Most industries have a lot of competition. The merchant services industry, however, seems to have been dealt an extra measure! Over the years we have found that many merchants appreciate the additional service they have come to expect from our company and yet- they still have to deal with an endless supply of phone solicitors, door to door salesman and numerous mailers related to our industry. A long standing client recently called and invited me to come to his office to handle the 4 or 5 calls he often receives on a daily basis! He mentioned that "they just don't know how to take NO for an answer" and "how come every caller promises they can save me money when they do not even know what I am paying?". We do not know how they can make those claims but business owners need to be 'On Guard' when dealing with the characters in our industry! All we know for sure is that EXCELLENT SERVICE is the main thing that sets stellar businesses apart from the crowd. Part of providing that elevated level of service is knowing how to handle situations when things do not go according to plan!! I read an article in Transaction World Magazine that listed the main things companies like ours can do to retain and maintain our merchants. The article was informative and had some great tips for all industries so I wanted to share it with you!!
Here are the highlights!
Tell the truth: the number one step in resolving misunderstandings and complaints is to tell the truth quickly, candidly & sincerely. Don't confuse telling the truth with making excuses. Telling the truth moves the situation from negative to positive quickly and initiates an environment of trust.
Call back when you promised: All too often a customer is told they will be called back within a specific time frame. When that does not happen, it intensifies the frustration and erodes trust. Even if you don't have all of the information, make the call and establish a new time to call again when you have what you need- keep your word.
Tell the customer how long it will take to resolve a problem: It may take longer than the customer would like, but it is better to tell the truth. Then make sure you make your deadline.
Share information that will help to prevent future problems: forewarned is forearmed. When there is information that may be helpful in avoiding certain problems- share the information as quickly as possible.
Remember that passion is a prerequisite for shining the brightest. Passion conveys sincerity and creates authenticity. If there is any doubt in the customer's mind that you really care about serving them and value their business, your non verbal actions will speak louder than any words you can say or any message your advertising can buy.
We all have a TON of competition and the way we take care of our customers, clients, members, patients- REALLY makes a difference!! If you would like to have a copy of the entire article (you will love it!! )- please email me and I will get it out to you this week! Cheri@TotalMerchantConcepts.com