“Complexity is the enemy of execution,” according to business and life coach and author Tony Robbins. It can also be the enemy of payment processing cost efficiencies and the ability to deliver a satisfying customer experience (CX).
Whether you own or operate a bar, restaurant, hotel, resort, casino, or sports venue, your ability to control costs and deliver a satisfying CX depends on many factors. Some of the most common elements across these various consumer-driven businesses include pricing, location, environment, quality of goods and services, access, parking, and so on. Are your staff sufficiently trained in how to handle your customers? Do you meet the expectations your marketing creates? The list goes on.
Beyond the traditional criteria that need to be considered in delivering a satisfying CX, today’s consumer also has an expectation built around the freedoms enabled by mobility and mobile devices. Can they order goods or services from their phone? Will you deliver the drinks, food, or services to their location on your property?
Delivering a satisfying customer experience (CX) is the #1 priority for companies, according to a recent study by Metrigy, a research and advisory firm that advises companies on technology transformation strategies. The study shows customer satisfaction as a top three business strategy for the third consecutive year, ahead of revenue generation, product/service quality, and security. And more than 65 percent of companies surveyed say they are increasing their CX spending in 2023 by an average of 24 percent. No other technology area garnered a higher number of companies increasing expenditures.
For consumer-facing services and experience providers, the lack of a cohesive, thoughtful payments strategy can exacerbate their CX challenges and operating costs. Most consumers now expect vendor acceptance of digital payments. Nearly 90 percent of Americans are now using some form of digital payment, and they are engaging with these solutions in various ways, according to McKinsey’s 2022 Digital Payments Consumer Survey. Consumers want the freedom to use digital wallets and cryptocurrency payments from their mobile devices. They expect payment-related rewards and loyalty programs every time they transact. And they want to use one unifying and consistent payment method whether they are paying for drinks, food, merchandise, greens fees, spa treatments, or event tickets: sometimes all within one resort property.
On the cost side of the equation, many experience providers have a panoply of disparate vendors’ products and services underpinning their payment processing systems. Their payment processing systems, often using outdated legacy tech like dumb terminal magnetic stripe readers, are a Frankenstein-like mash-up of separate payment platforms, devices, software, e-readers, gateway services, and security services. Their customers may be able to check in with a credit card and “run a tab” across the entirety of the property. However, the business is paying a cadre of vendors on the back end to facilitate what should be a very simplified and streamlined payment processing transaction.
The most efficient and effective way for consumer-facing services and experiences providers to up their CX game while addressing payment processing costs is to develop a thoughtful, long-term payments strategy. Such a strategy eschews the siloed approach to building the payment processing ecosystem and recognizes the opportunity to modernize and transform it in its entirety. It seizes the advantage of omnichannel service delivery underpinned by a unifying payment processing system. It’s an approach that leans into mobility services, contactless payments, and rewards and loyalty programs tied to every customer transaction.
What is your payments strategy? Now is the time to audit your payment processing ecosystem, wrestle that question to the ground, and consider the changes that can position your business to deliver a highly satisfying CX while eliminating unnecessary costs for the long term.