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If you ask most people to nominate the top things they absolutely couldn’t do without, chances are their digital devices and early-morning coffee would rate near the top. For Australia’s growing community of baristas, exciting new possibilities are emerging to combine these two modern-day essentials and deliver both better business management. Most importantly they help to build better customer loyalty and engagement.
After all, the customer is always right. Right? And these days they want what they want straight away with as little fuss and delay as possible.
You need to be one step ahead of your customers, or they will just keep on walking. With rapid developments in smart-phone devices, mobile and cloud-based applications you’re able to track and manage your operations, while having more time to engage with your customers, even if you have a very busy business.
Barista and business owner Dan Chrystal, from Melbourne’s Stand-Up Café, recently started using card payments with tools from payments technology company Square, which he says has made accepting payments and managing the day-to-day business tasks easier, leaving him more time to focus on customers. “Adapting to the latest technology on offer has allowed me to stress less about the administrative stuff, and instead focus on making genuine connections with my customers,” he says.
It’s a story that’s becoming more common as smarter small businesses harness the power, flexibility and lower cost of digital tools supporting better business operations and better customer engagement.
Here are four of tech tools recommended by Australian cafe owners.
Stand Up Cafe in Melbourne
Square makes accepting cashless payments simple. Square’s new Contactless and Chip Reader allow business owners to accept every way your customer wants to pay, whether that’s via tap-and-go payments, or mobile wallets such as Apple Pay and Android Pay. Café owners are able to connect their Reader to a smartphone or tablet, setup their point of sale and start accepting payments within minutes. Beyond payments, there is a powerful point of sale platform which enables café owners to leverage everything from item and menu management, digital and SMS receipts and collecting customer feedback, allowing them to quickly pinpoint which areas of the business may need attention.
Bean Hunter boasts a database with thousands of reviews posted by café customers, allowing thirsty coffee-seekers to make more informed decisions, as well as contribute their own reviews. And café owners themselves take part in ‘coffee conversations’, as well as uploading their own photos and managing business details.
OpenTable makes reservations easier. Customers can use the app to explore, reserve and manage restaurant bookings free and instantly- anytime and anywhere. For café owners, it provides a new platform for them to drive brand awareness and build demand.
Melbourne born Stamp Me is a loyalty card app that essentially puts the ‘Buy 5 get 1 free’ style cards onto your customers’ iPhone and androids. Small businesses can choose from a variety of card types from stamps, a points system, scratch card, pre-paid card or check ins – to best suit their needs. The app is inexpensive, and ensures customers will never lose or forget their loyalty card again.
Click play! Why technology is important for small business