Advances in AI are revolutionizing customer service in nearly all verticals, from personal to tech support. But while technology has a vital and useful role in merchant support, it should never replace the personal touch. Your help desk will always be the most important link to keeping your merchants satisfied, operational and most importantly - profitable.
In merchant services, providing the best customer support means finding a balance between technology and human interaction. How can you use technology to enhance the customer experience, while still prioritizing friendly, skillful personal interaction? Let’s look at how that can play out.
High Stakes? Get Human
If a merchant’s POS device is down, the stakes couldn’t be higher - both for your merchant’s business and for their relationship with you. In high pressure situations, your merchants need multiple ways to reach out and get support. Remember that crisis situations can actually provide an opportunity to build your merchant relationship: it all depends on your response.
We all know the importance of providing a clear, well-designed mobile site/app with support articles and FAQs. But in a crisis situation, merchants aren’t going to spend time browsing for support articles. They usually want a live person on the line, and they want answers fast. In this case, there’s no substitute for a well-trained customer service agent to solve problems and get your merchants back to business.
Lower Stakes? Robot Says
At times, your help desk can be overrun with non-essential queries. How do you change printer paper? What’s this charge on my monthly invoice? For these sorts of queries, consider adding chatbot functionality to your sites. For PSPs, chatbots take the non-essential call load off your help desk, so your staff can focus on critical needs. For merchants, chatbots are very popular, as they provide the immediacy of an instant answer, without the hassle of dialing a help desk or reading through support articles.
With improvements in AI technology, chatbots have come an amazing way over the past few years. Just consider how we’ve all come to rely on voice-based assistants, such as Siri on our phones and Amazon Alexa at home. These services demonstrate a surprisingly complex level of understanding of user needs. This level of sophistication applies to merchant support as well. Today’s bots can understand the context of just about any merchant service request, and respond using natural language. They’re an efficient way to field many support needs, and their casual format helps keep the personal touch as much as possible.
Success in merchant services means using technology to supplement the excellent personal service you provide to your retailers. No matter how sophisticated chatbots may become, they can’t replace the responsiveness a live person, especially for merchants in crisis.
As a payment service provider, you are much more than just a generic commodity. By continuing to provide personal interaction and a warm, human touch in customer service, you’ll make sure your merchants can put a face to your name. After all, people do business with people, not chatbots.