“The greatest challenge, I would say, is supply. It has to be. We’re always looking for new stock, new supplies or new hardware and it’s very difficult finding companies that are willing to deal with you. They don’t see you as part of the UK (which, technically, we’re not) so they bump up the shipping costs.”
Jersey and Guernsey, whilst part of the British Isles, are not part of the United Kingdom. Rather they are British Crown Dependencies with their own parliaments, financial and legal systems, and maintain their own international identities. Communication links between the UK and the Islands are strong – both are well served by air and sea, with around 1500 ferry sailings and 2.5 million air passengers a year. But the fact remains for a Partner based in the Channel Islands, that there are big wet blue borders to the potential marketplace that simply don’t exist if you’re based in Norwich or Durham. Customer retention is paramount.
As a result, Checkout (Jersey) Limited no longer work set hours. The aim instead is to tend to a customer as soon as an issue arises regardless of time of day. Customers are rarely lost to competitors. Whilst remote assistance remains a significant part of their work, Checkout (Jersey) Limited believe they make more in-person calls than their mainland counterparts.
“Customers like to see us. Often what you end up going to see them for, you could have talked to them on the phone about. You need to be able to have a chat with the customer in person and get on with them. It’s just what they’ve grown to expect, so that’s what we have to look for in our staff.”
It seems the future, uncertain as an island future always will be, gives cause for optimism. This year has been a busy one for Checkout (Jersey) Limited.
“A lot just recently is completely new business. And then it’s replacing old kit. As things are starting to fail, people are just deciding to replace it with new kit now.”
The advent of online shopping has slowly altered the way customers operate. Price checking against products online is common, leading customers to buy without anticipating install costs, programming, support and the quality of the software.
Now, Checkout (Jersey) Limited have started to encounter customers calling to replace their brand new systems, that they ordered online.
In addition, they restructured their pricing to make it clear to the customer where their money is spent. Breaking down the hardware costs and installation costs separately to clearly reflect time spent on programming versus the hardware costs. Customers responded positively, happy to pay for time; as they see it as something quantifiable compared to a flat price system cost like the online retailers.
One advantage of the island location comes as a result of that same sea border – the captive audience. Word of mouth, recommendations and seeing the hardware at work in the wild all play their part. The old adage that good news travels fast, but bad news would travel even faster is true here which ensures the service level remains high. But Daryl has identified another factor in their increase in sales.
Checkout have done more EPoS installs since supplying ICRTouch products and services. Darryl explains,
“It’s a better system than we had already and it’s more value for money. So what we used to quote a couple of years ago was a massive expense for some small businesses, whereas ICRTouch we can put out more cheaply, at a price they can access.”
A recent installation at Samares Manor was particularly successful. The end result was a very satisfied customer. Daryl enjoyed the challenge and the success of this project. It was a strong moment in an already relished job.
“I’ve said it since I started here: it’s the best job in the world. In Jersey we’ve got customers all over the island, so wherever we go we see stunning scenery or we’re by a beach. We’re always out in the open. The location is great and the job we do makes it even better.”
Island life is complex. But the beauty of the environment will always get the last word.
Customer Focus – Jersey Hospice
Jersey Hospice Care (JHC) is a charitable Association. JHC provide specialist palliative nursing care. Services are provided within patients’ homes, at a Day Hospice and at the In-Patient Unit at Clarkson House, Mont Cochon. A specialist team provides emotional bereavement counselling within the community. In order to raise income to run the services, there are two retail shops, a large offer in St Ouen, a shop in St Helier, and a small but expanding retail offer at Clarkson House, Mont Cochon. These sell second-hand designer clothes, books, toys, and porcelain.
JHC required new EPoS systems to upgrade the current point of sale system in their two retail outlets, with a possibility of one further retail area.
The existing system consisted of four standalone cash registers with three card terminals at St Ouen, one cash register and one card terminal at the shop in St Helier, and one card payment terminal at Clarkson House Reception. The cashing up procedure was handwritten on paper and very labour intensive. It also did not provide any detail on individual items or ranges therefore limiting the ability to see sales trends. They wanted to control stock levels and pricing on their donated and bought in goods.
JHC chose Checkout Jersey to install an ICRTouch solution that would meet their requirements. TouchPoint was installed on 4 x Aures Yuno tills. The intuitive systems made it easy for the volunteer staff to learn and begin making sales. Digitalising their reports made the End of Day cashing up procedure quick and easy.
Daryl Mavity of Checkout (Jersey) Limited explains the ease of training 30+ staff to use the EPoS system, “we installed demonstration units at each site and provided basic training to managers, this then allowed for volunteers and other staff to come in and be trained as well as experiment with the demonstration unit well in advance of the actual installation.“
Daryl continues, “Checkout designed a new skin for TouchPoint with Jersey Hospice in mind, this was based on the Retail Skin but with much of the button layout replaced with large clear and simple to find buttons.”
TouchOffice Web cloud business management software will aim to allow JHC control over their stock. To make stock control easy for JHC, they will begin barcoding various stock items over the Christmas period, and then next spring barcode their entire range across all three retail areas. They will then be able to quickly scan items to count stock, easily track their Ins & Outs and schedule reordering of stock accurately.
Real-time and historical sales reports will enable JHC to monitor and quickly identify sales trends and patterns, then digitally make their programming changes.
TouchPoint was equipped with SagePay VX820 integrated card terminals, enabling fast card, contactless and mobile payments to be made without the risk of manual input error.