Today's consumers are fluent in paying online thanks to PayPal and various other seamless, fast and secure online payment currencies, portals, tools and systems. But plenty of people still prefer to make payments over the phone, interacting with a real human being instead of software. In a world where scams are becoming more and more sophisticated, it makes sense to offer phone payment as well as online payment options.
It's also a marketing thing, a customer engagement thing. Savvy marketers know it makes a lot of sense to provide the full choice of payment options to their customers, covering all the bases and accounting for every preference. Then nobody gets left out, and fewer people click away without buying. Esteban Kolsky, the CEO of Thinkjar, agrees. In this article he explains how the customer experiences must be chosen and validated by the customer. The company needs to build an infrastructure to allow the customer to do whatever they want, whenever they want, and however they want. In his experience the customer experience is not a one-time event, and every single interaction is going to be different. As the article also says,
“Research shows that 55% of consumers are willing to pay more for a guaranteed good experience." Now that's an interesting fact, isn't it?
IBM's Watson AI software has developed the Luvo platform for the Royal Bank of Scotland, being tested as we write. It can solve problems without human intervention around a third of the time, designed to be human-like and able to learn 'sentiment analysis', figuring out when a customer is unhappy. It can even recognise a suite of British accents. Interestingly, increasing numbers of experts feel that human-style, voice-led interactions will end up trumping mechanical-feeling apps and chatbots.
Taking a credit card payment over the phone lets you interact direct with the people who buy your goods or services.
It also means you can answer any questions they might have, cutting the likelihood of an abandoned shopping cart and making it crystal clear how great your customer service is. It helps to breed good levels of customer loyalty, making people feel valued. And you don't have to do it via a landline, which ties you to your physical office. You can also take payment via a mobile or tablet, on the move.
The ongoing development of Amazon's Alexa and similar new tech illustrates the point that human interactions are worth a lot. Amazon is working hard to create an artificial intelligence that can actually recognise and interpret tones of voice, making the gadget more human, not less. They also hope it will eventually be able make human-like judgements about the context of words or phrases, and understand requests based on previous buying patterns. It's all about real-feeling human conversation.
“The idea of being connected but not connected, what does it mean to 'be connected' — not just in terms of tech, but also in terms of the human spirit? And that's in the background of this. We have a human side, and there is going to be a counter-punch by companies who choose to focus on connecting with customers in a more human way."
So human interactions still matter, still have a great deal of power. While it's increasingly common to go through an entire customer service experience without encountering a fellow human being, we still respond most positively to our fellow humans. Virtual transactions have their uses, for one they're a lot faster and more efficient, but they can't compete with the real thing.
You'd like to offer your audience the chance to pay you over the phone, because it'll give you a small but important edge over competitors who don't offer the service. If you have no idea here to start? Here's how to take payments over the phone.
7 ways of taking over the phone payments
Taking a credit card payment over the phone is reasonably simple. Depending on the system or tool you choose for the job, you'll be able to accept all major debit and credit cards, access a secure web page for payments over the phone and either use your computer, smartphone or tablet to take the payments. Here's a list of some of the best-known and widely used over-the-phone payment systems you can tap into. As you'd expect they're all simple to set up and easy to handle.
Need help? Contact us on 01273 447111 – we can set up a phone payment system for you.