Monthly Archives: January 2013

LevelUp


LevelUp
More Iformation

LevelUp is a mobile payment (m-payment) and rewards service for consumer business transactions using smartphones. The service and its associated app are available for iPhones and Android-based phones, and the mobile Web on other devices. A physical card is also available.

LevelUp associates the users’ devices or cards with their debit and/or credit card and assigns each a unique QR(quick response) code (a type of 2D barcode). To conduct a transaction, the user simply scans the QR code at a business checkout.

LevelUp is free for both customers and merchants. The service offers customers first-time visit specials and also credit lines with specific merchants. Merchants don’t have to pay the usual transaction processing fees associated with debit and credit card transactions. LevelUp makes money on a percentage of profits generated through customer loyaltyprograms.

LevelUp launched in March 2011. By August 2012, the service had 200,000 users, who were making payments through 3,000 merchants. LevelUp is owned by SCVNGR, a Boston-based company whose first product was a location-based gaming and rewards service (also called SCVNGR).

SCVNGR founder and CEO Seth Priebatsch says that his ultimate goal with LevelUp is to stimulate and revolutionize the global economy.

 

Coming soon…


Coming soon…
LevelUp

flowerSoft Silver 2013 will soon enable you to accept LevelUp payments.

What is LevelUp?

For Customers:
Short version: LevelUp is the free app that enables you to pay with your phone!
Long Version: LevelUp is the free app that enables you to pay with your phone at thousands of businesses nationwide. When you try a new place on LevelUp, you’ll instantly get a few bucks to spend there. Think of it as the business saying “Hey, thanks for giving us a try!” And, that’s not all. You’ll unlock more money as you go back to your favorite places. Think of it as the business saying “Thanks for coming back. We recognize that you’re one of our best customers!”
For Businesses:
LevelUp is the Interchange Zero Payment Network. LevelUp adds value to your business in three powerful ways:

  1. LevelUp enables you to accept mobile payments.
  2. LevelUp eliminates payment processing fees. When a customer pays you $5, you get $5.
  3. LevelUp helps you to attract and retain customers through LevelUp Campaigns, highly trackable forms of advertising.

What forms of LevelUp exist? LevelUp can be an app on a customer’s smart phone(Windows, IPhone or Android), or a LevelUp card with their QR code.

Stayed tuned for more details coming soon.

Tip #116 – Doing it “Your Way”


 Tip #116
Doing it your way

One of the unique characteristics of flowerSoft is that within certain boundaries, it basically lets your work they way you want.
It doesn’t try to force you to do things its way, but rather allows you to do things the way you are accustomed to.

Here are a few examples.

By default, flowerSoft takes you through an order in a controlled manner.  It firsts asks for the customer’s account # or name, then it moves you to the recipient’s information, enclosure card message, delivery date and time, product sold, delivery and relay charges, method of payment and finally to the print options screen.

Why does flowerSoft use this sequence to complete an order?

  1. It asks for the account # first to establish whether the customer has ordered from you before and to alert you of things you need to be aware of about the customer.
    If it is a new customer, flowerSoft gives you the option to get the new customer information at this point or when you finish taking the order.
  2. It then takes you to the recipient’s information screen because it figures you would want to know before you get too far into the order, whether you deliver to the recipient’s address or not.  This allows you to start every order as a local order and then switch to an outgoing order if necessary.
  3. Next it takes to the enclosure card because that allows you to determine the occasion and offer intelligent suggestions later on.
  4. Then we go to the delivery date and time, in case the customer wants delivery on a day you are closed or at a time you cannot guarantee delivery.  Again, we do not want to get too far into the order and then have to tell the customer we cannot meet his requests.
  5. Finally we get to the product sold area.  At this point you will know if the customer has an account or not.   If the customer has ordered previously from you, his or her likes and dislikes, if it is one of your better customers or one that orders infrequently, if they owe you any money, if you can deliver the order or have to send it to another florist and you know why the customer is placing the order, so if he or she asks for suggestions you can offer them choices.
  6. We then move to the delivery and relay charge area.  At this point flowerSoft knows where the order is going so it can fill the delivery and relay charge fields automatically for you and apply any surcharges, such as fuel or past delivery cut-off time surcharges to the order.
  7. Now we need to know how the customer is paying for the order, so flowerSoft lets you pick from a multitude of payment methods, knowing whether or not it should allow the ON ACCOUNT method to be selected.
  8. Finally, flowerSoft moves you to the printing choices, where you can select whether to print the order or not, how many copies, send an email, etc., etc.

