It seems that with every innovation the world around us is getting less physical, less concrete. Contactless payment is on the rise, meaning often times, your customer’s card stays in their wallet. Ordering food can be done online, with a go-between picking up and dropping off the delivery to them. Even the decision to have a physical location is being reconsidered, as logistical expenses continue to move in the direction of eCommerce over corner store retail.
All this movement may point someone toward the conclusion that, when it comes to interacting with your customer, less is becoming more. While some things shift in the way we interact with our consumers, still, some things never change, and any optimizations that affect that essential relationship should not be taken lightly!
People don’t like parting with their money, and some argue that accepting credit cards as a small business, eases this emotion, especially if you process high transactions. Some things are good physical; for example, the action of signing for a purchase gives people a physical sense of the security of the payment—even if it’s a digital signature. Then again, one way things are getting less physical at the point of sale is the receipt. Fewer and fewer people use them, and as a result prefer email receipts, or no receipt. Make sure your point of sale can accommodate them (and the people who still want paper!)
Now it’s tough to generalize across many different businesses and industries, but one thing that is true for most, is that it needs to be easy to get in touch with a real person, preferably with little to no wait time. Whether it’s for payments, customer service, or whatever, our digital world has sped up almost to the point where people are incapable of waiting. If your business has a presence on social media, for example, some people will use that channel to reach out to you, and expect a prompt reply. And of course, the old-fashioned phone can’t be discounted. For some, it’s the fastest way to handle their need, and it’s frustrating when their needs can’t be met though a phone solution. The best bet? Offer as many different communication routes as you can, and do them well.
If you do have a physical store, use it to the fullest advantage. The reason brick and mortar locations will never go away is that, at the end of the day, they cater to physical people with all the benefits of a physical location. One such benefit is the chance to see and touch products before buying them. A store should be organized with beautiful displays that are easily interacted with. Physical stores are meeting places. If it makes sense for your line of business, organize classes and events that draw customers in. Such events always boost sales.
As we mentioned, some processes are getting less and less physical as technology progresses. Still, it’s important not to forget the real-life person on the other end of each transaction. With a little effort, accepting credit cards for your small business can be one useful way to get closer to the customers you serve.