Working with Customer Data
In this step you will learn how to track important information such as each transaction a customer has completed, reward points they've earned, and any outstanding money they owe on account, to name a few.
You can get to this part of the system when you first log in by clicking POS in the blue Admin Toolbar, then clicking Customers. You can also access this module by clicking Website > Customers (this opens the same module).
The Customers Module
Once you have opened the Customers Module, you have several ways you can work with the database:
- New Customer - You can click the New Customer button to create a new Customer in the system. (See Adding and Editing Customers below for more info)
- Bulk - Click the Bulk button to either Download Customers in your existing Customer database in CSV format (this will open in your default spreadsheet program) or download the blank spreadsheet with the data headers you'll need to Upload Customers in bulk.
- Show Leads - One of the options you have for your customers in the Settings tab (see Adding and Editing Customers below) is to set a customer as a Sales Lead. For any customers you have that are set this way, if you toggle the Show Leads switch to On, only those customers will display in your list.
- Search - When using the Search field, enter complete phone numbers (the system will not load partials), enter any part of an email address or name, and the system will find all matching results. If you have a very large number of customers, be as specific (and complete) in your search entries as you can.
- Customers - You can click on any of the linked information (e.g. Name, Date Created, or Email) for a Customer to open them in the Edit Customer view. You can also click on the Credit Card icon on the far right to load the Customer into the Register to begin a transaction.
Adding and Editing Customers
Any time you're working with Customer information, it will load in the Edit Customer panel. Here are the major functions of the Details tab:
Edit Customer: Details Tab
Much of the information in this area is straightforward and requires no special information here. You will, of course, want to enter the contact information you have for the Customer. As a rule of thumb, getting their name and email is usually sufficient for whatever you might need to do with them. If you are doing service work for them or if they're attending a class of yours, you'll probably also need their phone number.
- Mailing List - It's important to note that before checking a box to add a Customer to one of your mailing lists (all lists you have created under Marketing > Email Lists will appear here) that you verify with them verbally that it's okay for you to do so. If you just automatically add every customer, it is likely several will flag you as a spammer for receiving unwanted emails from you. The more times that happens, the more likely it is that one of the big email providers (Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, etc.) will begin blocking your emails.
- Birthdays - When entering Birthday information, it needs to be entered numerically in MM/DD format. If you only need the month, the system will allow you to enter it in MM format (e.g. January would be 01). You can also enter the year, if you like, in either YY or YYYY format (e.g. 01/15/75 or 01/15/1975).
- Customer Notes - Any notes you put in this area will pop up on screen whenever you load the Customer into the Register. If you miss it there when it pops up, the Customer Notes will also be accessible by clicking any of the Customer Actions buttons in the upper right of the Register.
- Customer Groups - You can create groups for your customers in the POS > Customer Groups tool. This functionality is explained more fully below, but to add a Customer to a Customer Group you've created, check the box for the group of which you would like them to be a part.
- Customer Stats - The Rain system keeps detailed statistics about all of your customers, and looking in this area can be enlightening about a customer's shopping history.
- Account Balance - If a Customer Owes money to the store or has a Customer Credit, it will display here. If they have a balance they owe, you can click on the Pay button to take the payment into the Register. If you want to follow their recent transactions and see how they have come to have the balance they currently do, you can click the View button. If you want to manually adjust the balance, click Edit. You'll need to put in a Reason for the adjustment. A balance owed will go in as a normal number, for example, 212, but a credit balance needs to be entered as a negative number, such as -212. After you click Update, you must click Save at the bottom of the panel for your changes to take effect. Prior to saving, you may not see the update you just made, so to confirm the changes, you may need to reopen the Edit Customer panel.
- Merge Customers - From time to time you may get duplicate customers in the system. This usually happens due to spelling mistakes or different email addresses being used. To correct this, find the one that has the proper email address and click to open the Edit Customer panel. Click the Merge Customers button at the bottom, and search for the duplicate name. Please note that if there is only one duplicate, you will see only one such name in your search, but if there are multiples, you may need to either Merge or Delete some copies. Once it's complete, there will only be one customer under that name, with all transactions from both.
Edit Customer: Settings Tab
- Reward Program Eligibility - If you do not want to have the Customer receive Reward Points for items they purchase, toggle this setting to Off.
- Rewards Accrual - This field shows the current number of Reward Points the customer has. Please note that this is not their lifetime total; it is just how many they've generated since they earned their most recent Reward Coupon. You can manually adjust this number, if your login permission level allows.
