time.
  • Be organized. Load items as if you had to unload them at your home!
  • Hand coins to the customer first, then other receipts.
  • Be pleasant and polite. Smile!
  • Engage your customer by asking questions like:

Did you find everything that you wanted?

Do you want your receipt with you or in the bag?

Can I help you with those bags?

Do you need help getting these to your car?

  • Don’t rush into your next sale until the current customer has left your space.
  • If a customer says “thank you”, the polite answer is “you’re welcome” or “my pleasure”.

“No problem” is not an appropriate answer!

Good customer service is just that–giving good service to those people you want to see again, purchasers who will keep your business alive and well. Isn’t it worth the effort?

Marlene

Speeding Up Your Computer

Speeding Up Your Computer

Have you noticed recently that your emails are not zipping out rapidly as they once did? Maybe your programs are loading slowly, or documents or pictures take forever to come up. Perhaps your most-used browser just hangs there for a while before doing its job.

It is so annoying when your computer starts slowing down, but it’s useful to know that this will happen, sooner or later, to all computers if some basic steps aren’t taken. There are many reasons why computers slow down, but here are some basic steps that you can take as a starting point to help solve the problem.

Clean out your trash bin. The items you have put there are not removed from your hard drive but kept there so they can be restored if you need them later. Check contents first, then delete those that will not be needed in the future.

Clean out your Temporary Internet Files. If you do a lot of web browsing, information accumulates rapidly here. Close all Internet browsers, open “Internet Options,” then click delete in “Browsing History” section.

Get rid of unneeded programs. Remove all programs that are no longer used, but make sure that you have completely uninstalled them, leaving no application leftovers that will slow down your computer.

Re-organize your desktop. Desktop icons are there to make it easier to navigate your system, but too many files or widgets can clutter your desktop and slow your system. Remove icons that are seldom used.

Keep your computer updated. Hardware, software, and operating system should all be in sync. New updates often have bug fixes that can improve your computer’s speed and performance.

If your business needs to purge files that are no longer needed, we can help you take care of this quickly and safely. Just give us a call at 800/425-672-4806 or email us for professional service that will enhance your business needs. Call today!

Marlene

Why Training Is Extremely Important

Why Training Is Extremely Important

Technology is changing at such an incredibly fast rate in today’s world that we sometimes forget that there are people out there whose knowledge of these changes hasn’t kept pace. Our customers represent many types of businesses, some of which employ volunteers to assist with their operations. These good-hearted people want to help with whatever is needed, but sometimes lack the training for the job for which they have been assigned.

One of these people called in for help recently, and to our tech’s astonishment, didn’t know what a “mouse” was! This is an extreme example, of course, of the point I’m addressing. It does point out, however, that POS training is very important for a business to provide for its employees.

At CCS, we offer training classes from an expert instructor who will help you get the best benefit from your Counterpoint POS System. This can be done in our classroom, on-site at your business, or even remotely. We can accommodate several people or just one – whatever you need. You can choose just an Overview, or pick from many different topics available. Manuals are provided to allow you to have “look-up” material for later reference. Hands-on practice is a part of classroom instruction.

You might want to take a class individually, and then go back to your business and use that information to relay just what is needed for a specific worker.

Training will certainly eliminate the time, stress, and expense involved in fixing problems that are created when employees are not knowledgeable about how to use their system.

Need some training for your company? Call us now at 425-672-4806 or email us for more information. You’ll be glad you did!

Marlene

Protecting Your Business

Protecting Your Business

Hopefully, the severe weather is over for this winter, but severe weather conditions can happen during any time of the year. Excessive winds, rain, fires, flooding—all can cause power outages that can affect your computer systems and your business. Also, other unexpected events, like theft, can impact your business. Knowing what to do, in advance, can protect you from losses that could have been prevented.

Your first line of defense should be your attention to backing up your system, consistently, and storing that information in a safe place. In that way, if the unexpected does happen, everything can be restored once the event is over.

Recently, a friend of mine who owns and operates a small engineering business had his building broken into one night. The thieves took a laptop computer on which a large number of his engineering designs were stored. The thieves were caught, and the computer was recovered, but the files were overwritten with computer games. Unfortunately, the files had not been backed up, so much valuable information was lost.

Don’t wait for a disaster like this to happen, or for weather conditions to damage your system. If you need help with your backup setup, or if you need to restore files from your backups, we’re here to assist you. We can be reached at 425-672-4806 or you can email us.

Be safe. Plan now.

Marlene

Tech Support Scams

Tech Support Scams

Lately, I have been receiving lots of pop-up messages on my computer that tell me that something needs to be “fixed” on my computer. The message may say that my computer is running too slow because it has registry errors or someone can “see” my information. Sometimes it tells me that a virus or malware has been detected on my computer. Often, a free “security” scan is offered, or a website is shown that I can access as a way to correct my computer’s “ills.”

The messages usually come from what looks like a legitimate company, complete with the appropriate logo, like Microsoft or Apple. Sometimes free software is offered that I can download, guaranteed to make my computer run faster and better.

Unfortunately, most of these pop-ups are from scammers. They want to convince me that I have computer problems so that they can sell me worthless software, try to enroll me in cheap computer maintenance or warranty programs, or trick me into giving them access to my computer so they can steal sensitive data, like usernames and passwords.

