Finding The Differentiating Factor For Your Business

by Shonali Burke on November 18, 2010

"Confused" (61/365)
In the credit card processing industry, customer service is absolutely nonexistent.

It’s hard to believe that this is the case, especially in our experience-driven economy, but somehow the industry has thrived without paying attention to the business owners who make up 90% of their revenue.

Talking to these business owners each day, I hear the following three scenarios all the time:

1.   Salesperson sells contract and disappears, never answering emails or calls.

2.   Salesperson/website promises one set of price rules, never really explaining the fine print, and lying when asked questions.

3.   Contract is signed, and one month later, much higher fees are inserted.

I see through you

Encountering business owners after these experiences, I find them to be  skeptical and able to see through flimsy service offers. However, even the toughest business owners yield when provided with transparent, friendly, upfront service.

By following a simple philosophy, I am able to convey our value proposition easily to users, and develop a trusting relationship based on great customer service.

My philosophy is to answer any and all questions in a timely and professional manner….providing backup information and links to helpful resources.

It’s not that complicated of a system, but you’d be surprised to learn how few providers in my industry (if any) have a similar level of quality.

Though they may promise clarity, a quick phone call to any processors’ 800 number will leave even the biggest expert confused and full of questions.

Image: kalavinka’s Flickrstream, Creative Commons

It’s quite a paradox. As many of you know, credit card processing is super-complicated and it’s difficult to assess the best options for your business. Processors jump on this by selling plans which are complete rip offs for small business owners.

The ? Factor

The missing factor in this equation is a resource that business owners can trust which gives unbiased answers. Being able to recognize this gap in service serves as a huge opportunity to stand out, offer excellent customer service, and benefit from word of mouth referrals.

Whichever industry you are in, there are gaps that serve as opportunities for those willing to address the missing pieces.

Providing excellent customer service works for us, but it may be providing a better technical solution, referrals, or a more streamlined process in your industry.

When figuring out how to differentiate your business ask yourself these questions:

1)   What do my customers complain about?

2)   How have they found my business?

3)   What requests do they have for other features my service does not yet provide?

Using customer feedback as a premise for innovation will not disappoint as a likely source for information you may not have considered before.

More from Women Grow Business:

Stella Fayman blogs about credit card processing for the FeeFighters Blog. FeeFighters.com is the comparison shopping site for credit card processors; just like getting multiple quotes for airfare using Expedia, TransFS lets business owners compare top quality processors on an apples-to-apples basis and makes sure they get the best deal by not having any cancellation or hidden fees, and only interchange plus pricing. Contact Stella with specific questions at stella@feefighters.com or connect with her on Twitter.

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