- View Coupons - If you click to View Coupons, the Coupons panel will open, showing the customer's most recent coupons at the bottom. A) You can manually create a Reward Coupon (this is a great way to console a customer whose Reward Coupon may have expired) by clicking the Add Reward Coupon button. B) You can view the transaction in which a Reward Coupon was Issued or Redeemed by clicking on the respective Transaction IDs. C) You can Delete a Reward Coupon, if needed, and D) you can see the Expiration Date for each of your Reward Coupons, if you have them set to expire.
- Customer Discount - For employees or other customers who are entitled to a Discount, you can add that percentage here. NOTE: this discount will be added to any other discounts applied in the Register, so be careful about the discounts you apply.
- Sales Lead - You can toggle this On if the Customer is a sales prospect for something you sell so you can actively market to them. There is a setting in the main Customers module that allows you to view only your Sales Leads to help you with your marketing.
- Send Notification Text Messages - If you have had us set up the optional Text Messaging service, you have the ability to have the system Send Notification Text Messages from parts of the system such as Work Orders and Rentals.
- Send Marketing Text Messages - Also a feature of our optional Text Messaging service, this function allows you to Send Marketing Text Messages to customers in bulk from the Marketing area of the Rain system.
- Wholesale - If you set a customer as Wholesale, they will use your Wholesale pricing and will not be taxed for their purchases. If you need the same Customer to also be able to purchase at retail pricing, you will need a second entry as a retail customer. Customers cannot purchase both wholesale and retail in the same transaction.
- Inactive - If you set a Customer as Inactive, of course they can still shop with you and they will still function normally in all parts of the system. In the Bulk area of Customers when you download your Customers spreadsheet, you can see which customers have been flagged as Inactive and use that information in your marketing efforts.
- Tax Exempt - For non-profit organizations and other customers that qualify to be Tax Exempt, you can set them this way here, and then enter their Tax ID so that all tax exempt transactions they run are properly accounted for in your reporting.
Edit Customer: History Tab
- Transactions - Each Transaction the Customer has done with you will be listed in order with the most recent at the top. You can click on a Transaction ID to open and work with the transaction.
- View Classes Purchased - If you click on the View Classes Purchased button you'll see a list of all class sessions purchased with the most recent at the top.
- View Serial Numbers Purchased - Clicking the View Serial Numbers Purchased button will open a list of all serialized items the customer has purchased from you. If you click on a serial number, it will open a Serialized Item Report, showing the full details of the item, including any Repairs / Work Orders you have done for the item.
- Voided Transactions - The Customer's History is one of two areas in the system where you will still be able to view Voided Transactions. The other area is the Voided Transactions report. Once a transaction has been voided, you can no longer adjust anything or do Refunds from it.
Edit Customer: Layaways Tab
- Column Headers - Your Active Layaways for the customer can be sorted in different ways, if needed by clicking on the Column Headers.
- Layaway ID - Clicking on the Layaway ID will open the Edit Layaway panel to let you view and edit the Layaway as needed. For more information on working with your Layaways, click here.
- Make a Payment - You can click the Pay button to allow the customer to make a payment toward their Layaway purchase. Note that if the customer wants to pay the whole thing off, it is best to click the Layaway ID and click the Pick Up button at the bottom, which will load all remaining charges for the Layaway into the Register.
Working with Customer Groups
You can create as many Customer Groups as you might need, and these groups can be used for targeted Email Marketing or in our Filters module to search for very specific customer groupings. To create a new Customer Group, in the blue Admin Toolbar, click on POS > Customer Groups, then click the New Customer Group button. Enter the Title of your group, then click Submit to save the new Customer Group. To learn more about working with Filters, click here.
To Add Customers to one of your Groups, click on its Title in the list, then click the Bulk Add Customers button. You can copy and paste customer Email Addresses or Customer IDs into the box, or enter each manually. Make sure each address is complete and has no spaces anywhere in the line. Each email address must already be associated with a Customer that is saved in your system in order to be added to the Group. Click the Submit button at the bottom of the panel to add the Customers to the group. If you need to access your list of Customer IDs and email addresses, go to POS > Customers > Bulk and click the button to Download Customers and you can work with that data in the spreadsheet.
