Whether it is in an Internet cafe, a public kiosk workstation or a computer class, as long as you have unattended computers you will surely need to use a cafe timer.
You are probably curious what that is. So whats a cafe timer?
Huh? cafe timer is simply a program, installed on all your computers.
How does this work? Its actually fairly simple. For instance, if you go to an internet cafe and ask to use a computer, the cashier would give you a code you can use to access any workstation. That code is fairly similar to a telephone card. You will need to enter the code to gain access to the computer you want to use. The cafe timer software can lock and unlock any workstation on which it is installed on depending on the time that the user was granted access to use the PC.
I would say this software is a must, because you dont want to run around counting how much each person has to pay you, by hand. Its horrible. Whats even more horrible is have to pay somebody to do it for you manually.
You know what happens when you dont have this software?
It can either or both of the following things:
1.Running around after people
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2.Arguing about the charges you need to apply to their credit cards.
It could be fun at times, especially if you only have a few computers to watch over and if you really enjoy making small talks with your customers.
Now, that we got this out-of-the-way, lets look at what you should and should not do with cafe timer.
Do use the software that was designed for this purpose.
It is very convenient and saves you a lot of problems.
Of course you can make use of its functionality to your full advantage. Use the cafe timer to lock people out of your computer after their time is up. Take advantage of the all the benefits it can provide.
Do configure your workstation with a strong security in mind
Make sure that other Windows users cannot access any options that can only be accessed with the administrators permission. No other person aside from the administrator must be able to gain access to any important options and power user privileges. That is why you have to enforce really strict limitations to other Windows user. While you may grant a read only permission to everybody for your Windows system directories (thats required), ensure that no unauthorized person can access your disk anywhere else. I demonstrate how you can do it in my cafe software secrets email series.
Do NOT just leave everything up to your cafe timer.
I mean its good piece of software, but it doesnt replace an anti-virus. Nor does it replace a backup. Trust me, nothing replaces backup, because If you are like me and you never do any backups, you will be very, very, VERY sorry one day. I have been there, I know.
Do check and clean your registry from time to time. That is to prevent or minimize any troubles caused by your timer software and other programs cluttering your registry. You can download a good registry cleaner for free by signing up for my email series.
Do use screen lock feature of your cafe management program. This feature provides a more secure option for controlling your systems and does not allow users to use the computers at all without the screen-lock being deactivated. This golden feature will allow you to sit planted on your chair instead of running around.
Do lock your computer box in a table. There are “shut down” and “restart” buttons there usually. Although cafe software will recover from lost power, why risk it? I found my clients had less hardware problems and service interruptions when you lock your computers up. Make sure you have adequate ventilation in the box; otherwise, you will fry your computers very quickly. So give then a breather.
Do strengthen the security of your internet cafe by installing a close circuit camera in the room where computers are. Or at least think about allowing a part of your budget for an installation of a camera to make the place more secure (I know a few people who found this extremely handy, although they refuse to go into details regarding their experiences). Its not necessary for you to watch everything that was recorded, nor to setup a monitoring camera for every computer. One camera for the whole area would do the trick.
Do integrate your timer software with your cash register. Use it, you will not regret it. When the client pays for everything, it will just generate a key for him to unlock a workstation.
Do use up-sells and cross sells. This is a sneaky trick all marketers use. You can literally double or triple the value of each of your customer by using that single trick. They bought a cup of coffee? Excellent! How about a doughnut to go with it? And since you will be drinking coffee and eating your doughnut, would you like to check your email or access the Internet while you are at it? See where I am getting at? Offer a price cheaper, than he would otherwise get by buying those items separately.
Do buy a rugged keyboard and mouse. Even if your sign says: “No food and drinks beyond this point”, be ready, that a lot of people will ignore it. If you invest in rugged keyboard and mouse, you will not even have to put up a sign.
Now that I gave you these tips I know about cafe timer software, let me give you specific information on how to apply them in your case.
Click the link http://www.cafesoftware.com/, to get a ton of information right now. I will also give you free software. Do not wait, get started and get an edge over your competition.