It’s when I started my career in merchant account services that I learned the value of e-mail, and maintaining a (relatively) tidy inbox. Don’t be mistaken, I receive a deluge of e-mails every day, some days more than 100 (compared to some of my colleagues, that’s rather light).
However, I have countless folders where I organize 99 percent of the e-mails I receive. Organizing our inboxes into folders is something all of us do here at Instabill, especially our merchant account managers, who not only make 60-80 dials a day, but receive more than 100 e-mails from prospective and active merchant partners.
That’s a lot of messages, but each one has value. We file our e-mail messages to show the last correspondence with a merchant or partner. When there’s contact, we drive the conversation with our last e-mail correspondence, which, we feel, makes that merchant or partner feel valued.
We urge our merchant partners to do the same. E-mails have become an invaluable tool in merchant account services.
E-mail – the No. 1 tool in chargeback disputes
About two years ago, we penned a blog detailing examples of compelling evidence merchants could/should use when dealing with chargeback disputes. Some examples included social media, to find photos or text regarding the charge in question; or online dating profiles, to prove the offender had a profile. Airlines can now consult the flight manifest when a consumer purchases a one-way flight, then files a false chargeback with his/her credit card issuer.
In merchant account services, especially high risk, these are all effective tools to win a chargeback dispute. But e-mail correspondence may be the most compelling piece of data. In the current e-commerce climate, proactive merchants should always send automated confirmation e-mails confirming purchase. In addition, e-mail alerts from the shipping company are vital pieces of data detailing key facts:
- Date and time the product was shipped
- Date and time the product arrived
- Whether the customer confirmed receipt with a signature
Having this kind of information on record in the case of a chargeback dispute is invaluable.
Value to the consumer also
E-mails are invaluable evidence for merchants in chargeback disputes, they are every bit as useful for consumers. Many consumers have memory lapses, particularly when going over their monthly credit card statement. Oftentimes, a purchased item is forgotten or unrecognized on the statement, thus, the consumer can scan his/her inbox for e-mail receipts and/or confirmations they may have forgotten about.
An exemplary use of e-mail
I suppose the ‘extra’ interest I take in online shopping processes – number of windows in a checkout, time spent checking out and communication with the merchant – is the result of my occupation in merchant account services.
In May, I purchased a high-end mountain bike for my oldest son from an online bicycle retailer in Southern California. The online buying process was a great experience, as seamless as it gets. Upon completing my order, I received two e-mails within 20 seconds:
- The first was confirming my purchase of the bike with all the pertinent details: cost, tax, shipping (which was free), etc…
- The second was an e-mail from my credit card issuer confirming I had made the purchase (A four-figure online purchase is super rare for me), which I dutifully obliged.
A day later, Online Bike Company e-mailed me again, saying my son’s mountain bike had been shipped and would arrive in about a week (actually, it arrived two days early), with tracking information. Within the week of the bike’s arrival, I received a third e-mail from the company soliciting a review of my buying experience. I gave it glowing marks.
For me, three e-mails was the perfect amount of contact. Each served three different purposes and were very effective.
Merchant Account Services with Instabill: Stay Processing
As we preach the importance of e-mail on these pages, the good folks here at Instabill actually prefer direct contact when it comes to furnishing merchant account services to prospective merchants. We prefer to begin the application process with a conversation to see what exactly the merchant’s needs might be.
We then match the business with the best acquiring banking partner we know of that specializes in the industry. Upon approval, we’ll remain on hand as advisers for remainder of the merchant account relationship.
We’re always game for a conversation at 1-800-530-2444, Monday through Friday (8 a.m.-6 p.m., USA eastern time).