Providing Customer Convenience through a Variety of Payment Options
When it comes to the success of your business, there are a lot of factors you need to be aware of. In the grand scheme of things, some of those factors are pretty minor while others are more important. Regardless of what you’d like to think, the single most important factor you need to monitor is customer satisfaction. Your business doesn’t live or die based on your actions (though they are a major player), it lives or dies through customers. Your customers are the lifeblood of your business; without them, you can’t sell anything to make money. As such, you need to be capable and willing to cater to what your customers want.
Is The Customer Always Right?
The age old adage of “the customer is always right” may be clichéd, but it didn’t develop and spread so extensively by being wrong. While under certain circumstances it might be better to ignore the phrase, the majority of the time it’s a good motto for you and your business to follow. However, you shouldn’t take the phrase literally, ever. Use it as a guideline in focusing your business policies and procedures on providing customers with the easiest and most convenient shopping experience you can.
But be careful when doing this, as it’s entirely possible to follow this phrase too far. According to the Huffington Post, “the customer is always right” can actually be incredibly misleading and dangerous to your company. While they go into much greater detail about the reasoning behind why the phrase can be wrong, you should take into account the five main points they cover.
- -The phrase makes employees unhappy – Always siding with customers in disputes is bad for employee morale. This will lower efficiency and make your employees stop caring about work and customers.
- -Customers are perfectly capable of being wrong – Just because a customer is unhappy with a particular policy or procedure doesn’t mean it’s incorrect. Don’t go changing things or giving exemptions just because one customer made a mistake.
- -It can actually degrade customer service – Putting your employees first means they’ll put customers first. If you put customers first, then employees don’t feel valued or important, so they stop putting customers and work first.
- -It can give difficult customers an unfair advantage – You’ll have to deal with difficult customers demanding outrageous things at some point or another. Following “the customer is always right” too strictly makes those outrageous demands correct, no matter how ridiculous they are.
- -Not all customers are good for business – Those difficult customers can actually harm your business through their lack of respect and courtesy. Losing that one customer won’t hurt your business, so get rid of them if they take things too far.
It’s important to keep the phrase in mind when running your business, but it’s also important for you to understand when following it would be detrimental.
Convenience through Payment
Besides providing excellent customer service to shoppers asking for help, one of the best ways you can give customers a convenient shopping experience is through allowing them to pay for their purchase with the payment method they prefer the most. This means your business needs to have the infrastructure and hardware necessary to accept everything from cash payments to electronic eWallets.
However, before you go out and start looking for mobile payment solutions and hardware from vendors like Shopify, you will do well to understand what sort of payments your business is likely to encounter.
According to the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, while 91 percent of transactions are made using cash, credit cards, or debit cards, the actual value of those transactions is spread out more evenly among payment types. 24.1 percent of transaction value is through cash, credit and debit cards each take up about 27 percent of the value, with checks responsible for 14.1 percent, and the final 6.3 percent comes from other payment methods.
Though you’re likely to see more cash transactions than anything else, you’re going to get the bulk of your transaction profit from credit and debit cards. Because of this, your business needs to be capable of accepting all forms of payment. Processing all payment methods not only allows you to maximize the number of transactions your business receives, it also makes the shopping experience for your customers much more convenient. If customers don’t need to worry about bringing the right kind of payment method to the store with them, they’ll be much happier and more likely to return.
Life is Hectic
The world is a hectic place that doesn’t always make things easy. Customers don’t always have the time to dig through their stuff to find another card or enough cash for their purchase. As 360 Connext suggests, you need to always remember that your customers have real lives of their own to deal with. They may be stopping by your business to finish one errand from a list, or they may only have time to grab something important before heading off to some event. Anything that can slow down and inconvenience those rushing customers is bad. To ensure you don’t lose those customers, it’s critical that you provide them the option to pay however they wish.