Self-checkout stations are appearing in more and more convenience stores across the country, and for good reason. They let you move employees away from the front of the store to other positions where you may need help, and some customers prefer using them over interacting with a cashier, or they prefer to scan things at their own pace. The downside of self-checkout is by removing that final customer-employee interaction, you have fewer chances to leave a good impression, and maybe even make an extra sale, with every visitor.
Making Self-Checkout Work for You
While there are some people who prefer using self-checkouts over a normal checkout, it’s likely some of your customers will still prefer the classic checkout. This, combined with the lack of that final customer-employee interaction, can make putting in a self-checkout a tough decision for convenience store owners hesitant to install self-checkout. Fortunately, there are ways to minimize the risks:
- Use Suggestive Selling Throughout the Store: While you’ll be missing out on your cashier being able to suggest any last-minute products to your customers as they check out, that just means you’ll have to make up for it elsewhere in the store. Train your employees on suggesting additional products to customers in the aisles or when ordering food instead of only at the checkout counter.
- Make Your Customer Service Count: Like with suggestive selling, the loss of that last customer-employee interaction means there’s one less chance for your employees to provide your customers with amazing service as they’ve been trained. So, make up for it in the rest of the store! Have your employees be helpful to any customer who looks like they might need it. Improving the shopping experience in your store is always important, but now more than ever.
- Have a Backup: Not everyone is ready to use a self-checkout and may try to avoid using it if possible. To avoid scaring these customers away, keep at least one cash register open as an alternative for them to use. As an extra bonus, have your employees also trained in how to help customers use self-checkout so they can jump in and help any customers who run into trouble with the process. The self-checkout is usually the last thing customers will use in your store before leaving, so help them end their shopping on a good note.
Training for Self-Checkout
These ideas will go a long way to improving your customers’ experiences using self-checkout but remember to make sure your employees know how to follow through! A learning management system (LMS) will help you get your employees up to speed on all the intricacies of working in your convenience store; one with blended learning capabilities can help your employees retain the information even more. Try using role-playing as part of your blended learning strategy. For example, have one employee pretend to have trouble using the self-checkout, while another employee helps them out – then switch! Having your employees trained on how to act with self-checkout stations will be a boon to your customer service and reputation.