By Douglas Hansen
Where integrated payments are concerned, customer service is a two-edged sword. On one hand, most integrated payment providers are responsible for supporting payment processing. This means you don’t have the added expense of bringing customer support in-house.
On the other hand, the financial industry has notoriously low customer service ratings and net promoter scores (NPS). Choosing the wrong payment partner could negatively impact your company’s reputation which could inhibit adoption and increase churn rates of your customers.
Below are five questions you should ask your payment provider to ensure their customer service team is providing the best possible experience for your customers.
1. What are your customer service team’s goals?
When you talk to your current payment provider (or if you’re evaluating a new one), you want to get a feel for how they manage their teams. You want to work with a company that is always striving to improve, and asking about team goals is a great way to assess the success of their team.
Be sure to pay close attention to your payment provider’s answers. A quality customer service team will have specific goals that are aligned to their overall company goals and advance their customer service strategy. Often these types of goals surround the following:
- reducing customer wait times
- increasing customer satisfaction ratings
- increasing customer loyalty
Quality customer service departments regularly review and update their goals, clearly communicate the goals to the team, and provide training and support to ensure that the goals are met.
After asking this question, you should feel confident that your payment provider’s team is actively working towards success. If not, that could be an indication to consider a different solution.
2. What are your customer service team’s best practices?
Training team members in best practices is essential for providing an excellent customer experience. Ask your payment provider’s service team how they handle difficult customers, create positive customer experiences, and how quickly they can resolve customer questions.
Ask your provider if they provide ongoing training and support to ensure their team members are up-to-date on the latest trends and best practices. Inquire how they provide feedback and recognition to team members to encourage them to continue to improve their service skills.
Again, you just want to ensure that your payment provider is constantly striving to improve. If they struggle to answer questions about best practices and trends, that could indicate their customer service team isn’t fully qualified.
3. What software do you use and how does it improve processes and efficiency?
Customer service software is a useful tool for streamlining processes and improving efficiency. The software can help automate processes and reduce manual tasks (such as data entry), which save time and resources. It can also help teams stay organized, track customer conversations, and provide important metrics.
Most software can be customized to fit the specific needs of the team and should be regularly updated to ensure it stays up-to-date. Don’t be afraid to ask your payment provider about the tools they utilize to improve their service. If they can’t provide quick and detailed answers to your questions, it may be a sign their customer support department won’t be able to meet your needs.
4. How do your policies and procedures ensure consistent customer service?
It’s important for your provider to define clear standards and expectations in its customer service policies, such as response times, expected behaviors, and how to handle difficult situations. Be sure to ask if your provider’s team reviews and updates its policies regularly in order to ensure they are always relevant.
Keep in mind your payment provider’s team is going to be representing your company. You want to ensure they are following best practices in order to keep your reputation safe.
5. How do you monitor performance and provide feedback?
Monitoring team performance is an important step in ensuring that standards are being met. It’s important for your payment provider to track metrics such as response times, customer satisfaction ratings (like NPS), average time to closed tickets, and customer loyalty.
To help you assess this, you can ask your provider how frequently their customer service team performs one-on-ones and what type of feedback is given. Quality service teams take the time to celebrate successes in addition to looking at how they can improve. You want to ensure that your payment provider is taking care of their employees so they will take care of your customers in return.
Final thoughts on outsourced customer service
Customer service is a critical aspect of any business. While outsourcing this function can be cost-effective for your company, it’s important to choose a payment provider who prioritizes excellent customer service. Asking the five questions outlined above will help you gain insight into how your payment provider’s customer service team operates. By partnering with a provider that prioritizes customer service, you can ensure that your company’s reputation and customer satisfaction remain high.