If you’re a small business owner, you might be under the impression that a point of sale (POS) system only works for retail and food businesses. How about we tell you that the list of businesses that can benefit from a POS doesn’t end there? There are more than you may even realize!
Did you know that many service-based businesses reap the benefits of a POS by incorporating it into their business? Service-based businesses offer services instead of the usual food items or merchandise. If you’re a maintenance personnel, hairdresser, academic tutor, beautician, manicurist, pet groomer, interior designer, or massage therapist, then you are in the service industry.
Here are just some of the many immediate service-based businesses where a POS comes in handy: Hair salon, nail salon, spa, car wash and maintenance, laundry services, gasoline station, gym, photography services, bus transportation, public toilet, and massage therapy.
Happy Clients, Happier Business
Let’s get down to your business’s ultimate goal. The purpose of your service-based business is to make your clients so satisfied with the service you provide that they’d want to keep coming back to you for the same experience.
This means that, from booking an appointment to payment, you want to make sure that your clients’ experience with you is as seamless and hassle-free as possible. This way, not only will they leave your shop satisfied with your service, but they will go ahead and talk to their friends and family about your business. That’s boosted sales- and free marketing for you. To keep it simple, happy clients, happier business.
The vital point in selecting a POS system that is highly customizable is to meet the ever-changing needs of your business and clients. This means your POS system can grow and evolve as the needs of your business do the same.
If you’re wondering what features should you be watching out for in a POS solution that caters to these specific service-based needs, then you have come to the right place!
POS Features Ideal for Service-Based Businesses
1. Improved Customer Experience with Easy Service Selection and Check-Out Process
It’s not enough to only think about the service they booked with you, but you should also know what they expect from the whole process of availing the service from your business. Customers appreciate being able to seamlessly split checks, move their tab, switch rooms (if you run a spa or massage parlor), and pay in different payment modes.
Say you run a hair salon; your clients will love being able to make a payment right from their seat while waiting for their hair treatment to be done. If you run a car wash, let your staff bring over a POS terminal so that busy dads can conveniently swipe their cards for payment in the comforts of your waiting room. A group of friends drop by your massage parlor for a group pamper day. You’d be able to split tickets or bills with just a few taps on your POS. And if some of them want to pay in cash and the others by card, your POS will make sure you don’t break a sweat.
With a sound POS system, be rest assured that as it streamlines the process from selecting the service of their choice to making payments, your customers are going to leave your store feeling satisfied. All thanks to the smooth and breezy transaction with a POS system, you can improve your customers’ overall experience with you.
2. Create Promos and Packages with Composite Items
Say a client walks in your waxing salon for a nice eyebrow thread, but as she glances at your service list, she is reminded that she has a beach trip coming up. On the spot, she decided that she would also want to avail waxing service for underarms, legs, and bikini. This is where the art of packaging your services comes into play. Service packages are a collection of individual services the company offers with a definite price availed as a set.
With a POS’ composite item’ feature, you can easily create these bundles of services to be sold together as a unit. With the waxing salon example above, you can make a composite item and give it a creative name, say, “Beach Babe,” and this package will include eyebrow threading, underarms, legs, and a bikini wax offered at a reasonable (discounted) price altogether.
If you have a car wash business, you may sell a service package that may include basic car wash, interior vacuuming, waxing, and buffing. With this, you can treat your clients by offering incentives like a free air freshener or coffee on the house as your clients wait for the service to be done.
By creating packages of your services, not only do you entice them to avail more services from you that meet their needs, but you are also relying on more than one session for your income. This is a great way to promote your other offerings or services and boost sales.
3. Track Materials and Items Used Per Service with Composite Items
Another way you can take advantage of the composite items feature is to use it to track the materials and ingredients used for a particular service. Say you run a pet grooming business. You can enter one of your puppy bath services as a composite item and include products such as shampoo, conditioner, and pet-safe cologne under it. You can even enter how much in quantity and volume is used up per service so you can track your stocks.
If you run out of puppy shampoo, then that means you won’t be able to offer your puppy bath service until you have replenished your stocks.
4. Customization with Variants
What makes a POS handy in service businesses is that it gives so much room for customization. On the item list of your hair salon’s POS, you can enter ‘haircut,’ and under that, you can set variants for different hair lengths offered at different prices.
Customization may also involve adding one-time effects to a service at the customer’s request. Say, you run a massage parlor, you can enter ‘Thai Massage’ on your item list and enter variants on this item that may include the options to choose ‘regular (no oil),’ or with ‘essential oil.’ Since the latter option requires additional oil, you want to offer this at a higher price. Use your POS’ variable feature to make this customization possible.
There are so many ways you can create variants with your POS. You can get as creative as you want to provide your clients with more options and freedom for customization. However you decide to do it, this is a great way to give your services an extra boost- both in promotion and sales.
5. Open Tickets To Name Clients
The managerial challenge of offering service packages is keeping track of which clients have purchased which purchases. And this is why a POS comes in handy, thanks to its ‘open ticketing’ feature.’ This way, you can name a purchase to a client and only close it once the service is done and payment has been made.
To put it simply, the open ticket feature is perfect for service businesses because it allows your clients to pay after the service is done. You can add the item to the ticket, name the ticket to your client, print the ticket, save the bill and give the bill to your client.
The client can come to you to make the payment, once the service is done. Only then can you print out a receipt to give to your client.