So that is the reasoning that was used for the order of events when flowerSoft was first developed.  But guess what, some florists did not like that order of events.  They much rather preferred the order of events they had been using for the past 10-15 years.
So what did we do, did we tell those florists “Sorry, that is the way it is designed and you just have to get used to it.” or did we change the program to allow different sequence of events?
You guess it, we changed flowerSoft so that our customers did not have to feel uncomfortable with the way they were asking their customers for information.

So maybe you are one of those flowerSoft customers that do not quite like the way flowerSoft takes you through an order, but you do not know how to change the sequence of events.

Here is how.

From the Manager’s menu, select the “System Information” option and from there select the “Defaults Menu” option.  From the Defaults menu select the Operating Defaults option.

This menu option allows you to change many of the settings that control how flowerSoft works.  I know many of you have never delved into these settings or if you have, perhaps are intimidated by the large number of settings that can be changed.   Although you should use caution and be careful when changing any of these setting,  it does not mean that if you make a mistake you cannot change it back to the way it was.  So do not be intimidated by them.

Some florists who have had their staff train in the art of order taking from renowned instructor Tim Huckabee, know that Tim recommends a certain order of events to take place and flowerSoft, for the most part, adheres to those recommendations.  However, from time to time Tim may change some of his recommendations and they may not necessarily conform to flowerSoft’s default order of events or you may not like the way the orders flows and want to make a change.

Here are some examples of the things that can be changed in the Defaults file that will alter the way flowerSoft normally approaches the way in which an order should be entered:

seq01

You can change when flowerSoft asks for a customer’s email address if none is on file, from the beginning of the order to the end of the order.

seq02

You can tell flowerSoft not to ask for the clerks initials before going into an order or if when selling to a new customer get the billing information at the end of the order.

seq03

You can tell flowerSoft to ask the customer for the occasion before asking for anything else.
You can tell flowerSoft to get the product information before getting the recipient’s information.

seq04

You can tell flowerSoft to skip over the Delivery Charge field on outgoing orders.

seq05

You can ask flowerSoft to stay on the print menu until you hit X to exit.

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You can tell flowerSoft to disable all warning pop ups (not recommended) or just some of them.
Warning pop ups provide important information about a customer’s account.  For example if the account is suspended or has past due balances, if there ar no credit cards on file, etc., etc.

seq06

You can tell flowerSoft to disable all informational pop ups if you want to increase the speed in which to take an order.
Informational pop ups provide non-critical information about a customer’s account, like how many orders they have placed with you, the average amount of an order, if they have any upcoming occasions, etc.

So, if you feel adventurous, go into the Defaults menu and look at some of the setting.  Maybe you will find one that you’d like to change to make flowerSoft work more like the way you like to work.

Testimonials


From Molly, Owner of Aburn Florist
Auburn, MA – (508) 832-3217

We received a nice note from Molly with her quarterly support  payment check.
It read, and I quote:

”                                          1-13-13
George –
                  Hello!  We just came
through our first major holiday
using Flowersoft after having
one previous year in the system.
                  It was great – able to
use the history!  So,
THANK YOU for making our
work easier — Molly”

Well Molly, thank you for letting us know.
It is always nice to hear from happy customers and if you can think of any way
in which we can improve flowerSoft or add a new feature you would like to have,
let us know and we’ll try to make you even happier. 🙂

 

 

Tip #115 – Adding a Memo to an Order


Tip #115
Adding a Memo to an Order

Perhaps most of you already know this, but just in case someone doesn’t, flowerSoft allows you to add memos to any order.

You can add the memo either while taking a new order or after you have saved the order.  Here is how…

Press F3 and then the down arrow to display the additional options that do not fit on the first screen.

memo02

Now press M to add a memo to the order.  Once you are familiar with this option, there is no need to press the down arrow, you can just simply press F3 and then M at any time after the invoice number has been assigned.  The following screen will pop up…
memo01

Add the test and then hit the Esc to record the memo or Ctrl + C to cancel the entry.

