Today, businesses can take card payments in almost every retail setting. POS systems, in-app purchases, and mobile gift cards let you take plastic anywhere. But what about taking card payments over the phone? Many small businesses don’t think they need it, but there are multiple reasons why they could benefit from it.
Of course, taking card payments is crucial for any business. The pandemic has not only killed cash. It’s accelerated the trend towards remote business.
The US Federal Reserve estimates that 62% of the $7.7 trillion of card payments made in the USA relate to card-not-present transactions. While e-commerce accounts for the lion’s share of those payments, card payments by phone account for 23% — $700 billion in the USA alone.
As cloud-communications provider, Aircall, discovered in their 2021 customer survey, if a consumer can’t get the information or service, they want online they’re likely to turn to the phone for help.
Fortunately, there are multiple ways of taking card payments over the phone securely so that customers can pay with their cards from anywhere without fear of fraud — or putting your business on a non-compliance collision course with your bank.
But before all that, here are five reasons why you should consider accepting card payments on the phone…
Customers like speaking to humans
You may be surprised to learn that many customers prefer to speak to a human sales agent when making a purchase over the phone compared to online. Aircall’s survey showed that customers are even more likely to prefer phone payments when the online option is not available.
Contact customer service departments and customer surveys have revealed that most customers — especially older customers — prefer to speak to a human being over dealing with machines or computers. Customers want to be able to talk to a real person who can assist them with any problems they may have or answer any questions they have. This is why accepting card payments over the phone is crucial because you let customers speak to a real person directly.
When you accept card payments over the phone, customers feel more secure about their payment method. This is especially true for customers who are making a one-time payment and do not have an existing relationship with the business. Having a live person on the other end of the line ensures that customers feel safe about their payment choice and reduces any anxiety they may have about their payment method.
It improves your customer service
When accepting card payments over the phone, you offer customers an added level of customer service that they may not otherwise get. With live agents on the line who can talk one-on-one with customers and assist them with any issues they may have, you can make sure that customers are satisfied and get the help they need. This can increase your customer satisfaction and help keep customers coming back again and again. Receiving payments over the phone gives you a chance to go above and beyond for customers and make them feel valued. Give special instructions to customers if they need to use a different payment method due to special circumstances. Make sure that you are clear and concise in your instructions and that you help customers solve any problems they may have with their payment method.
Increase your sales
Every sales person knows the importance of ‘striking while the iron’s hot’. The success of discretionary purchases are often in the moment. Leave your customer to place their order later and who know what distractions await.
There is no better example than in the charity/non-profit sector. In universities for example, telethons — where volunteers call potential donors — are still alive and kicking.
This is not about persuasion — although a little helps. Convenience means better service and better service means more repeat business.
Consultants, PwC, estimated that consumers will pay a 16% price premium for great customer experience. American Express estimated that retained customers will pay a 17% price premium if it means getting excellent service.
When you accept card payments over the phone, you give customers better service. It’s a win-win.
Add value to your e-commerce business
By extension, if you run an e-commerce business, accepting card payments over the phone can help add value to your business and encourage new customers to buy from you.
As the price and complexity of goods or services sold online increases, so does the value that a support line brings. As noted earlier, taking orders and accepting card payments over the phone is a natural extension.
It can help you convert more customers and increase your sales. If you sell online, you may want to consider offering more payment methods to your customers. Accepting card payments over the phone is one way to add value to your e-commerce business and give customers the payment option they prefer. Accepting card payments over the phone offers you more flexibility, helps you reach a wider audience, and offers more payment options to potential customers.
Millennials love it too
Placing orders and taking payments over the phone is not just for the old folk!
Digital natives are busy folk who value speed and convenience.
Millennials are one of the fastest-growing demographics for online purchases, and many have grown up with the ability to make online payments. Accepting card payments over the phone can be a way to tap into this growing market.
If you sell online, accepting card payments over the phone can help you reach more customers, especially younger customers who prefer to pay with their card. Millennials may be more likely to pay with their card, especially if it’s a payment method that they’re comfortable with. Accepting card payments over the phone can give you more payment flexibility and reach a new generation of customers.
Whether you run an e-commerce business or have a physical store front, taking card payments is crucial for any business. But not all payment methods are created equal. Customers are much more likely to pay with their credit card than with other payment methods like PayPal or cash. Accepting card payments is crucial for any business, but accepting card payments over the phone can be even more helpful. By taking card payments over the phone, customers feel more secure about their payment method. This is especially true for customers who are making a one-time payment and do not have an existing relationship with the business. Having a live person on the other end of the line ensures that customers feel safe about their payment choice and reduces any anxiety they may have about their payment method.
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