Here’s a question for directors at UK bars and restaurants: Has your POS vendor been missing in action during the coronavirus pandemic — or are you getting the responsive tech support your business needs at a time of crisis? Here are three areas to consider.
In today’s economy, stability has become a cherished virtue. Customers crave normality. In turn, bars and restaurants need dependability, certainty and consistency. One moment, you’re rolling with the punches delivered by the latest lockdown measures. The next, a new revenue opportunity appears, and you need to come out of the blocks, fast.
At times like this, the last thing we need is tech support that lets us down.
Sadly, that’s been the story over the past six months for some bars and restaurants. We’ve heard about support requests with well-known software vendors suddenly being pushed to faraway tech teams that don’t appear to exist. Restaurants have had to wait months for bug fixes, they’ve struggled with VAT changes and EOTHO schemes on their systems, and any innovative development ideas seem to have been mothballed.
Put simply, the industry deserves better.
At iiko, we made a commitment to our customers — to help them to succeed in tough times.
Here are three areas where our support has counted most for our clients.
1) Understanding the financial challenges
Aware that some customers were closing for a time, we froze subscriptions for three months during lockdown to give them breathing space.
We don’t tie customers into long-term contracts or apply hidden fees. They are free to walk away at any time. It’s ‘on us’ to constantly demonstrate the bottom-line benefits of using iiko. We never get complacent and take customers for granted.
2) Responding rapidly
Our development and support tech team is 100 strong. During the pandemic, we haven’t laid off or furloughed our staff – in fact we doubled down on R&D and customer support.
We don’t normally get tech support requests about glitches or other problems with iiko. Uptime of our cloud-based system is 99.999% and it’s stayed that way through the pandemic.
This means that even for a global business such as iiko, support requests are low generally. However, in UK we saw an increase in tech requests over recent months — for understandable reasons: customers requiring tech support when re-opening post lockdown, changing service types, setting up ecommerce apps, implementing new government schemes etc.
iiko Tech Support Performance:
|Avge response time (mins)||3||3||3||3||6|
|Avge resolution time (mins)||53||64||24||41||45|
|Avge response time (mins)||6||5||5||6|
|Avge resolution time (mins)||71||73||44||38|
|Avge response time (mins)||17||7||7||4||5|
|Avge resolution time (mins)||26||88||44||27||28|
Normally, our average response times are less than 5 minutes and then 10-20 minutes for resolution.
But we saw a big spike in late June when the VAT rate was reduced to 5% and we produced a free Tax Manager App to help customers implement the changes. Around that time, we also launched new features (such as online ordering and delivery integration). In addition, a significant number of new multi-site clients joined iiko — doing so very swiftly, thanks to our Hammersmith on-boarding and online training team. Factors such as these saw tickets more than double and yet response times only increased to six minutes.
Then came the UK government’s Eat Out to Help Out (EOTHO) scheme in August. Naturally, customer enquiries spiked again that first week. But average response times stayed under 20 minutes. One week later, response times had more the halved.
By mid September, our client base in the UK had grown substantially — and tech requests doubled in number from mid June. Yet response times are fast and resolution times are reducing. New clients are getting familiar with our self-service tools and handling menu, staffing and inventory changes easily themselves in a few clicks.
3) Innovating non-stop
During times like the pandemic, it’s tempting for IT vendors to look inwards and forget their customers, doing the bare minimum and postponing innovation. That’s not the iiko way.
We schedule major releases every three months and then add iterations and further features every two weeks. That hasn’t changed because of COVID-19.
From the outset, we’ve been focused on helping our clients to adapt quickly, reduce costs further, and increase revenue wherever possible.
We’ve rolled out a host of free features, including integration with Deliveroo, Uber Eats and Preoday online ordering. We’ve also responded at lightning speed to accommodate the VAT changes, track & trace reporting, and the EOTHO scheme. Again, these were free of charge.
Support is a key differentiator
Some restaurant IT vendors have received scathing broadsides on software review websites. Support has been a particular issue — with users angry about downtime and the inability to get answers.
However, iiko has won praise for our support levels. At the time of writing, we’ve received a score of 4.8/5 on Trustpilot, based on 88 reviews. 94% rate iiko ‘Excellent’.
Comments have included:
“There will have not been many EPOS suppliers that had their customers’ backs like IIKO looked after us through the (EOTHO) scheme. “
“From initial enquiry through to training and getting up and running; their ongoing customer support in my opinion has been second to none (B2B or B2C!).”
“The technical staff have been amazing, replying to my messages in minutes. I even texted at midnight and someone replied to me. Any small issues I have had have been resolved within minutes. I cannot recommend iiko enough!!”
We are grateful for this. It confirms that support matters — more than ever. It sets tech vendors apart in the F&B industry and it’s giving iiko the edge.