In this article I will give you a short, step by step system that I use to keep my customers happy.
1. Set the right expectations when you make the sale. Learn more about this by reading my article What not to Promise a Customer.
2. Do the installation quickly and with the least amount of inconvenience for the merchant. This means making installations your top priority each and every day. To learn more about this read The Most Important Customer Service Action.
3. Once you install the account, put the following in your schedule with an email alert. -Phone Call 7 days after installation -Visit 30 Days after installation -Phone Call every 30 Days after the first visit -Quarterly Visit to the merchant’s location This proactive schedule of follow up will keep your customers happy. Frankly, with the level of service currently available they will probably be shocked that you follow up at all. I use these visits each quarter to make sure they are happy and keep the lines of communication open. Then they call me before thinking about switching. I also get referrals of other local business owners they know.
4. Once each month print off a list of every single customer you have. Ask yourself this tough question, “Do I know for sure this customer is 100% satisfied with the service I am providing?” If you do not know the answer or if you know the satisfaction is less than 100%, call the merchant. Say, “Bob, I just wanted to check and find out if you are 100% satisfied with the service I am providing you?” If he says “No,” ask, “What can I do to get you to 100% satisfaction?”
5. When a local customer calls with a concern, immediately drop everything you are doing unless it is a pre-scheduled appointment with an active customer. Even then, I would call to reschedule. Go immediately to the customer’s location and fix the problem. While you are driving there, call tech support. Ask them to call the merchant to see if they can resolve the issue over the phone. Eighty percent of the time when I show up I hear that the tech support guy already fixed the problem. I reply, “I figured he would, Bob, but I still wanted to come by just to ensure that everything was working properly.”
6. Do not try to compete with them or to pass the blame to them. This will always get you into trouble in the end because you are the person who set them up with the processor. You want to build up your processor in the eyes of your merchants. Even if the processor does something that you think is stupid tell the merchant, “I am so sorry about this. I know the tech support department tries very hard to provide the best solution they can. I will speak with them right away and work together with them on the right solution to this issue.” The better you get along with the people at your processor, the better customer support you will be able to provide. And the better your merchants will feel about their decision to trust you and switch to your processor.
7. Take action to fix the issue immediately and consistently until it is resolved. Also, be totally honest with the merchants. Don’t try to hang on to accounts where you will never meet their expectations. Tell them what you can do and don’t be afraid to say, “Bob, this is the solution I can provide. If that isn’t going to work for you, we need to explore some other options here. I don’t want to tell you I can do something and then not deliver on my promise.”
James Shepherd firstname.lastname@example.org