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Recently, I’ve experienced more and more businesses making it difficult to transact with them. I’m sure that quite often, these businesses don’t even realise the barriers they’re creating for themselves. On the flip side, businesses that make it easy for their customers are so much more pleasant to deal with, come more highly recommended, and in the long term, reap the financial benefits.

Take a coffee shop for example.

If they charge $3.50 for a coffee and a customers pays on EFTPOS, the cafe can likely expect a 30c charge, plus 1.5% (or similar, depending on the bank). Therefore, of this $3.50 coffee, approx 35-40c goes to the EFTPOS provider. If you take the average cost of this coffee to the seller as $2, this means by not charging the fee/minimum, their profit drops from $1.50 to $1.10. They’ll need to sell approximately 25% more coffees to maintain the same profit level. This would be easy if the café has a natural flow of traffic and people know they can drop in and pay EFTPOS at any time without a minimum payment. However, if this doesn’t sit well with your business mind, you need to pass the charge on.

I recently grabbed breakfast at a café in the city. On leaving, I faced the situation where the business had a $20 minimum to pay with card. Rather than walk to an ATM to get money before returning to pay, I offered to pay a dollar extra to cover their banking fee. I was told, “No sorry, that will put our register out”.

If you need a lesson on how not to transact in business with your customers, this is it!

But don’t just take this as a rant about EFTPOS – there’s a lot more to it. Many businesses view a sales transaction as an isolated event, without realising the value of a lifelong relationship with a customer. If a transaction is handled poorly, the result is more than the loss of a single sale.

It’s important to understand the consequences of not properly servicing customers – it’s a lot less expensive to keep an existing customer than to recruit a new one! Make It Easy!!

For some simple ways to make it easy for your customers to do business with you, ask yourself the following questions…

  •  Can your customers order online?
  •  If they can, can they pay online?
  •  Can your customers contact you online?
  •  If so, how many ways? Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Web Forms, Live Chat?
  •  Do you respond quickly?
  •  Can your customers pay their bill online?
  •  If customers come to your office, do you provide any provisions for their meeting (i.e. WiFi access, coffee, water, power points)?

At Waypoint, we strive to answer ‘yes’ to all of the above (although some are not completely relevant to what we do). A large part of running a successful company is ensuring your employees are as collaborative with clients as possible. Since superior customer service is as much a mind-set as it is an activity, make sure your employees know that their job, first and foremost, is to service customers – and never take their business for granted.

So if you want to book an appointment to see us, drop in and use our WiFi, grab a coffee on us, and feel free to share the love on social media!

We hope to see you soon.

Dan Fairbairn

Dan is passionate about technology as an enabler, with years of experience training, evaluating and implementing technology into small businesses. Outside of work he loves live music, craft beer and over-analysing sport...!

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