The right merchant service can enhance productivity, boost customer satisfaction and increase revenues. That's because credit card processing grants customers a fast and convenient payment option in today's increasingly cashless society. But being able to accept a variety of credit cards from customers isn't always cheap. Expenses such as transaction fees, monthly minimum charges, discount rates and termination fees can become a significant expense. Fortunately, by adopting a two-prong approach to the costs associated with credit card processing, companies can both reduce costs while greatly improving customer service.
With scores of merchant services providers vying for your business, it pays for companies to shop around for just the right solution. Banks, credit card companies, third-party providers - they all offer merchant services packages at varying costs. For this reason, companies would be wise to play providers off one another to land the most attractive deal. In some cases, variables such as transaction fees and discount rates may even be negotiable.
Another way to cut credit card processing costs is to avoid package plans. Many merchant services providers bundle offerings such as software upgrades, paper, backups and email marketing tools. While these packaged goods are often offered at reduced rates, they can be pricey for companies that don't make the most of their value-add features.
Avoiding chargebacks is yet another way to reduce credit card processing fees. A chargeback occurs when a customer requests his or her money back from a service or product provider. In turn, the merchant services provider, to cover the costs associated with processing a chargeback, levies a fee of upwards of $50 per chargeback. Fortunately, there are steps companies can take to avoid chargebacks. For example, many companies ensure that the name of the business matches that which will appear on a buyer's monthly statement for easy recognition. And in the case of a Web-based business, it's always wise to rely on a verification system that electronically compares a customer's billing information with a card holder's records and personal data.
But looking for ways to shave dollars and cents is just one part of the credit card processing equation. Making the most of this widespread merchant service also entails leveraging important data for enhanced customer service. For example, many businesses are now viewing credit card processing services as a marketing vehicle - a unique opportunity to gather data on customer buying behavior, manage inventory, empower store representatives, enhance customer service and establish strong loyalty programs.
For example, imagine arming an electronics store's employees with a hand-held order processing device that links with the store's inventory management system. When a potential customer asks a store employee if a particular product is available, that device can automatically inform the store representative if the product is in stock. If that product is out of stock, the employee can increase his chances of making a sale by checking to see if a similar product is available for purchase, or when a product is scheduled for delivery. As a result, by linking a merchant service with a business's back-end system, a company is able to reduce the risk of a lost sale while increasing customer satisfaction.
Web-based businesses can also benefit by leveraging data for the sake of enhanced customer service. Take, for example, the Web-based business whose credit card processing module is connected with a built-in CRM system. The possibilities are endless. For example, by identifying customers via their credit card numbers, a company can up-sell products based on a person's past buying behavior or reward that repeat customer with loyalty points that can be redeemed both online or in-store.
A handful of cost-cutting measures and a clear focus on enhancing customer service can have widespread ramifications. These include:
Would you believe that 89% of businesses expect to compete primarily on customer service in the upcoming years? With that in mind, it’s no surprise that CRM software is becoming such an integral part of business operations. But not all solutions are created equally, especially when it comes to the value they deliver to your business. more
There’s some big things happening with CRM software that you should to be aware of. Technological advancements and changes to business processes have led to developments and new features that are making CRM more valuable than ever. Things like mobile capabilities and greater integration with other software are at the front of this progress. more
A good SMB CRM system can be an incredibly valuable asset for your business. As more businesses recognize this value, the amount of SMB CRM vendors is expanding quickly. Navigating the pricing plans, features, and service terms of all these can be a decision-making nightmare. more
One of the best ways to improve your customer service is to integrate your CRM and contact center software. Benefits of doing this include:Improved customer satisfaction through more personalized contacts, Better conversions on lead, and Increased employee productivity. more