Customer Functions in the Register
The first thing you have the option of doing is adding the customer to the transaction by either searching for the one you want, as shown below, and clicking on their name in the drop-list that comes up, or by clicking the blue + button and creating a new Customer entry for them in the system. Customers can check out anonymously, but if their name is in the Register, they will benefit from gaining Reward Points and coupons, and it will be easier for you to work with returns they might make or gift cards they might purchase. NOTE: To look up Quotes, Account Balance, Layaways, Special Orders, Work Orders, Transaction History, and Items Purchased, the customer's name will need to be loaded into the Register.
If you click to create a New Customer, you'll see a blank version of the sample Customer below. If you click on the Customer's name, you'll see their information in a panel like the one below. For more information on how to create Customers and work with Customer data, click here.
Once you have the Customer loaded, you can see a lot of useful information about them in the upper bar. You'll see 1) Contact Information (the small button of a figure with an 'x' will remove the current Customer and let you search for another), 2) Rewards program info and Customer Balance (credit balance in green numbers or balance owed in red), and 3) Customer Actions. In order as shown below, the Customer Actions are Quotes, Customer Notes, Work Orders, Reward Coupons, Rentals, Layaways, and Special Orders. Any of the icons highlighted have entries that are active in the system for the Customer. Clicking on any of the Customer Actions icons will open the Customer Actions panel, showing you all current activities for the customer.
Here is a breakdown of the various Customer Actions currently usable in the Register (see image below):
- Quotes - A Quote is a permanently saved transaction and is used to either print and give to a customer for a requested quote, or just to permanently save a set of items that have been loaded into the Register for later purchase. To create a Quote, load the item(s) needed into the Register along with the Customer, open the Customer Actions panel and click the + for Quotes. From then on, that Quote will be accessible here whenever the Customer is loaded into the Register. You can open a saved Quote by clicking the Load button, you can also Print it at any time, or Delete it as needed. (See image below for each of these functions)
- Customer Notes - If you open the Customer (by clicking on the name in the Register) you can add Notes that will display in this panel. This area is useful for reminders, such as club membership, birthdays, etc.
- Account Balance - If the Customer has a balance, it will display here; numbers like those pictured below are for a Balance Owed, and a negative number represents a Credit Balance. Clicking on the balance will add it to the Register as a line item, either to be paid or as a credit to whatever is being purchased. NOTE: If the Customer has a credit balance larger than the transaction total, we highly recommend NOT adding the credit to the Register in this way. Instead, use On Account as a payment method, which will allow you to use only the part of the credit balance needed. If it is loaded as a line item and exceeds the transaction total, you will owe the customer change.
- Reward Coupons - If the Customer has any Reward Coupons that are available for use, they will appear here. You can click on the coupon to add it to the Register, and it will appear as a Discount. Clicking the % button in the Register will show you details about the Reward Coupon.
- Layaways - Any active Layaways for the Customer will be listed. You can start a new one by clicking the +. The Customer can make a payment if you click the Pay button, and that payment will go into the register as a line item with any late fees accrued, or the customer can pay off the entire Layaway if you click the Pick Up button. You can learn more about how to work with Layaways by clicking here.
- Special Orders - If a Customer wants you to order them an item from one of your Vendors, you can click the + to create a Special Order. Please note that if you are not using our Purchase Order system, you will NOT want to use Special Orders, since each must be associated with a Purchase Order and then received in order to be picked up from the Register. You can view any active Special Order for the Customer by clicking on the Order Number, and once it has been received, you can click the Pick Up button to add the item to the Register. Click here to learn more about how to process Special Orders.
- Work Orders - If the customers have any Work Orders that are in process or ready to be picked up, they will appear in this area. You can click on the Work Order listing to add it to the Register. Click here to learn more about Work Orders.
- Search - The Search module for the Customer Actions is robust, and allows you to search for specific transaction or items, just enter a Transaction ID (or scan a receipt barcode) or enter keywords for products or scan a product barcode label. The list will filter down to display only the items that match the search.
- Transactions - A list of the customer's Transactions is in this area, with the most recent at the top. You can click on any of them to view the transaction details.
- Rentals - If the Customer has any Rentals that are currently Out or Overdue, they will be listed here. Rentals that are Out will display that in green, and Overdue Rentals will display in red, either can be adjusted by clicking the Edit button to alter the terms of the Rental. You can click the Return button to complete payment on the Rental. The Rental will be loaded into the Register as a line item and can be paid for in the normal way. To learn more about how to work with our Rentals system, click here. The Rentals module is available for all clients on our Plus service package for Point of Sale.