01Jan, 2018

Customer Experience

How to use payments to create a great customer experience

In this age of digital disruption and the mobile economy, customer experience is king. Customer expectations are changing with technological innovation, new ways of doing business and the explosive use of mobile and cloud technology. No longer are customers satisfied with a difficult transaction. The experience must be easy and seamless while at the same time meeting customer’s every desire and preference.

So, the future of customer service is in seamless, secure payments. Customers will just go elsewhere if their experience isn’t a great one.

And they’ll come to you if they can make seamless, secure payments when and how it’s convenient for them. Cloud-based payment technology, and its ability to integrate with cloud-based accounting and ERP solutions, allows access to data in real time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Raising the bar on payment processing

Consumers no longer merely shop for the highest quality goods at the most affordable prices. They want to engage with their favourite brands. They want every aspect of doing business with you to be seamless.

Consumers have high expectations and are harder than ever to please. From the time that they first hear about your company to when they receive delivery of your products and services, you’ll have to stand out from the rest to win their loyalty.

Customers are especially sensitive when it comes to payments. They want the flexibility to choose from multiple payment options. They want fast, convenient checkouts. They want 24/7 access that is private and secure. If they ask for better payment solutions, they want a good answer!

In short, because payments are generally painful in some way or another, they want to make sure that the payment and process is EASY. That means that your part of it has to go off without a hitch. If they perceive your payment processes to be seamless and secure, it will improve their overall perception of their experience with your company.

You can leverage cutting-edge technology to meet and even exceed customers’ high expectations. If you’re not staying ahead of the curve, you’re missing a great opportunity to wow them. Creating positive experiences benefits not only your clients but your company as well.

What’s new

Mobile devices have become an integral part of everyday life. They are now powerful handheld computers that can manage your banking, your social life, track your kids’ whereabouts and store your credit card details for mobile payments.

Developments in mobile device technology and the ways mobiles are used means that payment technology has evolved at the same time, with great innovations bringing benefits to both customers and companies.

Some of the innovations in payment technology include:

  • Digital wallets

While some people think that a digital wallet is an electronic device, it’s actually an application on your electronic device that allows you to make electronic transactions. Your payment and personal information is stored securely in the app, allowing you to make purchases without the need to use a physical credit card. Using this app, most digital wallets can be opened and waved over a contactless reader to complete a purchase.

  • Real-time clearing

Gone are the days when you receive a cheque, make a deposit and have to wait 3 to 5 days for the payment to clear. Real-time clearing now allows payments to be credited to a beneficiary’s account within 60 seconds. How quick is that?

  • Omnichannels

Customers want to engage with your company in multiple ways, depending on what they’re doing at the time and how they’re feeling. They might visit you in person or make a phone call (old school!), check out your website, use your app, or browse your social media. Websites now have to be able to accommodate smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers.

An Omnichannel creates a seamless customer experience from one channel to the next where access to products and services is integrated and consistent. Each aspect of the experience, including payments, complements the others.

  • Mobile point-of-sale (mPOS)

Most retail shop fronts follow a traditional point-of-sale model where customers have to go to a single location, usually cash registers near the front of the store, to make a payment. But mobile point-of-sale is changing this. A good example of mPOS is the way payments can be made in an Apple store. With mPOS, sales assistants in an Apple Store process payments at any time from anywhere on the sales floor. This technology can also be used to allow the salesperson to send electronic receipts to any email address.

Consumer loyalty

It’s been proven that consumers are hungry for seamless, friction-free payments.

They want to check out faster. They don’t want to roam around in search of a register or wait in queues. They don’t want to carry bulky wallets or keep track of paper receipts. They want to be able to purchase to their hearts’ content without fear of getting ripped off.

They also want added benefits and a full customer experience. When their favourite items are on sale, they want to hear about it. Loyalty rewards show up in their inboxes to drive repeat purchase and customer loyalty.

When customers have an amazing payment experience, they spread the word. Uber’s extraordinary success is proof of that. If you can’t recall a single Uber advertisement, it’s because the company got where it is today largely by word of mouth.

Uber completely changed the customer experience of booking a ride. With Uber, gone are the days of searching through your wallet or handbag looking for cash. You don’t have to hand over your credit card at the end of the ride – wondering if you should leave a tip or not. You just simply jump out of the car. Your receipt arrives in your inbox. You can even select if it’s a personal or business trip. It’s simple, it’s seamless and customers love it.

Embracing change

The transition to sophisticated payment methods isn’t as challenging as one might think. Cloud-based payments systems can be integrated easily into current payment infrastructure. What’s more, it’s scalable to meet changing demands.

The important point to recognise is that customer loyalty is inherently linked to customer payment systems. Customers have high expectations and if you don’t meet them, you can be left behind. Don’t be.

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