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- [Opinion Piece] How proper payment facilities can enhances customer retention/
Point of Sale (POS) equipment is the computer-based order-entry technology many franchise restaurants use to capture orders, record data and display or print receipts. Having faulty POS systems, network connection errors or even a POS that does not allow for credit card purchases, can drive feet away from your store. Yolandi Ferreira, Marketing Manager at Maxi’s, urges franchise groups to have suitable payment facilities as well as contingency plans in place for these eventualities as this will ensure that franchisees can maintain feet in stores.
The POS system acts as a payment processing register as well as a computer. In fact, the POS can consist of multiple stations, including:
Having a POS system in place can add convenience, accuracy and save time in busy situations. Not having one, or using an unproductive one, can see you lose customers.
With POS technology and information being updated almost daily, and with the financial and management demands that any business needs to face in the modern world, it is now more necessary than ever to keep up to speed and to make use of business tools that help you focus on what you do best – making sure your customers are being looked after.
At Maxi’s, our tailored POS system is a particularly effective one. As well as being a suitable payment facility which enhances customer retention, it also assists our franchisees to stay organised, to communicate the status of orders, as well as to record speed of service information. Keeping this engine of our business operating optimally is crucial to maintaining our service levels.
Technology is changing rapidly, and credit card payment processing systems are too. Which is why imperative that your POS system service provider sticks to a maintenance schedule with all your franchisees. An outdated system may put your business and customer credit card information at risk for a security breach. It is, therefore, advisable that your POS system is supported by an appropriate antivirus and anti-malware software which is also installed and updated regularly. In addition to ensuring your POS software is up-to-date, it is also important to check the changing Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance rules regularly, to make sure your POS systems meet them. Both Visa and MasterCard change PCI rules and regulations about once a year.
All Maxis’ staff, both at the stores and at the franchisor’s head and regional office, has to undergo extensive training before using any of the POS facilities. The Maxi’s Training Department also provides ongoing training for existing staff. Courses for both kitchen and front-of-house staff are held on a regular basis, and skilled franchise consultants visit stores on a regular basis to perform on site evaluations and on the job training. This is to ensure that staff keeps up with the constantly changing technology.
When choosing a POS system to implement, be sure the orders are easy to read and understand. I don’t know about your business, but in a busy Maxi’s kitchen, there is no space and time for mistakes. Also a POS system that is confusing may not be worth the hassle and investment. Not only will it frustrate employees but it will slow down speed of service for customers as well.
This is almost always overlooked by franchisors and franchisees, until they are faced with a busy but unsuccessful service. Remember that your POS system is the tool your business uses to make managing all the activities and details associated with the hospitality industry easier, more reliable and more streamlined. Having enough devices to speed up customer payments means you can get customers in and out more efficiently, resulting in greater foot traffic. Also a customer who does not have to wait long is more likely to return then one who twiddles his/ her thumbs waiting for their server.
Load shedding, power cuts, rolling blackouts, call them what you will, they are a reality in South Africa and power utility, Eskom, has warned that they are here to stay for most of 2015/ 16. It is, therefore, important to make sure that your business does not lose customers because you are ill prepared to deal with a blackout. Ensuring that your POS system is connected to a backup power supply and that your team is well trained in processing manual credit card payments, will go a long way in keeping your service levels consistent, even in the eventuality of load shedding.