As business owners and merchants can attest, accepting Visa, MasterCard credit cards and Interac debit from their customers is a necessity in today's marketplace. This definite need has produced a very competitive environment for credit / debit processing companies, and one would think with all the choices available to business owners that processors would put a priority on customer retention.
One would think …
The exact opposite is the case. Customer acquisition is far and away the focus of the industry, to an extent that it is a huge detriment to merchants. I make my living in this industry and I'm constantly made dizzy by the tactics companies employ to acquire new business, and the appalling levels of service employed to keep them!
However, it also has created a niche for the few wise folks that figure this out; treat your clients the way you'd expect to be treated and they will stay with you even when the flavor-of-the-month new deal comes along.
My own company is not immune to questionable levels of service at the 1-800 call center level. Example – a brand new client of mine had what turned out to be an intermittent software bug in their countertop terminal. After speaking with me personally – something I insist they do when any issues arise – it was necessary for them to call directly into our call center to request a replacement. It seemed pretty straightforward. We absolutely shipped them a replacement that arrived in about 17 hours. Not bad you say?
The issue they encountered was with the call center (just above minimum wage alerting) reps attitude. He bluntly told my client that the problem was a known bug with no apparent resolution, but we were 'working on it' and to deal with the problem until we found a fix. Just like that. Deal with it …
My client called me in disbelief and reported the results of this call to me. So as her dedicated Advisor, who earns a residual from her account, I solved the issue with one call. Immediately. 17 hours later the replacement terminal arrived and all was well.
There was no bug. It was a small batch of bad terminals that we had received, combined with a call center rep that was either lazy or was having a bad day.
Here is the take-away of this article: without a Merchant Services Advisor that has both our best interest in mind (aka keeping them happy so I earn my ongoing income!), This client could have bolted to another company. Unfortunately, this can and does occur with regularity throughout my industry. EVERY processors call center fails, in my opinion, to provide a high level of customer-centric service which results in a plethora of unhappy merchants that despise the payment processing industry.
Combined with questionable hidden fees that are seen as such because they are never explained upfront, one can understand the views most business owners have; accepting credit cards is a necessary evil. Kind of like buying gasoline for your car.
With great pleasure, I can say that my list of clients enjoy stress free account servicing and billing, because I simply do the exact opposite of everything just described. I treat them like I'd expect to be treated.
A simple account executive has no reason to go above and beyond once they get their sales commission and That is why having a properly incentivized Merchant Services Advisor in your corner saves both time and money.
And frustration …