Power Up to Turn Down Your Losses

Power disruptions are bad for business, yet many companies often fail to take necessary preventative measures. A case in point is a national fast food company that needed to understand the reason behind customer complaints and losses at one of the thousands of locations it operates.

Looking at an online consumer complaint board, I found a post that mirrored a situation I learned about from the local store supervisor. The consumer wrote about a frustrating experience visiting one of the chain's locations, which had its drive-thru lane open even though the point-of-sale (POS) terminal at the window wasn't operational. That meant the cashier had to write down orders manually, walk to the food prep area to submit and fill the orders, then back to the drive-thru window for payment. The manager on duty apparently did not have permission to close the drive-thru, the customer wrote.

Ignoring seemingly minor power disruptions such as the one described above costs businesses in the way of lost revenue and decreased productivity. In addition, they can lead to bad experiences that diminish customer satisfaction and loyalty and ruin the day for employees left fending off complaints and trying to restore faith in the business.

In the case of this fast-food restaurant, power glitches ended up knocking POS systems offline because the company hadn't bothered to provide battery backups. The problem would have been so easily and affordably prevented; all that would have been required to stave off the store's unwelcome power disruptions was use of $50 flat-pack batteries. Instead, the problem with the flakey POS:

At this location, seven POS stations connect to seven monitors that display customer orders on the food line. There's a small footprint of Internet access and network equipment. For about $1,000 or less in backup power supplies and power protectors, this particular store and thousands of others like it around the country could potentially improve customer service, decrease complaints, and add to the bottom line.

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