After the order has been entered, if you need to add a memo to the order, bring the order up with the Edit/View Orders option and then press M to access the M options.  From there, press 1 to add a memo to the order.

mo03

After a memo has been added to an order, any time you bring the order up from the Edit/View orders option, the following message will display…

memos03

If you answer Y to the view memo question, the following will appear…

memos04

You can attach as many memos as you need to a single order.

PCI Compliance


PCI Compliance
An Overview

Some of you have expressed a little concern and are apprehensive on how the new PCI compliant method of approving credit cards will work.

Knowing how easy flowerSoft’s current credit card approval method is, I can understand the concern.

Let me explain the differences between the 2 methods of obtaining approvals.

The current method allows you to store as many credit card numbers for a customer as they are willing to give you.  flowerSoft uses ICVerify as a ‘go between’ itself and your bank or clearing house.  flowerSoft passes the credit card information to ICVerify and ICVerify communicates with the clearing house and obtain an approval or decline from the clearing house.  ICVerify then it passes that approval information to flowerSoft.

I have some customers tell me that they have called First Data (the company that owns ICVerify) to ask about ICVerify’s compliance and they have been told that ICVerify is compliant.
This is true if you are running the latest version of ICVerify, which is version 4.04.  All earlier versions are not compliant.  And while it is true that ICVerify version 4.04 is compliant because they encrypt the information going and coming from your bank, it does not mean that you are compliant.  You are still keeping credit card numbers stored in your computer system.
While these stored numbers are encrypted with flowerSoft’s own encryption algorithm, they are still stored in your system and that alone can make you and/or your shop fail the PCI compliance test and be subject to fines and penalties from your bank or clearing institution.

The new PCI compliant method also allows you to store as many credit card numbers for a customer as they are willing to give you, but the stored numbers are not kept by flowerSoft or you in your computer system and that makes you and/or your shop compliant.  If you do not store the credit card numbers or any other credit card data except for the last 4 digits of the card and the expiration date, no one can break into your system and steal the actual credit card number.

There is one disadvantage to the new PCI compliant method, and that disadvantage is that because you are not allowed to keep credit card data in your system, the first time a customer calls, after you’ve embraced the PCI compliant method, you will need to enter the credit card number, expiration date and security code as if this was the first time the customer used that card with you.

Here is what the process looks like…

A customer, either new or existing calls you to place an order with you.  Once you get to the method of payment and select CREDIT CARD, a web page will open up to allow you en enter the credit card information.  Below is what this web page looks like:

pci01

On the web page above, you enter the credit card number, the expiration date and the security code of the card and click on the “Submit” button.

Merchant Warehouse’s program will then obtain the approval information and pass it back to flowerSoft.

pci02

Notice that in addition to the approval number there is something new called an MW Token.  In the example above that token # is 77238 and it will be used in future transactions from that customer if he or she uses the same credit card.

Let’s say the the customer comes back a month later and places another order with you using the same credit card.  When you get to the method of payment field and select credit card flowerSoft, instead of opening the web page for you to enter the credit card information, will display the following screen:

pci03

As you can see, the previously used card is now displayed by flowerSoft, even though it does not store the full credit card information in your computer.
It only stores the last 4 digits and the expiration date, which should be enough for you and your employees to be able to select it.

But what if the customer now wants to use a different credit card?

Notice that at the bottom of the screen there is a prompt that reads N-New Card.  Should you hit N, flowerSoft will bring up the web page again for you to enter the new credit card information:

pci05

Enter the new credit card and flowerSoft will try to get an approval:

pci06

pci07

The next time the customer places an order with you, both credit cards will be visible for you to pick from.

pci08

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
So as you can see, the new method is not that different from the old one and should not be a problem for you or your employees to get used to.

This new method will also work when entering A/R payments on account and rucurring orders.

Tip #114 – A Better Mouse Trap


Tip #114
A Better Mouse Trap

A lot of you know that flowerSoft allows you to print a report showing inactive clients, as well as print a letter to send those inactive clients.

In the past, however, flowerSoft assumed that an inactive client was anyone who had purchased from you before but had not purchased after a certain date.

