Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to take a deep breath, regroup and review your merchant services game. What did you do well? What could you do better? Spend a little time now to identify your problem areas so that when the next busy season hits, you’ll be ready. These three steps should give you a good starting point.
1. Collect Incident Data
Review your help desk logs. What patterns do you see? Were transaction problems due to older equipment or out of date software? If so, plan an upgrade schedule now. Were problems due to physical issues at the merchant’s site, such as poor internet connectivity? Schedule a rep to go onsite and help the merchant set up their POS system more effectively. What about your staffing? Did merchants complain about wait times or poor communications? Plan now to adjust your coverage and improve training if needed.
If you’re not getting the metrics you need to make an informed analysis of your merchant support needs, consider upgrading your help desk management software. Check out this review of the 20 top help desk picks for 2018. Alternately, look at outsourcing your help desk to a certified support partner. If you consider this route, make sure your partner has the industry experience to represent your business professionally and handle the complete range of merchant needs, as well as the ability to integrate data seamlessly with your internal systems.
2. Use All Your Tools
While we can never eliminate all merchant support issues, it’s easier than ever to minimize them. By taking advantage of new technology available in remote monitoring and automation, you can increase merchant productivity and eliminate many instances of human error. Invest in remote access software and/or manufacturer estate management packages to handle monitoring, software updating and troubleshooting. Encourage merchants to set up wireless connectivity as a backup for wireline based transaction processing. Basically, use all the tools at your disposal. If you need ideas or advice, the technology team at CDE Solution will be happy to share what works for us.
3. Outsource the Pain Points
In some cases, instead of seeking to streamline your in-house processes, it might be time for a different approach. If a certain aspect of merchant services is causing you an outsized amount of time, money and hassle, consider outsourcing. Help desk running inefficiently? Conversions dragging along? Encryptions taking forever? Fulfillment full of errors? You might find that outsourcing these functions saves you money and improves the quality of service you can provide your merchants. As always, CDE Solutions stands ready to partner with you in improving the service you provide to your merchants.