When most people hear the term “customer service," they think of:
- Technical support
- Warranty protection
- Upgrades and patches
Yet truly comprehensive customer support encompasses every aspect of the user experience — including how customers pay for the products and services you offer.
Making the payment process easier will obviously bring more sales, but it can also increase the amount of repeat business as customers learn to associate your brand with seamless and hassle-free shopping.
Simple improvements to the payment process include:
- Keeping plenty of smaller bills in your cash register so you can always provide the right change — regardless of the transaction size.
- Investing in a merchant account so that customers can use credit cards instead of traditional paper-based currencies.
However, additional ways exist to improve payments so that your customers benefit. Below are five innovative strategies that you can implement right away:
1. EMV Credit Card Processing
EMV chip-enabled credit cards are quickly becoming the official standard in the United States. In traditional retail environments, they offer greater protection than their swipe-and-sign plastic counterparts.
When employed in restaurants, EMV credit card processing offers another important advantage.
They allow diners to pay and tip without relinquishing their cards. Instead of the usual back and forth that customers have to go through, EMVs allow the entire transaction to happen at the table — in plain view of the cardholder.
2. Mobile Credit Card Processing
Similar to the above, mobile credit card processing allows you to bring the cash register to shoppers, no matter where they are in the store. With a smartphone or tablet, you can process transactions without forcing customers to wait in long lines at the checkout counter.
That is a huge customer benefit — especially during busy holiday seasons.
3. Apple Pay and NFC
Near field communication (NFC) technology allows users to buy goods and services by waving their mobile devices in front of contactless payment terminals. Until recently, NFC readers were relatively rare in the retail world. Yet following the huge success of Apple Pay, merchants, smartphone manufacturers and software developers are now scrambling to satisfy growing demand for this incredibly convenient payment option.
4. In-App Payments
Whereas contactless payments work across all NFC readers, there is a growing movement to incorporate business-specific apps into newer smartphones. The beauty of this approach is that the merchant and shopper never need to meet face to face to complete the transaction.
One popular example of this model is Uber. After downloading a dedicated app, customers can request a driver and pay for the trip using funds linked to their Uber account.
5. Recurring Billing
Regardless of how and where you accept payments, consider the benefits of recurring billing. Whether your customers prefer to pay via mobile device, online shopping cart or in person, it's possible to make all future payments 100 percent automatic.
This approach is obviously great for you, the merchant, but how does recurring billing benefit the customer?
The two biggest advantages include:
- Big-ticket items become more affordable if customers are able to pay in installments.
- Customers don't have to initiate a transaction every time they use one of their favorite services. Imagine how inconvenient it would be to pay for each individual movie you watch on Netflix.
Want More Payment-Related Customer Service Tips?
The above list is by no means exhaustive. There are countless ways in which tweaks to your payment infrastructure can improve how customers view your business.
For a more comprehensive list of ideas, contact our payment support team today.