6. Boost Clientele Loyalty and Retention
A good loyalty program that rewards repeat customers can encourage them to keep coming back – and to spread the word about your business to their friends. With a POS, your loyalty program is integrated right into the system, tracking recurring engagements and creating a client database you can use in other ways.
This is way better than a simple punch card that customers might lose or copy or not would want to carry around and occupy space in their wallets.
Think about it, say you want to get the word out about a new service promo drop for the summer. Your database of loyal clients is your most immediate and important tool. Email marketing, text blasts, and newsletters- there are just so much that you can do with your already existing clientele base.
For this, you need a reliable service that offers basic features such as managing clients’ information and monitoring purchases of loyal customers. Integrations will even further enhance this with appointment and scheduling programs.
No matter what type of business you’re running, the speed and efficiency of your service are deemed of paramount importance. With limited time to maximize your chances of profit, moving through each step of the service availing process as quickly as possible is vital. Your POS should offer a seamless experience for both your clients and your staff.
Remember, the more clients you cater to in your business, the more money you make. The last thing you would want is a POS system stalling that process.
Your POS can streamline the transaction process for your staff, which can help them move queues in the payment terminals more quickly. With a mobile POS, you can have one staff take advance service orders from clients in the waiting room so that the other staff can prepare the materials and tools to be used for the service. Another staff can focus on processing payments, which a POS will also streamline.
Another way to modernize and fast-track the process is to hand a POS to your clients so they can punch in the service of their choice instead of having a staff manually write it down and running to a payment terminal. This eliminates errors and speeds up service.
With a simple inventory management system, you can manage and keep track of your inventory right from your POS, so you are fully aware of when, what, and how much to order from your suppliers. POS systems let you track products and tools used per service or as a whole by counting individual ingredients as composite items.
It should also notify you when you’re running low on stocks. You should be able to track your products quickly and monitor which services they are used for. Not only will you have great insight into what’s happening with your inventory, but you’ll be able to communicate better when it’s time to place an order or if it’s time to cut back on reordering certain items.
In addition, when you keep an eye on inventory costs, you’ll be able to spot price hikes and know when to renegotiate with your suppliers or find new ones.
9. Trigger A Push for Bestselling Services
Your POS can also tell you which services in your item list are the most popular. Not only will you know which is the crowd’s favorite but which one is giving you the most profit! For instance, in the salon business, you might feel like your most acquired service is ‘hair coloring’ because you get a lot of good reviews on it. But what do the numbers reveal about how many are availed each day? How about the total cost to complete one hair coloring session?
Your POS may reveal that while this service sells well, it doesn’t profit you because the dye you use is expensive. It may have a higher cost than the other services you offer.
Although it may not seem like a popular choice, you could see through your POS report that your ‘hair spa treatment service’ is your most profitable service because it has a marginally lower cost. A little push in promotions and recommendations from your staff can easily increase the number of hair spa clients, which could boost your sales of a highly profitable service.
10. Improved User Experience and Employee Management
Having your staff work in your business and use poorly-designed, outdated, slow software, can quickly become a significant source of frustration and major backlogs in their service and performance.
A POS system that is intuitive, easy to learn, and navigate can come in handy for an improved user experience. Suppose your POS has an Employee Management feature. In that case, your employees will be able to clock in and clock out right within the system, making it easy to check into work and get the ball running while improving transparency and accuracy.
11. Seamless and Accurate Reporting
All in real-time, A POS can help you view what service was availed, who made the sale, and which payment method was used. It can also help you spot trends in past sales performance to make better decisions for your business.
Since your POS records every sale, it allows you to see extensive sales reports that give you a whole look at how your business performed that day. This way, you’ll always know if your business is in good shape or whether you have to work on brushing up your revenues or strategies.
You’ll be able to see which services sell best at what times and days and which ones are the most profitable. You’ll also have a sounder insight into how your staff performs, your actual labor costs, product costs, and the flow of new and regular customers.
12. Manage Your Business Anytime, Anywhere!
As a service-based business owner with a million tasks at hand every day, you can’t be physically present at your store 24/7. Isn’t it annoying when you only need to make a slight staff schedule adjustment or menu update, and you have to be physically present?
Thankfully, POS software can provide you with access to your data from any location, on any device. Whether it’s a service list update, a new promotional packaging, staff scheduling adjustment, or a sales issue, a POS that will let you handle it all in real-time, regardless of where you are.
13. Employee Restrictions and Security
In a world where lying, cheating, and for businesses, employee theft exist, we just have to do what we have to do to prevent that.
A POS has customizable security settings that enable restrictions of what a specific staff member can do within the system, based on their position. For example, a cashier might be able to make sales but cannot view how much is currently in the cash drawer, alter a ticket, or give extra points to a customer without the manager’s consent.
When security settings are built into your system, that’s one less reason for significant anxiety and headache for you. Go for a POS software that will include automated data backups, customizable access controls, and data encryption to protect against employee negligence or theft. You’ll have peace of mind knowing your customer’s information, such as credit card numbers, is guarded.
Just like every other business, a service-based business comes with its own sets of challenges and unique needs. A POS that addresses these needs is not just useful — it’s essential. You’ll want an organized and effectively synchronized system between your employees and your customers. And because it is so important to have excellent personal relations with customers in the service industry, software that keeps track of each customer to create effective marketing strategies can be a fantastic service solution.
As always, when considering new POS software, identify your specific needs and determine which features you would like your service POS to emphasize.
Edited by Chooli