Imagine this happening to you: An Excel spreadsheet arrives in your email inbox detailing feedback from your merchant customers about their satisfaction with your company. You double-click on the attachment, eager to read what your customers think about you. These comments jump out to you immediately:
- We basically never hear from anyone. We don't even really know what services you offer or how we can use them.
- Time and again in-store installs are handled consistently very poorly: techs show up hours late, they make unauthorized changes, interrupt our operations without notification or discussion, and the hardware installs ALWAYS require follow-up service to function properly.
- I feel ignored by your company. If I can get someone else to make my gift cards I will.
- I’m not satisfied with response from your team. I have placed two calls requesting a quote for upgrade of POS with no response.
- There are major glitches in the system and when we called support, you point the finger back at the stores instead of trying to work with us.
Feeling sick to your stomach yet? Well, you’re in charge and there’s more customer feedback to digest, so you keep reading.
- Faulty equipment, overpriced support. I’ve heard that your reps have bad mouthed me personally.
- We've been very frustrated with you in general. You were helpful getting us started but we haven't been pleased with our choice of POS.
- When I called for support your tech did not offer helpful solutions and charged us a consulting fee. I stopped reaching out to him completely.
- I sent a list of things we were promised many months ago with a promise to get back to me and nothing has happened.
- You need to have more responsive customer service. Behave professionally.
You scroll down to see how much further the spreadsheet goes. Just a few more rows, thank goodness.
- We inquired back in February about getting set up for the chip card and never heard back from Mark. He never returns phone calls or emails.
- When we bought the system, you were going to come back and go over some of the reports and other things it can do, but that never happened.
- Please make an effort to make me think you care about me. I know you probably don't but come on. For $2500 a year give me a little love please.
You lean back in your chair, bewildered by the avalanche of negativity. Yes, there were some positive customer comments in the survey results, but those don’t matter to you right now. You’re nauseas about the state of your business and your lack of awareness about your unhappy customers. What could be worse?
I’ll tell you what’s worse: Your customers feeling this way but not sharing their complaints with you.
You can’t go to work on fixing your weaknesses if you have a blind spot to them. If you never uncover that blind spot, your frustrated customers will move to another POS provider when the opportunity presents itself. This will significantly impact your sales, your profitability, and, over time, the viability of your business.
Let me draw a parallel to our personal lives. Everyone knows you should visit the doctor at least once a year for a checkup, right? I started doing that in my 20s – getting a physical and bloodwork – after my father passed away from a heart attack at age 52. One year the doctor noticed an abnormality in my results and ordered further testing. It turned out, unbeknownst to me, I had colon cancer and the cure was surgery followed by chemotherapy.
Thank goodness the treatments worked and I’ve been cancer-free for 15 years. But I wouldn’t have known about the disease that was slowly killing me if it hadn’t been for that annual checkup.
When we launched Vantiv’s PaymentsEdge Advisory Services, one of the services I insisted on offering was a Customer Health Checkup for resellers. The Customer Health Checkup is an easy-to-implement merchant survey that enables you to uncover your business blind spots by collecting feedback from your customers. Additionally, we enable you to compare your results with other POS resellers. We compile your survey data and review it with you, and we also measure that information against other resellers who have distributed this survey to their merchant customers.
The bottom line is the Customer Health Checkup gives you a chance to gauge your business health and improve your customer relationships. You know all those angry merchant comments I shared earlier? Those weren’t made up. They were all actual feedback about POS resellers excerpted from the Customer Health Checkups I’ve conducted over the past few months.
The good news for those resellers is that they now know the worst of their customer issues and have made changes to their organization. As a result, those resellers told me:
- Customers are now happy that we have a follow-up process to see if everything’s resolved. That’s had a positive impact on our customer relationships.
- This survey helped us know the pulse of our customer base. We can’t just assume everyone’s happy because they don’t bitch to our face.
- We realized through this exercise that that some customers, no matter how they’re feeling, won’t pick up the phone and call us.
- I shared the results with the team, and now we are determined (and excited) to see what we can improve. Thank you for doing this!
I hope this doesn’t come off as me trying to sell you anything; the Customer Health Checkup is free for Vantiv reseller and ISV partners. Vantiv and I are super passionate about health of the POS channel which is based upon the health of reseller organizations.
Please email me or call me at 814-520-6342 if you would like to learn more about conducting your own annual Customer Health Checkup and keeping your business healthy.