From mobile to social media, from artificially intelligent chatbots to digital voice assistants like Alexa and Siri, there are now more ways than ever before for businesses to engage with their customers and more channels through which to sell. Consumers’ real and online lives are becoming more and more intertwined as they increasingly embrace digital channels for seeking out services, making purchases, paying bills, connecting and more. While these new digital channels hold great promise, companies are struggling to create a seamless and frictionless customer experience across them all. With the right digital strategy and technological tools, organizations can take advantage of these new channels to increase revenue and improve customer loyalty – all without compromising security or compliance.
The Growth of Digital Customer Service
Even with a host of digital channels available, speaking on the phone with a live person remains one of the most popular ways for consumers to connect with customer service functions.
The analyst firm Gartner, Inc. is also seeing an increase in consumers’ use of digital channels for customer service and sales. They predict that 25% of customer service and support operations will use virtual customer assistants or chatbot technology by 2020 – a tremendous increase from the less than two percent using these technologies in 2017.
To be successful in today’s business environment, organizations must be able to transact, connect with and support customers in the channel of their choice – be it voice, digital or in-person. Businesses must embrace all customer engagement channels and provide a unified and secure experience across them all. Doing so will pay dividends. Research shows that omnichannel customers are more valuable and loyal, spending more on every shopping occasion, making more repeat purchases and being more likely to recommend a business, than single channel customers. Undoubtedly, providing a positive customer experience across all channels helps organizations boost revenue and keep customers coming back.
How to Create a Seamless Omnichannel Experience
The business benefits of successfully providing a seamless omnichannel experience for customers are undisputable, but organizations are struggling to make it happen. Fortunately, new technologies make it easier than ever for organizations to create a frictionless and secure omnichannel experience for customer service and sales. Innovative, new digital payment technologies are enabling customer contact centres across all industries to provide an easy and secure payment process across any channel – creating a frictionless customer experience no matter the way they connect.
Until recently, enabling payments and purchases in digital channels meant businesses had to deploy and manage complicated e-commerce platforms. Reaching customers in multiple channels meant integrating and maintaining a multitude of different payment applications and mechanisms or investing in costly hardware and entering into closed payment .
But today there is a better solution. Semafone Cardprotect Relay+ enables businesses to quickly and easily generate secure digital payment links that customer service representatives (CSRs) can send customers through any digital channel, including webchat, social media, email, SMS, QR codes, chatbots, e-commerce or m-commerce – unleashing new ways for customers to make purchases or pay bills.
With secure payment links, customers simply click the link to enter their payment details. Their payment card data and other sensitive, personally identifiable information (PII) is routed directly to the payment service provider (PSP) and never enters the merchant’s network infrastructure. This keeps the digital payment channel out of the scope of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), making compliance simple. At the same time, Cardprotect Relay+ delivers a relay of real-time progress updates that inform the CSR when the link has been used, when payment information has been collected, and whether the payment was approved by the PSP. Cardprotect Relay+ is the only solution in the industry that enables businesses to track the live journey of each link, providing a powerful tool for insight into the status of collected payments. Businesses can password protect the links, retire unused links after a certain length of time, and even restrict usage by geographic region, for stronger security if desired.
As a cloud-based solution, Cardprotect Relay+ is highly configurable, scalable and easy-to-deploy, supporting all transaction types, currencies and payment service providers (PSPs). It is infrastructure-agnostic, integrating easily with any web chat system or other third-party applications, enabling businesses to rapidly deploy a seamless payments solution without the need for expensive hardware or being locked into a closed payments ecosystem.
Cardprotect Relay+ is not only easy for businesses to integrate and deploy, it also creates a fast, easy and frictionless experience for the customer. There are no apps for customers to download, no dongles or hardware for them to use, and the links can be generated and sent within seconds. By sending payment links to customers in whatever channel they prefer, businesses can provide the seamless omnichannel experience that today’s consumers want.
Meeting Customers in the Channel of Their Choice
One of the greatest benefits of using secure payment links is their simplicity. With one simple method, businesses can provide the same user experience across a wide variety of channels and different use cases. For example, if a customer calling into a contact centre isn’t comfortable paying over the phone, the agent on the line can instantly send them a secure link via SMS or email to use instead. A customer using a company’s online webchat can be sent a secure link in the webchat window to make a payment that’s both secure and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliant.
Secure payment links can even be used to facilitate in-person, face-to-face transactions, seamlessly blending the digital and physical worlds. Businesses that rely on the use of agents, sales representatives or CSRs in the field – such as insurance, hospitality or concierge services – can enable their representatives to easily take payments in the field using a payment link on their smartphone or tablet. There is no need for them to carry specialized hardware or point of sale (POS) systems, and the solution can easily be scaled up to support increases in staff during busy periods without the need for cumbersome or lengthy security checks, as the staff are never exposed to the card data.
The Future of Payments is Digital
As consumers increasingly embrace digital channels, businesses in every industry will need to enable faster, easier and more secure payment methods in these channels. Secure payment links not only provide new ways to pay, they do so while creating a superior customer experience and simplifying compliance. By creating a frictionless and secure payments experience across channels, organizations can experience all the benefits that an omnichannel model can provide, from increased revenue to greater customer loyalty.