Had I been born in 1910 instead of 1970, there’s no doubt I’d have been a barnstormer. “Barnstorming” refers to athletes and teams who travel throughout a region by car or bus to stage exhibition matches. There’s nothing like driving from town-to-town to meet with the locals and do what you love.
I fulfilled my barnstorming dreams – in non-athletic terms – when I joined a five-person team from Vantiv to host the Smarter Payments Roadshow in Boston (Oct. 17), Brooklyn (Oct. 18), and Philadelphia (Oct. 19). We flew to Boston then drove five hours from Beantown to Brooklyn and then about three hours to Philly to share with Vantiv partners insights on reseller best practices and details of Vantiv’s newest products and services.
I could share with you travel stories of gross gas station bathrooms, getting sideswiped in Queens, and driving down the gorgeous Merritt Parkway in Connecticut, but that wouldn’t make your business better. Instead I’ll share some of the educational highlights from the roadshows that we discussed with Vantiv reseller and ISV partners during our trip.
Customer Service Workshop
The heart of my discussions on excellent customer service was talking through with each group the “9 Steps To Win Over An Upset Customer.” These steps will help you cope with a tense situation and resolve it to everyone’s satisfaction.
- Address the situation immediately: Don’t let time lapse and make things worse with your avoidance. Approach the customer as soon as you learn they’re unhappy.
- Remain calm: When a customer starts yelling or being otherwise rude, there’s nothing to be gained by responding in a similar manner. Maintain control of yourself even if the customer’s tirade makes you feeling like yelling yourself.
- Don’t take it personally: Remember, the customer is not angry with you; they are displeased with the performance of your product or the quality of the service you provide.
- Use your best listening skills: Hear the customer out; let the customer voice their complaint without interruption. When they’re done talking, summarize what you’ve heard and ask questions to further clarify their complaint.
- Apologize gracefully – but don’t admit fault: Whether the customer’s complaint is legitimate or not is really irrelevant. If you want them to stay a customer, you need to express an apology for the problem they’re having (or perceive to be having). But don’t admit fault or offer a “make good” until you’ve researched the situation and determined the root cause. A fair resolution is based on facts.
- Find a solution – take quick action: If you’re not able to conclude a solution immediately, let the customer know the exact steps you plan to take to rectify the situation and when they should expect to hear back from you.
- Thank them: Thank the customer for bringing the problem to your attention. You can’t resolve something you aren’t aware of.
- Take a minute on your own: Rather than let your stress linger inside you, take a short walk or find someone to talk to who makes you laugh. Then you’ll be ready to once again engage with your other customers.
- Follow-up: Follow-up promptly to ensure the customer is completely satisfied, especially when you’ve had to enlist the help of others for the solution delivery. Everything up to this point will be for naught if you don’t “close the loop” with the customer.
How Vantiv Helps Grow Your ARR
In each city, our panel discussion on how Vantiv helps partners grow their ARR (Annual Recurring Revenue) was scheduled for a half hour but was extended to 45-50 minutes because of the many audience questions.
Here’s information on the eight Vantiv products and services discussed during this session. For products/services without links, please contact your Channel Development Manager for details.
- Embedded Base Campaign – custom marketing campaign
- Merchant Retention – helping you save at-risk merchants … and your residuals
- Omnishield Assure – credit card payment security and fraud assurance
- PaymentsEdge Advisory Services – professional management consulting for resellers and ISVs
- TriPOS – an API developed for faster and easier payment processing in real time
- Vantiv BizShield and Vantiv Insights – protects a merchant’s online reputation, provides data analytics
- Vantiv IQ – in-store small business credit card processing reports
- Vantiv ONE – comprehensive developer network
The attendee feedback from our roadshows was super positive. An ISV who attended our Philadelphia roadshow wrote, “I wasn't exactly sure what to expect and was pleasantly surprised with how relative the contents of the program were to me and my current initiatives. I gained a better understanding of how Omnishield works and what exactly it is designed to do for merchants. Thank you for bringing the information out on the road and sharing it in such a fun and beneficial way. It was a great experience.”
I agree – the roadshows were a great experience for the Vantiv team as well. Let’s go barnstorming again soon!
Note: “9 Steps To Win Over An Upset Customer” is adapted from material published by Forbes, Lifehack, SuperOffice, and The Retail Doctor