As a business owner, you know how important it can be to keep your customer or client base satisfied. In fact, a 2011 survey revealed that a whopping 89 percent of customers would refuse to return to a business after a bad experience, and this percentage continues to climb each year as social media makes it easier than ever before to spread both positive and negative reviews to a worldwide audience. Fortunately, improving your customer satisfaction rate (and therefore your retention rate) can be as simple as streamlining some of the ways you collect and process payments. Read on for several actionable steps you can take to keep your current customers happy while drawing in new clients from around the block or even around the globe.
What do your customers need in order to have a positive experience?
The same marketing survey that revealed the high number of customers who would refuse to return to a business after a bad experience delved into what, precisely, makes a "bad experience" and found that the number one cause of customer dissatisfaction was unmet expectations. This makes sense -- regardless of the population you serve or the product or service you provide, providing less than a customer expected is unlikely to endear your business to him or her.
This means that not only is it crucial to ensure that your employees are helpful and friendly, your marketing is consistent, and your storefront is in a safe and well-lit location, but that your customers' expectations are realistic and achievable. For example, advertising that your auto dealership can perform oil changes in 15 minutes or less when it usually takes your staff at least 20 minutes can lead to disgruntled customers, even if you offer discounts or other perks each time you're unable to meet your goal. By that same token, marketing your business as a quick in-and-out stop can backfire if you're processing payments with an ancient point of sale (POS) system that often locks up mid-transaction.
Although hard-to-please customers are a fact of life in just about every industry, taking steps to identify, clarify, and meet the expectations shared by most of your customers can pay notable (and noticeable) dividends for your business.
What improvements to your payment can you implement to improve your customers' experience?
Even if you already have a POS system in place to accept credit and debit payments, looking for ways to integrate your other loyalty or rewards programs into a streamlined, cohesive process can only improve the odds that your customers will look back on their interaction with your business positively. Expanding the portability of your payments, the number of payment types accepted, and even the aesthetics of your system can also improve your retention rate.
Expanding Payment Types
In today's market, asking "cash or check?" no longer cuts it, and the ability to accept payments from a wide variety of sources can instantly expand your potential customer base. Smart POS systems (like Clover POS) can accept and process everything from EMV chip payments to contactless payments, ensuring your customers won't be left scrambling to transfer funds or find an approved payment source.
Adding a short blurb about the types and forms of payments you're able to collect to your marketing or advertising materials can be one effective way to draw in new customers. Meanwhile, if you accept payments online, you should be able to add a
few toggle buttons to your website to direct customers to the payment portal or even directly to the payment
Improving Payment Aesthetics
While the way your POS system looks is likely at or near the bottom of your list of priorities, aesthetics can often add to (or detract from) a customer's opinion of your business's success and capabilities. Think of it this way: would you feel more comfortable patronizing a business that still relied on an ancient dot-matrix printer to create invoices or one that could effortlessly collate complex documents upon request? Even a reliable POS system that appears outdated could compromise your image in the minds of current and potential customers.
Fortunately, Clover has this category sewn up -- its simple, streamlined appearance can complement just about any type of business decor, and the portability of many of its products (particularly the Clover Mini) can allow them to easily slide out of sight when needed.
For many businesses, the bulk of sales and services take place outside the office, making the portability of your POS system a key component of its success. This is one area in which the Clover Mini shines, as it's able to accept the same variety and types of payments as the Clover POS, but in a streamlined and highly portable format. No longer will you be relegated to sending out paper bills (and making daily bank runs to deposit the resulting checks); instead, you'll be able to accept payment immediately on-site, improving your cash flow and immediately limiting the number of returned payments you encounter.
Whether you need to swipe a credit card in the middle of a busy airport vestibule or process a contactless payment after performing work at a customer's home, you'll be fully covered with Clover's Mini and Mobile POS systems — and what could increase customer satisfaction more than the ability to make payments anytime and