Product and marketing strategies tend to get the most attention while running a business day-to-day – making it easy to lose sight of the little things that help sustain a successful operation. In her latest piece published on XBiz.com, SegPay’s CEO Cathy Beardsley lays out a list of 13 essential (if non-sexy) steps that some businesses overlook at their peril:
SegPay isn’t just a payments processor, we’re a customer support company too, handling consumer billing inquiries on behalf of merchants for more than a decade. This week we wanted to share a few lessons learned over the years; most are common sense but often overlooked.
Good customer service is a key to sustaining any successful business, but perhaps nowhere is this more true than in recurring revenue models, which depend on keeping customer memberships active over long periods of time; i.e., reducing churn. Of course, delivering the content or products customers want is the main way to keep them around. However, one could argue that it’s just as important to give them the type of support they want – namely, a chance to be heard; different ways to voice their thoughts and opinions; and a company that is responsive and caring in its communications. Do those things and you’ll keep your customers happy and loyal.
Please read XBiz.com’s informative look at best billing practices for merchants, published this week. We appreciate that they asked SegPay to participate and we (of course) highly recommend the article. There’s lots of helpful information in there, including the following quote from our CEO Cathy Beardsley about the importance of being prepared for audits:
“At any given time, we can be called for an audit by our acquiring or operating banks. We, as billers, are required to have all our KYC (Know Your Customer) documents up to date, and all sites in compliance, both in terms of content and website documentation (e.g. merchant address included on the website),” Beardsley explains. “As a merchant, it is crucial that you keep your business records up to date. How well organized SegPay is in the eyes of the card brands, acquirers and other banking institutions goes a long way in our success.”
The popularity of pre-paid cards has exploded in recent years. They’re easy to get – just visit a supermarket or convenience store and look for the gift card display, where you’ll find plenty of cards bearing the Visa or Mastercard logo, pre-loaded with $25, $50 and $100. These cards can be used anywhere credit cards are accepted, and there are plenty of good reasons they are among the fastest growing payment method in the USA. Savvy merchants are recognizing this trend and creating offers that appeal to customers who pay with pre-paid cards.
Ever wonder why you get so much spam in your inbox? It’s because even now in the age of social media, email marketing is still an incredibly powerful and profitable way to generate sales. Nearly everyone has email and checks it at least once a day. If unsolicited spam emails are generating profits, imagine how much more value comes from building a targeted list of email addresses for your particular niche of products. Targeted email marketing can generate a lot of sales when launching a new product or offering a discount on an existing product. You can also notify existing members about new content so they know you are improving your site for them.
Check out Cam Merchants Should Be Wary of Fraud, by SegPay CEO Cathy Beardsley, published on XBiz.com. The article explains how Cam sites, or any business where customers can “feed the meter” by making multiple payments to extend a session, can limit risk. For example:
We have all read so many news headlines this year about hackers disrupting online businesses. Some of these sites were victims of cyber-terrorists, including those sponsored by nation-states, looking to deface websites and spread propaganda. Others were targeted by kids looking to prove their skills to their peers. Of course, some hacks are motivated by competitors trying to drive out the competition. Regardless of the reason, the results are the same: lost customers, expensive mitigation and lost revenues. So, how can you protect your website against online hackers?
If you’re operating an online business, it goes without saying that you need to accept credit and debit card payments. So, what is the best way to do it? You’ll need a company to process the payments, but which one you choose depends on how much internal control you want over the payments process versus how much you want to outsource to the processor. The more you want to outsource, the more you need to consider the services processors provide, and the fees they charge. In this article, we’ll discuss the most important factors to consider, so you can make an informed decision for your business.
A huge thank you to XBiz for publishing “Billing Solutions that Best Suit a Merchant’s Needs,” authored by our CEO, Cathy Beardsley in the April issue. The article helps merchants choose the best payment processing solution for their business. Here’s an excerpt:
Most merchants in the high-risk space fall into one of three processing categories: They either need the assistance of a payment facilitator to help manage risk, a payment gateway to take control of their credit card processing internally or a combination of the two solutions. Each model fits a different stage of a company’s lifecycle.
Let me share some details around each option in hopes of helping you make the best decision for your business.
Read the full article on XBiz.com.
A chargeback – when a consumer asks his credit card provider to refund a payment – is every merchant’s nightmare. It’s bad enough when a chargeback stems from an actual fraudulent transaction. Worse are the chargebacks that could have been avoided; for example, a consumer doesn’t recognize a charge – or is simply unhappy with a purchase – and calls the credit card company instead of you. You lose the sale and incur fees and, potentially, fines as well. And with too many chargebacks, banks could deem you too high a risk and freeze or even close your merchant account. Your business’s very existence is at stake. The good news: there are simple, common-sense measures you can take today to prevent most chargebacks from happening. Here are a few: