Tips to Help Improve Customer Service and Prevent Chargebacks
The most common types of chargebacks – ones in which an unsatisfied customer goes straight to the issuing bank for a refund – are actually more preventable than most merchants probably think. In fact, 86% of chargebacks are filed fraudulently; the cardholder goes straight to the bank instead of contacting the merchant.
While you might assume this is simply an unavoidable part of doing business, it might be that your customer service is partially to blame.
Returns Versus Chargebacks: What’s the Difference?
No merchant looks forward to returns – after all, every return is profit which you lose out on as a seller. However, a chargeback is much worse in the long run.
In the case of a return, you will have to refund the money, but at least you will get your merchandise back. With a chargeback, on the other hand, you will lose out on the profit from the sale, the buyer will most likely not return your merchandise, and you will be responsible for an additional chargeback fee.
There are also the long term repercussions to consider. Every chargeback hurts your reputability with issuing banks, and merchants who rack up too many chargebacks will eventually see their credit processing accounts cancelled. This will land you on the MATCH List, meaning that you will be blacklisted by credit processors and unable to process credit card transactions, which spells doom for online merchants.
The Importance of Excellent Customer Service
There is a big problem if a customer finds it easier to file a chargeback rather than seeking a refund through a merchant. You will need to make pursuing a refund through your business the easier of the two options.
There are quite a few simple things you can do to improve your customer service:
- Make Sure Your Contact Information is Clearly Visible: Customers will be more likely to contact you first if your contact information is easy to find. Your email address and phone number should be listed on your website, social media accounts, delivery receipt and order confirmation.
- Keep Up with Emails: Respond to every inquiry in a timely manner, and set automated responses to every email letting customers know the time frame in which they should expect a response.
- Watch Social Media Closely: If a customer reaches out via social media, be sure to respond promptly and effectively address their concerns.
- Make Your Billing Descriptor Easy to Understand: If a customer sees a strange charge on their statement, they will be on the phone with the bank immediately. Make the billing descriptor which appears on customers’ statement descriptive and provide as much detail as possible.
- Clearly State Your Shipping Policies: Your customers need to know when they should expect their merchandise. Additionally, try not to charge the card until the item is ready to be shipped in order to prevent confusion over backordered inventory.
- Make Returns as Painless as You Can: When a customer requests a return or wants to cancel a recurring payment, process their request immediately, and make the process as simple and streamlined as possible.
- Follow Up with Customers: After a situation is resolved, follow up to make sure that the customer’s concerns are fully addressed.
- Provide 24/7 Customer Service: This isn’t always an option, especially for smaller businesses, but provide access to live customer service representatives for as many hours a day as possible.
- Own Your Mistakes: If you have made a mistake, don’t try and lie your way out of it. Just apologise and try to fix the situation.
- Make Your Company Feel Human: By sharing pictures and employee bios on your website, you make the company feel more human, and make customers feel more like they can trust you.
- Respect Your Customer Service Representatives: Dealing with unhappy customers all day is not an easy job. By keeping your employees happy, you ensure that they are providing the best assistance they can.
- Evaluate Your Business Policies: Is your business really as fair as it can be? Try to find ten things you can do to make your policies easier to navigate and more customer-friendly.
- Ask for Feedback: Look to your customers, as well as your employees for input on how to make your business run more smoothly. Sometimes we are too close to the problems to really see them.
By implementing these strategies for improved customer service, you drastically reduce your risk of chargebacks. You might be shocked by how much these minor tweaks can strengthen your bottom line and improve the health of your organisation.