We’re still on our customer service rant from Tuesday’s blog.
While I was going on about my disappointing experience with a local appliance store, it got me thinking about a few things regarding the consumer-merchant relationship: Primarily, how consumer influence is more powerful than ever.
Before the internet, consumers had rather limited choices when they were unhappy with a purchase. They might call the merchant and ask for some type of compensation, contact their local Better Business Bureau or, at the most, summon the merchant to small claims court.
Now the landscape favors the consumer more than ever. Merchants need to be aware of that when facing possible disputes.
The 3 Ways Consumers Now Wield Influence
1. Reviews Websites
Cyberspace has given consumers a voice. A loud voice, that can be used as a weapon or to sing a business’s praises.
Before the internet, consumers could call or write a letter to the Better Business Bureau regarding a dispute. The BBB is still a viable option, in addition to Yelp, Glassdoor, Facebook, Twitter or any social media forum.
Reviews are influential in several ways: Recently I came across a negative review on Facebook regarding a new restaurant near where I live. The review generated nearly 100 responses to the restaurant’s defense. Merchants may forget sometimes that they have the option to respond to reviews – they should – whether they be positive or negative.
2. Chargebacks and Liability
We’ve blogged extensively about consumers and chargebacks, how if a consumer is dissatisfied, they’ll simply file a chargeback. With chargeback disputes, different credit cards have different liability rules. Disputes often come down to the consumer’s word vs. the merchant’s, and it’s the consumer who usually wins.
3. Word of Mouth
It’s the oldest form of product/service reviews. Regarding our blogpost about our experience with the local appliances merchant Tuesday: That experience will undoubtedly come up in conversation a number of times in the near future, and what we have to say about the appliance merchant won’t be positive.
Consumer Influence is Strong: Pride Yourself in Customer Support
Instabill merchant account managers pride themselves on their level of customer support. When merchants and partners call our Portsmouth, NH, USA offices (1-800-530-2444), it leads directly to our support team, which does its collective best to find payment processing solutions.
We like to believe we’re an example of what customer support should be – and we hope it rubs off.