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Winning the Race for Customer Service: Importance of Payment Systems on Melbourne Cup Day

Melbourne Cup Day is one of the most anticipated events on the Australian calendar. It's a day filled with excitement, fashion, and, of course, horse racing. For hospitality venues; whether it's a trendy bar, a fine dining restaurant, or a casual cafe, this day presents an excellent opportunity to serve customers and make a memorable impression. However, amidst all the fun and festivities, the payment system you have in place is a crucial aspect that can make or break the customer service experience.


The Role of Payment Systems

Payment systems are the unsung heroes of customer service in the hospitality industry. Having risen in popularity during COVID, they bridge the customer's experience and streamline a venue's operations. Conversely, a poorly designed or managed payment system can lead to frustration and delays that could tarnish your reputation.


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Challenges faced by Hospitality Venues

During the Melbourne Cup weekend, the speed and efficiency of payment systems play a crucial role in keeping customers happy. With venues bustling with excited customers looking to place bets, enjoy the races, and indulge in food and drinks, a slow or complicated payment process can lead to long queues and unhappy customers - or, as bad, lower revenue takings for you. Conversely, a well-oiled system that smoothly handles different payment methods, including cards and mobile payments, can speed up transactions, ensuring guests stay content. Providing consistently positive experiences during busy times increases the chances of patrons recommending your venue to others, which is priceless in the hospitality industry.


Billing errors can negatively impact the customer experience. Payment systems should provide accurate and transparent bills to prevent disputes and maintain trust between the venue and its patrons. Proper staff training reduces errors and ensures a seamless customer journey. Furthermore, the rate at which tables turn over during peak times and holidays is critical for a venue's revenue. An unreliable payment system can lead to lost sales opportunities and delays, limiting the venue's ability to serve a high demand. Because patrons move around the venue during the busy Melbourne Cup weekend, flexible payment systems that support mobile payments and wireless terminals are almost a necessity. Having one that enables this means customers aren't tied to their tables and can settle bills wherever they enjoy the event's excitement.


It is worth noting that customer payment preferences may change during public holidays, necessitating adaptable payment systems that cater to this.


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Here are some steps venues can take to ensure their payment system is up to the task:


1. Choose a Robust Payment System

Select a payment system that is known for its reliability, security, and scalability. Ensure it can handle a high volume of transactions, support multiple payment methods (credit cards and mobile payments) and is adaptable to your venue's specific needs.

Invest in high-quality hardware, including point-of-sale terminals, payment processing equipment, and reliable internet connectivity. Slow or outdated hardware can lead to delays.


2. Training Staff and Back Ups

Errors are inevitable, however, proper training for your staff on how to use the payment system can minimise the risk caused by any outrages. Your staff should be proficient in processing payments, understanding error messages, and troubleshooting common issues. Training should also include security protocols to protect customer data.

Always have backup plans in case the payment system experiences issues. This might involve having manual processing methods for emergencies or backup hardware and internet connections. Ensure staff is trained in these backup procedures.

Training staff on how to change paper rolls as well will help ensure that terminals are always functioning is also something to consider.


3. Mobile Payments and Table Turnover

Enable mobile and contactless payment options, which are often faster and more convenient for customers during significant events, ensuring faster table turnover and a smooth experience. Mobile payment apps and tap-to-pay technology can expedite the payment process. Having a mobile POS along with your payment terminals can help minimise risk and billing errors while also ensuring a streamlined transaction process.


4. Real-Time Reporting

Implement a system that offers real-time reporting. This allows you to monitor sales, identify bottlenecks, and make adjustments as necessary. Data insights can help you optimise operations during the event.


5. Security Protocols

Ensure that your payment provider implements strict security protocols to safeguard your customers' data. This includes encryption, PCI compliance, and regular security updates. Your customers need to trust that their payment information is secure.


6. Support System from the Payment Provider

Ensure that you have a reliable support system from your payment system provider. They should be available for assistance in case of issues or questions around the clock.

Have a plan for unforeseen circumstances like power outages, network failures, or other unexpected issues that could disrupt your payment system. If you are stuck or need help, reach out to your Oolio Pay representative, and they will be able to help you.


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A well-prepared and adaptable payment system is essential for managing significant events and large crowds in hospitality venues. Melbourne Cup offers an exceptional opportunity for hospitality venues to shine, and the right payment system can make all the difference in meeting the demands of a high-pressure event.


Have a chat with one of our specialists to learn more about how we can ensure you can meet the demands of your guests at your next event.