Why are some of your customers having negative payment experiences? Is it all about consumer fickleness, clunky shopping-cart interfaces, and poorly designed websites? Maybe, and maybe not. You won’t know until you check your own site carefully and run through a check-list of items. The effort is worth the time it takes because if there are problems, you can root them out, fix your site, and make buyers happy again.
Happy customers return to your website, buy more products and services, and become long-term loyalists when things go right. So, why not make it amazingly simple and hassle-free for your site’s visitors to buy things, pay for them, and receive follow-up for their purchases?
It’s a cold, hard fact of running a business that about 88 percent of all shopping cart processes are abandoned at some point after the first item is selected. Why is this? There are lots of reasons, particularly those associated with consumers who are just “window shopping” or inadvertently click the “place in cart” button while browsing goods and services. But what business owners should be concerned about are the other reasons, like concerns about secure payment, not enough payment methods, a registration requirement, and more.
There are three steps to the overall process. First, as an owner/merchant, you need to know why it’s so essential to build the customer satisfaction level as high as it can be. Next, study the five pitfalls that buyers routinely encounter, and understand why things can get so frustrating for your potential clients. Finally, devote a few minutes to reviewing some of the general factors that go into customers satisfaction. Putting all the pieces together means happy customers, long-term profitability, and a growing, thriving company.
Why Happy Customers are Important
Why are satisfied buyers the life-blood of your business? Because happy consumers buy more, stick around for years, tell their friends about how great your company is, and make your employees proud to work for you. Someone once said that happiness breeds happiness, and it’s certainly true in the world of commerce. What, exactly do satisfied buyers do for you? They do much, including the following:
- Become loyalists: They come back for more when they have great experiences, hassle-free buying, and seamless purchases.
- Boost sales and profits: They buy more and usually return to purchase your other goods and services.
- Serve as living, breathing advertisements: People talk to their friends, coworkers, family, social media contacts, and anyone who will listen. This is word-of-mouth advertising that would cost you a pretty penny if you had to pay for it.
- Cause your employees to feel effective and valuable: What goes around comes around. Happy customers boost profits, help the company grow, and make workers realize that they are part of a profitable enterprise that serves the public.
What are the 5 Traps?
Here are the five most common traps that merchants fall into when it comes to creating the customer payment experience:
- Non-user-friendly shopping cart design: Hire a professional web designer to build your shopping cart. Make it simple for people to add and remove items, see price totals as they continue to shop, and to navigate easily between shopping pages and the cart.
- Payments that get declined: Customer payments are declined for many reasons, some of which you, the merchant, can do nothing about. However, when a potential buyer has a card declined for being over-limit, or using a deactivated credit card, consider reaching out and asking them if you can assist them with the purchase. For instance, you could offer a five percent discount if they pay with a debit card. Whatever it takes to win their business, within limits, is an excellent way to win loyal customers.
- Worries about security: Consumers worry about site and payment security. That’s why you need to maintain an SSL certificate and clearly announce, where buyers can see it, that your company works to maximize payment security.
- Too few payment options: If you only offer one or two payment methods, you’re almost asking for people to click off and visit another seller. Give people as many options as possible, including credit cards, debit cards, crypto-currency, third-party pay apps, and direct bank withdrawal.
- Forced registration: When you force all buyers to register with our site, you can almost hear the clicking sound. It’s people clicking out of your shopping cart and going elsewhere. There’s really no need to register buyers, so don’t require it, and your sales stats will markedly improve.
Other Things Customers Want
In addition to all the measurable, obvious things customers want, there are several others that are not so simple to quantify. But the key point to remember is that clients and customers, no matter what kind of business you’re talking about, have human needs that need to be met. For instance, time and time again, surveys show that consumers like to be treated as individuals rather than numbers or statistics.
How can managers and owners meet that need? By avoiding recorded phone messages, incessant emails, and otherwise impersonal methods of communicating with customers. It’s wise to have at least half the inbound phones answered by company employees rather than a robotic service.
Likewise, buyers like to make a personal connection with someone at the company occasionally. Consumers are realists. They know that large companies, and even smaller ones, just don’t have the coverage to speak with customers on every interaction, sale, or inquiry. Still, it’s worth the effort to single out repeat customers on occasion and either phone them or send a personal email thanking them for their business. When you consider how much effort and money went into making that person a loyal buyer, it’s only logical to reach out and maintain the relationship.
Finally, customers like to know that their feedback and input is valued by the company. In fact, many large corporations have someone on the marketing staff personally phone anyone who makes a worthwhile suggestion or who lodges a legitimate, constructive complaint.
What’s the long-term benefit for owners and entrepreneurs? In a word, profit. The bottom line is that when you give your customers what they want, pay attention to them as individuals, reach out to make personal connections from time to time, and let them know that their opinions matter, you’re sealing the deal, so to speak, and solidifying their loyalty.
Briefly, the three things consumers want from a seller, in addition to quantifiable things like great shopping carts, multiple payment methods, and excellent payment security, include the following:
- Want to be treated as individuals, not “customer numbers”
- Seek a personal connection with someone at the company on occasion
- Need to know their suggestions, comments, and criticisms are heard and valued
- Enjoy being identified as a “loyal buyer” or “loyal customer” in messages and correspondence
Don’t Fall for the Pitfalls
What’s the smartest strategy for avoiding the pitfalls of bad payment experiences? Step one is finding a service provider that knows how to put all the pieces of customer satisfaction and payment processes together. At Metro Payment Technologies, we put the word “payment” in our name for a reason: our company offers a comprehensive menu of services and products that help entrepreneurs of all sizes get it right.
We not only offer a wide range of payment terminals, e-commerce solutions, payment gateways, point-of-sale terminals, e-check processing, and wireless terminals, but also have a complete array of services. We have what’s you need to perfect your customers’ payment experience and cover every base, with services like customer support, charge-back and retrieval handling, installation, and much more. Give us a call at 1-800-771-3719 or visit our website to find out more. When you want to give your customers the very best payment experience possible, Metro Payment Technologies is ready to help