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How can I make online payments secure?

Adding one extra step in the process can make online payments that much more secure.

Peter Harvey

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I want to offer my customers the option of doing online payments but how do I ensure that the process is safe for them and for me?

There are some simple steps merchants can take to ensure they don’t lose sales because of buyer fears.

Online retailers are very vulnerable to credit card fraud, especially if they’re selling virtual goods like vouchers or software, or anything they have to ship rapidly. If the cardholder later claims their details were stolen and requests a chargeback, the merchant has to swallow the loss.

One way of avoiding this is to make cardholders enter an extra password or one-time PIN before they can complete a purchase. This gives online retailers the same protection a physical store enjoys when customers have to enter the PIN at the till.

What is holding some people back, is the fear of lost sales. Fortunately, there are some simple steps merchants can take to reduce the losses.

When customers abandon a purchase at the last hurdle, it’s often because they aren’t very familiar with the process, and the sudden introduction of a new step in the process makes them suspicious. The best way to combat confusion is with better information.

Every online retailer should have a clear Help section that’s easily accessible from their checkout pages, and explains exactly how the process works and why it’s a good idea.

A couple of lines of text explaining what will happen when your customer hits the Purchase button is also a good idea.

If you provide a clear map that makes the process predictable, people are much less likely to lose trust.

Merchants should take care to ensure their explanations are written in clear English that’s easy to understand. Avoid technical jargon like ‘authentication’ and ‘issuing bank’ – an explanation that leaves people more confused just makes things worse.

 

Peter Harvey is the founder and managing director of PayGate – a gateway to simple and effective online payment solutions. With more than 26 years in IT and payment processing, Harvey is a master when it comes to architecting solutions to client’s exact ecommerce requirements. He is a trusted advisor to some of the largest financial transaction institutions.

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Sales

How do I make a positive first impression with my clients?

You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so be sure you don’t screw it up.

Marc Pillay

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How do I make a positive first impression with my clients?

Everyone makes mistakes. Fortunately, however, they can be rectified in many cases. If the wrong amount of money is transferred, it can be reversed; if the wrong information is given, it can be corrected with a polite apology.

In business matters too, there is a ‘second chance’ that allows for an error to be straightened out and which sometimes can even be turned into an advantage. But there is one time when this is not the case: The first impression.

Making a good first impression is an opportunity that must be maximised. The old saying holds true: You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Research has shown that first impressions are of critical importance for three out of four buyers – that is a whopping 75%. Some aspects of your external appearance play a role here, but mostly it is what you say, how you say it and also what is conveyed non-verbally.

It’s all about tone of voice, gestures, facial expressions and body language, and it’s about capturing the mood in which the customer finds them self at that moment.

The following points can help you make a positive first impression on the customer:

  • Approach the customer attentively and with a friendly smile
  • Observe the customer – how do they respond? Are they reserved or receptive, cautious or forthcoming?
  • Take the emotionality of the customer seriously
  • Try to adjust yourself to the mood of the customer
  • Give the customer the feeling that you accept and understand them. Create common ground this way, which will leave the customer with good memories and which will shape their future relationship with you.

Do you already take all of those factors into consideration? If not, try to pay attention to them, and you will quickly see that you will have greater success with them.

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Sales

What’s the most important thing to remember when I’m interacting with a customer?

The one surprisingly simple success tactic that works every time.

Marc Pillay

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What’s the most important thing to remember when I’m interacting with a customer?

Customers want to be taken seriously. Someone who invests money does not only want to receive a product or service. It’s also important to make the customer feel appreciated and on an equal playing field with the sales person.

To do this is surprisingly simple: Address him by his name. By doing this throughout the sales conversation, not only when you greet him, your communication with him becomes much more personal and ‘warmer’.

Nothing is more unpleasant than talking to a person face to face not knowing his name – this has certainly happened to all of us at some point. But how can we possibly remember the names of all our customers?

Here are a number of tips that will help you:

  • Be truly interested in the customer and do not only pretend to pay attention
  • Carefully memorise his name during the first meeting, and write it down if necessary – it is no problem if the customer notices you doing this
  • Repeat the name from time to time during the conversation
  • Memorise the person behind the name – face, figure, voice, distinctive characteristics
  • Try to link the customer’s name to an image. Convert his name into a picture, and link objects or situations to it. The saying also applies in this case: “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

You’ll see that after just a short while, the names of your customers will stick in your memory much more easily, and your customer interaction will become more promising.

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Sales

How can I make more sales?

Taking a good look at your existing sales strategy may reveal some areas for improvement.

Tim Berry

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My sales are ticking over nicely but I’d like to increase them now, as I feel that we have the capacity to meet increased demand. Can you give me any advice on how to go about growing sales?

The first thing you need to do is reassess your sales strategy and its impact on sales. Look at what’s working and what isn’t. Once you’ve done that, you can consider introducing some new sales strategies, such as finding new ways to sell more to existing customers, or even how you can find brand new customers. Perhaps you’re charging too little. And your marketing strategy could probably do with an overhaul to ensure it’s relevant in today’s marketplace.

Read the full article here.

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