Rather than just welcoming people to your store, front door greeters armed with mobile credit card readers can happily process payments and send satisfied customers on their way.
Store greeters have become a common sight in Australia over the last few years, with staff members standing at the entrance to welcome customers, point them in the right direction, and make a good first impression.
You could argue greeters lead to the occasional lost sale as customers spend less time wandering the aisles but their presence at the front door also helps curb shoplifting without the need to post a less than friendly looking security guard.
Greeters are primarily all about customer satisfaction but apart from a friendly smile, they can also play a much more hands on role in keeping customers happy.
Look closely and you’ll notice that a growing number of store greeters are equipped with mobile credit card readers, which are becoming a lot more cost-effective even for small businesses. These staff also wear a tiny receipt printer on their hip, a telltale sign that they’re open for business.
Trendy retail chains like Apple have equipped staff with card readers for some time, so they can swap the front counter for a new-age retail experience, but it’s also happening in more traditional retail environments in order to facilitate quick sales and ease queues at the checkout.
You might not pick up on it at first, if you’re in the habit of grabbing what you need off the shelves and heading straight to the counter.
But if your trip to the counter takes you past the entrance and the greeter can see you’re only carrying a few items, they might politely ask “paper or plastic?” and whip out their card reader to process the transaction on the spot.
Of course, it’s not a great fit for every retail environment and there might be challenges linking into the point-of-sale system.
You also need to question whether there’s a downside in letting customers bypass the counter, potentially losing an opportunity to up sell or forgoing other important interactions.
You’re unlikely to be befriended by a smiling greeter at a Ferrari dealership happy to swipe your card and send you on your way. But it’s a perfect arrangement if you need to grab office supplies at lunchtime and can’t afford to get stuck in the queue.
If you’re in and out quickly then you’re more likely to come back the next time you need printer paper in a hurry.
If you operate in an environment where a quick sale is a good sale then high-tech greeters might be a great way to keep your customers satisfied and coming back for more.