Understanding How Merchant Services Can Improve Your Business

The only thing that is certain in today’s business climate is that changes are inevitable. Whether those changes come from customers, vendors, or the nature of the business itself—and whether they are positive or negative changes—you need to be able to react quickly in order to maintain, let alone improve, your business.

Merchant services providers will do better than help you maintain your business income. Such a service can help improve your business by ensuring that—especially where customer payments are concerned—you can turn on that proverbial dime whenever change looms. Your customers will be happier when you are proactive instead of reactive, and a reliable merchant services provider can help you reach that point.

Some recent changes that your business may already have taken advantage of involve an expansion of the type of credit cards accepted by your business, quick refund or credit processing for your customers, taking online orders or producing customer reward programs—thereby building customer loyalty. If you haven’t taken advantage of these and other proactive changes, then you might want to consult a merchant services provider to find out how such service offerings could improve your business.

One quick way to begin providing benefits to your customers is to ask a merchant services provider to set up a point of sales (POS) system for your business. A modern POS system will process customer credit or debit card payments, as well as checks, faster than most older payment systems can. After all, there is more to processing customer credit card payments than simply reading a customer credit card with a scanner.

The credit card number must be verified by the credit card company before payment will be released to the business. With real-time verification of credit or debit cards, you know immediately that your customer has presented you with a valid card, thereby expediting their payment process. Getting them out the door and on their way is something any customer can appreciate. And you are likely to get your payment from the credit card faster, too.

This same POS system can be programmed to process customer refunds in real-time as well. When a customer knows that he or she can trust a business to credit their accounts as quickly as it charged them, that customer is more likely to work with that business in the future. This is yet another way to attract customers, thereby improving your business.

More and more customers are starting to order goods and services online every day. A merchant services provider can set up an online order and payment service for your business. This benefits you by allowing your customers to shop with you at any time of the day or night—whether your physical business is open or closed. The more time your goods and services are available for purchase, the happier your customers will be…and the better your business will be.

Securing your customers’ data is another way to improve your business. If a customer trusts that their credit card or banking information is safe in your hands, then that customer will be more likely to return to your business. Merchant services providers can provide you with point of sales systems that protect customer data from any type of incursion or theft, ensuring that your business is PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliant. POS systems should include both software and hardware, and a reputable merchant services provider will make sure that yours are up to date at all times.

Providing your customers with some type of rewards program is another way to keep them happy and coming back for more. A merchant services provider can design a rewards program that is unique to your type of business. Perhaps you own a hotel and you want to offer your customers a free night’s stay for every three nights they book with you. Or perhaps you own a restaurant and you want to offer your loyal customers a free meal for every ten meals that they purchase. There really are few restrictions on what can be done to design a loyalty program, and a good merchant services provider should be creative in coming up with something suitable for you.

Keeping prices down is one of the most common sense ways to get customers coming back to your business. And a great way to keep prices down is by contracting with a merchant services provider that offers lower fees to you. Overpriced merchant account solutions or out of date technology adds to your bottom line expenses and, most likely, you’ll pass those expenses on to your customers. New technology might be expensive in the short term, but in the long run it will help you to provide your customers with more efficient services.
In these ways and many more, merchant services can improve your business and get those customers coming back to you time and again.