How do I know this? I already have my computer loaded with security protection from trustworthy companies. Some of it is free and some I purchased. I use these software programs regularly to keep my computer safe.

So how do you cope with these malicious pop-ups? Don’t click on messages that look questionable. Never go to an unknown website that is suggested in one of these pop-ups, or call a phone number that claims to be “tech support.” Make sure you are using appropriate, legitimate anti-virus software on a regular basis. And most of all, think before you act when it comes to anything unsolicited that pops up on your computer screen.

If you need help or advice on computer security, we can help you. Our number is 425-672-4806, or you can email us. Be safe, not sorry.

Marlene

Tech Support Scams

Tech Support Scams

Lately, I have been receiving lots of pop-up messages on my computer that tell me that something needs to be “fixed” on my computer. The message may say that my computer is running too slow because it has registry errors or someone can “see” my information. Sometimes it tells me that a virus or malware has been detected on my computer. Often, a free “security” scan is offered, or a website is shown that I can access as a way to correct my computer’s “ills.”

The messages usually come from what looks like a legitimate company, complete with the appropriate logo, like Microsoft or Apple. Sometimes free software is offered that I can download, guaranteed to make my computer run faster and better.

Unfortunately, most of these pop-ups are from scammers. They want to convince me that I have computer problems so that they can sell me worthless software, try to enroll me in cheap computer maintenance or warranty programs, or trick me into giving them access to my computer so they can steal sensitive data, like usernames and passwords.

How do I know this? I already have my computer loaded with security protection from trustworthy companies. Some of it is free and some I purchased. I use these software programs on a regular basis to keep my computer safe.

So how do you cope with these malicious pop-ups? Don’t click on messages that look questionable. Never go to an unknown website that is suggested in one of these pop-ups, or call a phone number that claims to be “tech support.” Make sure you are using appropriate, legitimate anti-virus software on a regular basis. And most of all, think before you act when it comes to anything unsolicited that pops up on your computer screen.

If you need help or advice on computer security, we can help you. Our number is 425-672-4806, or you can email us. Be safe, not sorry.

Marlene

‘Tis the Season to be Careful!

‘Tis the Season to be Careful!

‘Tis the season to be jolly, right? That’s what the song tells us, but the holidays will not seem so jolly if you are victimized by a hacker! Although it may not be possible to eliminate all of the hazards, there are precautions that you can take to minimize dangers to your devices and your life! It begins with the recognition of where intruders are most likely to invade.

Cell phones and laptops are frequently lost, especially when people are traveling. Airports, hotels, restaurants, taxi companies—all report hundreds of unclaimed mobile devices that have been left behind. Being extremely cautious with your devices, and perhaps registering them with services that can locate, recover, and kill lost or stolen devices, will keep you safer.

Email greetings are sent in abundance during the holiday season. Not all email greetings, however, are what they seem! Cybercriminals have been known to disguise viruses and spyware into what seems like an innocent greeting from friends or relatives. Open attachments with great care!

Using social networking is a very popular way to reconnect with friends during the holidays, but these sites are frequently targeted for phishing attacks. Be careful what you click on—that new “friend” may not be a friend at all.

USB thumb drives, like cell phones and laptops, are often lost when people are traveling. USB drives are so small, making them easy to misplace or leave plugged into public PC’s; creating a hazard if those removable drives are not protected.

New gift devices, like smartphones and computers, are many times put into operation before security measures like anti-virus software are installed. Recipients are so anxious to use the new tools that they don’t take time in advance for necessary precautions. The lack of precautions makes the devices vulnerable to a host of problems.

Downloading games and free apps can expose users to malware. Be sure to examine carefully before installing them, and be wary of unsigned apps from unknown developers.

We hope your holidays are happy and safe. If the unthinkable happens, however, we’re here to help you. Just give us a call at 425-672-4806 or email us.

Marlene

Preparing for the Holidays

Preparing for the Holidays

The weather is turning colder, the clock has returned to Standard Time, and the holiday season looms before us. Already I am seeing candy canes on display in supermarkets! This makes me wonder if you are doing the necessary preparations in your business to make sure this holiday season is well-organized and profitable.

What can you be doing right now to get ready? Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Make sure your inventory is stocked sufficiently and numbers are accurate. Eliminate errors now that could cost you sales later!
  • See those products on display are all labeled. Customers find it annoying when prices aren’t readily available.
  • Add needed information on your receipts, like return policy.
  • Clean up the store and arrange displays for best customer visibility. Polish that glass front door.
  • Make sure you have on hand sufficient gift cards; these are always a favorite for holiday gift-giving!
  • Update/prepare to use your customer information to send flyers and emails to advertise holiday sales.
  • Install newer, faster hardware, like printers or scanners. Waiting until the last minute to take care of your business “tools” could become a real hassle once the season begins.
  • Make sure that your security system is up to date. Remember, this is prime time for unscrupulous scamming.
  • Arrange for new employees’ training now to avoid problems later.
  • Consistently back up all of your files in case of the unexpected, like power outages from winter storms, or malicious ransomware attacks.

We can help you with many of these preparations, (but we don’t do windows!). All it takes is a quick call to 485-672-4806, or you can email us. We’re here to help you have a great holiday season!

Marlene