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Benefits of payment by phone

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In many ways, the telephone call is the ideal way to talk to your customers - because it is more personal, freeform and adaptable than any other channel. It is also the most dynamically expanding technology of our times. 

In the 21st century, people are accustomed to being connected to everyone and everywhere no matter where they are and what they are doing. Every business on Earth needs to adapt to this new reality.

The phone is at the heart of this revolution. More people now use their mobile phones to connect to the internet than laptops, desktops and tablets combined. Another consequence of the smartphone is integrated communications, which means that users can easily switch from social media to a website and into a phone call, or over to video, SMS or email in the course of a single interaction. The mobile phone has blurred the distinction between websites and applications, and Cloud integration is blurring it further.

Therefore, modern businesses have to provide customers with multiple channels that flow seamlessly from enquiries, call centres and customer service into transaction processing and aftersales. Your second challenge is to provide seamless security across all of them because the downside of all this data flow and integration is data theft, privacy concerns and ever-growing penalties for compliance failures. This is a challenge but the benefits of telephone business are huge.

The customer experience

A mistake made by so many businesses was (and is) to think of a website as a vending machine into which anonymous customers will obligingly drop money. Websites are definitely an essential convenience you have to offer the modern customer, but building and retaining trade takes more. Voice interaction with a customer is your best opportunity to build a long-term customer relationship - bar none.

It is also a good way to ruin one. An effective call centre must be knowledgeable about the product, flexible in meeting customer concerns and requirements, and able to gather valuable feedback from its customer interactions. The more efficiently your calls are conducted, the more satisfied your customers are and the more likely they are to buy, buy again and recommend you.

Something repeatedly proven during lockdown was that good customer service with a personal touch trumps price competitiveness. In normal times, small businesses can't compete with supermarket and chain store prices but when the lockdown came, small businesses able to switch quickly to telephone contact with customers (and with suppliers) saw their trade boom. Those who could offer secure ways to pay over the phone boomed even more.

The three steps to winning telephone custom

First, you need to promote the option for customers to call, order and pay. Since most customers are now browsing websites with their phones, make sure you embed auto-dial options into your web pages or mobile app.

Secondly, from the moment a call comes in, your processes should be swift and seamless - no waiting in queues, being left on hold, forwarded to separate departments. In particular, there should be no interruption of the caller's connection in order to process the payment.

Thirdly, it is vital the call engenders trust. Human voice contact is a start but can be undermined by an unfamiliar or insecure payment system. The best solution is an automated virtual teller which allows the customer to key in their details privately and sends them to their bank without interrupting the connection. Your representative then receives confirmation from the bank and confirms the order to the customer in real-time. Paytia can provide your telesales system with this solution, and with no-hassle installation.