If you have been reading my Wednesday contributions to Small Business Survival, you know to expect some tip for your business operation or some new idea seen elsewhere.
This week you will find something different. I need your thoughts. I have an opinion but am I realistic?
Here is the situation. Over the weekend, I stopped into a local café. It’s the type of place where you place your order before you grab a table.
As I was placing my order, I noted that they took “Android Pay” (not an endorsement – it’s just a popular payment option, one of several). I had the app loaded on my smartphone but had never used it. Also it was quiet in the restaurant so I had the time to fumble around.
So my wife and I place our order. I then indicated I wanted to try the app. I brought it up on my phone assuming that something more would appear on the app that I would press and then be on my way.
Wrong!!. Nothing happened. I tried a couple more things but couldn’t find a menu or list of instructions. Of course, now I am feeling somewhat embarrassed. So I asked the clerk for help.
She responded, “I don’t know what to do.”
After fumbling around for a couple of minutes, I just dug out my plastic and paid.
So my question. Is it fair to expect people in a food business (or any other business) to be able to answer your tech questions? She had been helpful on our food questions that morning.
POST YOUR RESPONSE IN THE COMMENT BOX!! Perhaps you might respond differently as a small-business owner and as a customer. If so, indicate that. (This question is a great way to learn from each other. After you respond, share the question with your friends.)
So, what are my thoughts??
I am flip-flopping between she should be able to help or that’s beyond her job description as my smartphone is not part of their business. In terms of the latter, she deals with food. Tech may not be her thing. How far does customer service go? It’s a new world with new tech coming out all the time. Or (now my bias comes out), maybe a millennial could help but can I expect a boomer (of which I am one) to do so? But doing this represent a whole new category of employee training (and it would be constant training as fast as technology changes).
Yet on the flip side, not being able to help might cost them business. Plus what do customers think when you can’t help. How does it affect not only sales but your brand?
Is there a middle ground? Just saying we can’t help you, doesn’t help your business. Would having the instructions on your website be an answer?
For me, it’s a challenge. I am going back as I know have checked out the instructions. Here is a YouTube video showing someone using the app as well as instructions from Google.
You don’t have to open the Android Pay app to make a purchase with your NFC phone. Just follow these steps:
- Wake up and unlock your phone.
- Hold the back of your phone against the contactless payment terminal.
- If prompted, choose “Credit” regardless of your type of card.
- For debit card transactions, you may have to enter a PIN. Use the PIN you set up with your bank.
- About the Author
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Glenn Muske is an independent expert on rural small business, working as GM Consulting – Your partner in achieving small business success. He provides consulting, and writes articles for county extension agents and newspapers across North Dakota. Previously, he was the Rural and Agribusiness Enterprise Development Specialist at the North Dakota State University Extension Service – Center for Community Vitality.