For example, you could ask flowerSoft to give you a list of all customers in your system who had not purchased since 01/01/2011 or any other date of your choosing.

While this works, it gave you a lot of names because, as we all know, some customers come in once and you never hear from them again.

Your goal, however, should be to keep good customers and to find out why they are not purchasing flowers from you any more.

In order to be able to produce a list of inactive “good” customers, flowerSoft will now ask you to provide the minimum number of orders a customer must have placed in the prior 12 months in order to qualify as an inactive “good” customer.

For example, you can ask flowerSoft to print a list of all customers who have not purchased from you since 12/31/2011 who also had made at least 3 purchases in the previous 12 months.

This will refine the number of customers selected in the report to only those who you truly care about keeping as active customers.

Here are some visuals for you.

Go to the Manager’s menu and select the Reports option.  From there, select Client Reports.

ic01ic02ic04ic05ic06ic07ic08

Tip #113 – Cecurring (Standing) Orders “Gotcha”


Tip #113
Recurring Orders ‘Gotcha’

I’ve been getting and answering this question at least once a year for the past 20 years, so I guess it is time to put in the blog as a “gotcha’.

This is the question I get and not necessarily from newbies, some pretty knowledgable users have asked it too:

“How come when I try to set up this order as a recurring order, no matter  how many times I try to tell flowerSoft that I want to repeat the order every month, flowerSoft will not let me and keeps saying that is going to repeat the order once a year?”

ro01

Well, this is one of those times when flowerSoft ‘thinks’ you are making a mistake and will not let you, no matter how hard you try to make it.

If this has happened to you or if it ever does happen to you, check the order’s occasion.  I’ll bet you the occasion is either BIRTHDAY, ANNIVERSARY or HOLIDAY.

Those occasions usually only come around once a year and flowerSoft will not allow you to change the frequency, no matter how hard you try.

But what if you do know better than flowerSoft, and you and your customer want to repeat this order every month even though the occasion reads Birthday?

Do you see the prompt at the bottom of the screen that reads Press F8 to Access Calendar?  Try it.  This is what you’ll get:

ro03

See that prompt “A – Allow Me to Change Recurring Order Frequency”?  That prompt only comes up when the order you are trying to make recurring has either a birthday, anniversary or holiday occasion.  OK, go ahead and hit A.  What happens?  This happens…

ro03

flowerSoft now lets you select whichever  frequency you want to use, including the ‘specific dates” frequency.

ro04

Make sure you select the correct starting date, as flowerSoft will still show the date that the first order would have taken place if the frequency was still once a year.

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So, there you have it.  flowerSoft will allow you to be ‘wrong’ if you really want to. 🙂

Tip #112 – Routing Your Deliveries (Cont.)


Tip #112
Routing Your Deliveries (Cont.)

Now, some of you do not use the route & receipt forms flowerSoft can generate for you.  WHy?  I don’t know.  If you do your own deliveries, you should be using the route & receipt forms not only to route your deliveries but also to indicate orders have been delivered and enabling the sending of delivery confirmations to FTD and Teleflora.

Being as it may, still some of you do not use that flowerSoft function.  So here is another way to route your deliveries.

Follow this path: D > A > L > and you’ll end up here:

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From this menu, select option #1 to view today’s deliveries or #7 to view tomorrow’s deliveries.  When you select one of those options, the following screen will be displayed:

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From here, select option #1 – All Orders and then the following will be displayed:

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Notice the prompt reading A-Add to Map.
Highlight and hit A to select the orders you want to route.  Each time you hit A on a highlighted order, a check mark will appear under the MAP? column.
To un-select an order, highlighted and hit A again.  So the A work as a toggle switch for selecting and un-selecting orders to be included in the map.

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Once you finish selecting all the orders you want to route, press either G to go to Google Maps or M to go to MapQuest.

For Mapquest follow the directions outlined in Tip #111 (Ctrl + A, Ctrl +C, Alt +F4 and the paste into text box area)

rr36 rr35

Please note that MapQuest and probably Google also have a limit of 26 addresses that can be mapped.  This includes the start and end addresses (your shop) and is probably because there are only 26 letters in the alphabet.  flowerSoft allows to enter up to 30 order addresses in a route & receipt form.