Maybe you book a special holiday, but the flight is cancelled or the holiday company goes bust. You may have ordered flowers for a special birthday or occasion and they’ve not turned up, or were wilting and near death!
Everyone knows the disappointment of buying an item or paying for a service, only to find the item in question doesn’t work, or the service we paid for isn’t forthcoming. The merchant’s goal is to try and prevent customers from having this experience. Despite their best efforts, though, sometimes issues are unavoidable.
Who will the customer turn to?
Whatever the situation, the customer’s first point of contact should be the merchant who sold the goods or services. However, this may not always be possible; perhaps the customer simply can’t find the right contact details listed on the seller’s website, or the customer service department fails to live up to the word “service.”
Another possibility is that the customer may never have authorised the sale. The cardholder, on checking his or her bank statement, comes across an unrecognisable transaction, or a subscription the person can’t remember signing up to.
If the customer can’t resolve an issue through the merchant’s customer service channels, the person will most likely turn to the bank for help. Where an item meets the chargeback criteria, the bank can raise a chargeback on behalf of the customer to recover the cost of the goods or services.
As most customers manage their accounts online, a chargeback may be the first direct contact they have with their bank. If the chargeback is handled badly, this could result in the loss of the customer and/or substantial compensation fees.
Handled correctly, though, the bank not only retains that customer, but also builds their reputation for excellent customer service, encouraging more business.
How can banks help?
When customers find themselves in need of filing a chargeback, they'll have already been through a lot. You can help eliminate their worries by making the process as smooth and simple as possible. Here are a few simple tips to help banks provide the best experience for their customers:
Remember the customer is already upset or angry, so empathise with their situation. Put yourself in their shoes; how would you like to be treated?
Ensure that your chargeback staff are updated with any rule changes by scheme (i.e. Visa/Mastercard).
Check that the goods or services were ordered within the timescales set by scheme to chargeback.
Don’t make promises you can’t keep! Set customer expectations, both in the likelihood of their money being recovered and the time this may take.
Stay in contact with the customer to keep them informed of progress. This may only be a short note or text to say that investigations are still ongoing. Nothing annoys a customer more than not hearing anything and thinking they’ve been forgotten.
Conduct customer surveys following the chargeback resolution to see what went well and where you could have improved their experience.
Where the customer doesn’t have any chargeback right, then give a clear explanation of why you are unable to assist.
Be a one-stop shop for the customer, don't pass them from pillar to post.