Sales transactions are crucial to healthy businesses. Disruptive events like health emergencies, whether localized or more global in nature, can threaten the well-being of your staff and customers—and ultimately your business.
The current COVID-19 situation has brought this fact front and center for many of our merchants. Today, more than ever, it’s critical to work in a clean environment and ensure sanitary transactions that offer your staff and customers peace of mind.
Here we discuss three areas of business operations where you can make immediate changes to provide your customers and staff with a safe, clean experience that puts people first and looks ahead to a more health-conscious way of doing business.
1. Clean your devices and environment well and often.
Keeping your environment clean is critical during active health emergencies—and cleanliness starts with your frontline staff. Take time to train them in these simple and effective ways that help protect them, the work environment, and customers—and lower the risk of contagion.
- Wash your hands well and often. Washing with soap and water thoroughly—for about 20 seconds—is key to reducing the spread of germs from person to person. Check out 5-steps to effective handwashing by the CDC.
- Keep your POS clean. Regularly wipe down all POS surfaces touched by customers, especially screens and any other accessories. Take a look at this guide on how to keep your POS clean for helpful information about how, when, and what cleaners to use on your Clover POS.
- Provide hand sanitizer. Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer front-and-center for customers to self-serve. If possible, have one available as they enter your business to reduce the germs brought in from the outside. And have another bottle near your POS where transactions take place.
- Clean all work surfaces. Be sure to wipe down all surfaces in your business frequently throughout the workday. Although they may not be directly involved in a sales transaction, surfaces like doors, door knobs, countertops, racks, displays, and even windows can be high traffic areas for hands. Think carefully about every step of the payment transaction to identify points of contact so you can be sure to include them in your cleaning routine.
The CDC has also provided this handy guide for keeping your work environment and employees clean and safe.
2. Offer non-contact order and payment methods.
Keeping sales transactions more hygienic—and even touchless—is easier now than ever before with a Clover POS. These are the features you have available right now on your Clover POS that can help keep your customers and staff safe.
- Contactless payments (aka tap-to-pay) like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay allow customers to pay without inserting or swiping a card into the POS device, handing the card to staff, signing, or entering PINs. Customers can even use their mobile phones to pay when picking up takeout or curbside orders—some restaurants for example, have Clover’s own Scan to Pay enabled. These methods are also fast, so customers and employees spend less time engaged in the sales process and potentially swapping germs.
- If you or your staff are working remotely, Clover’s Virtual Terminal lets you take payments and run refunds from a smartphone, tablet, or desktop—from any place you happen to be. That means you can conduct business virtually from anywhere. Just log into your Clover Web Dashboard from a smartphone, tablet, or computer and you’re ready to accept payments. You can also take phone orders at your shop, using the Mail/Phone Order tender in Register. This feature is free to Clover POS customers.
- If you’re a restaurant or bar owner offering curbside, drive-up or delivery service, you can take phone orders and payments using the same Mail/Phone Order tender in Register to minimize touch transactions. Payments Plus merchants can also use the Phone Sale app to keep hands-on transactions to a minimum.
- Modify your signature settings to raise the purchase amount requiring a finger signature as high as you’d like. If, for example, most of your customer transactions tend to run under $100, change the signature setting so that only purchases over $100 require a finger signature. This speeds up transactions and reduces the points of contact with your POS.
- Manage tips differently. Did you know that standalone Clover Stations present tip suggestions on screens both you and your customers can see? Reduce hands on your Station by asking customers if they’d like to leave a tip and what amount. Then, simply enter that amount for them. Do note, though, that on a tethered Station+Mini or Station Pro, tip suggestions are only presented to the customer.
- Maintain safe space between cashiers and customers. The CDC recommends maintaining a 6-foot distance from others during this period. Make sure that your POS setup lets everyone maintain a safe space. You may find that you need your cashiers to leave a Clover device ready to receive payment on a table and then step back while the customer completes the transaction.
3. If you ship, ship clean.
At Clover, we take customer health very seriously and package every Clover device in a sanitary manner. In addition, the health of our workers in our manufacturing facilities is regularly monitored, and rigorous protocols are followed by all employees.
The very fact that our POS devices have glass surfaces make them a lot easier to clean than keyboards, for example. We therefore recommend using the glass surface of your Clover POS devices rather than physical PIN pads. In addition, be aware that antimicrobial treatments applied to devices are designed to damage the cell walls of bacteria, not viruses, so it remains important to sanitize any surfaces that might be exposed to physical contact.
Please also note that because there is a six-week window between the time a device is manufactured and the time it arrives at your office or store, the likelihood of a device or any of the materials included in the box transmitting a live virus is next to non-existent. You may, however, want to disinfect the exterior of any packages you receive prior to opening.
If you are also in the business of shipping physical products, notably food or materials that are shipped express or in cooler temperatures (see this article), we recommend putting sanitation protocols in place to ensure your shipments aren’t carrying stowaway germs. Make sure that any employee preparing items for shipment carries out those protocols exactly and thoroughly.
Let your customers know what you’re doing to protect them. Place a printed card inside every box you ship to customers to let them know their health and safety is top of mind and that their products have been packed hygienically.
Unfortunately, none of us can guarantee that shipping companies follow the same sanitation protocols and standards we hold. So to put your customers more at ease, consider including a printed label on your packages suggesting ways customers can sanitize the box upon arrival and before opening. This simple gesture demonstrates you and your business are concerned about customers and their experience and could pay dividends later in customer loyalty.
Better safe than sorry
When it comes to the health and safety of your employees and customers, it’s better to err on the side of caution—especially in these uncertain times. Of course, none of us can completely control every aspect of business, life, or the human experience. But if you take the precautions you can to keep every link in your operational chain safe and sanitary, you’ll have done your part to reduce the risk to your community and those you serve.
We welcome any questions you have on how Clover products and services can help you keep your business transactions and products clean.
Be sure to view this important information on COVID-19 Business Preparedness. And, learn more about what Clover is doing to bring financial relief to you and all of our customers during this challenging time.
Clover is sold by leading U.S. banks including Bank of America, BBVA, Citi, PNC, SunTrust and Wells Fargo. You’ll also find Clover at our trusted partners including CardConnect, Restaurant Depot, and Sam’s Club. For more information, visit us at clover.com.