There are many uncertainties as we inch our way toward the Open for Business sign. Will consumers flock back to brick and mortar locations? What will customer engagement look like? Will the use of multiple payment channels continue to grow? While one can only speculate on the answers, we are certain about two things moving forward:
Mandated closures forced businesses and consumers into a different way of engaging. For example, rather than bringing the family to a restaurant for a sit-down meal, restaurants had to bring the sit-down meal to the family – either curbside or directly to the front door. While it doesn’t mean people will never dine-in again, there likely will be a continued, growing appetite for curbside and delivery convenience.
Software providers with integrated payments must be prepared to enable customer transactions across channels – seamlessly, securely and cost-effectively. None of those are particularly easy to come by and may not be enabled in your software today. Depending on your payment provider and how many are integrated in your platform, you may be in for some pricey customization fees moving forward.
A word of caution: Customization is not the starting point. Beginning there is like building a deck without a plan. You may end up with a deck, but it may not be stable enough to support the different ways you’ll want to use it in the future. The better approach is to develop a strategy, then build from there.
Chapter 3 in our latest eBook, “Win the Game: Payment Strategies to Dominate the Competition,” discusses how payments can and should play a much larger role in the growth of your product and your company. But, you need a solid payment strategy to do that. We provide some examples of strategies in the book, but you’ll want to tailor your strategy to your particular industry and customer base.
If you’re going to gear up for the future, you’ll need a payment partner that pushes up the sleeves and works with you to help create that tailored strategy, not just a provider who processes payments and sends invoices.
Now is the perfect time to step back and take a good hard look at your vendors to make sure they can support the future. Check out this online Partner Evaluation Tool. It will help you determine whether your current payment provider delivers what it takes to support the new needs of your customers. It’s a simple 10-question survey, but the results may be illuminating and will help you make some pretty big decisions. Or, it may reassure you that you have the right partnerships in place.
While we all feel trepidation about what the future holds, the best we can do is pay attention to changes in consumer behavior and make sure we’re prepared to enable those changes with the right partner, a solid strategy and a relevant solution.