The holiday season is usually as hectic as it is jolly for retailers. Sales generated during the holidays contribute to the bulk of a merchant’s annual revenue. On the other hand, the sky-rocketing demand usually leaves businesses gasping for air. And, as if managing and satisfying deal-hungry customers isn’t overwhelming enough, there’s also the many cases of fraud and chargeback disputes that happen during this period.
As a merchant, chargebacks not only dent your net profit margins, but they also compromise relations with your payment processor. Nevertheless, with the steps below, you can significantly minimize them this holiday.
- Proper Planning
Sales will always spike in the holidays, so, don’t get caught by surprise. Plan all your special promotions and discounts down to the last detail, and make sure you’re prepared to offer the exceptional customer service that your buyers will be expecting. While you can’t presume to please everyone, be realistic about any deals and commitments you intend to make. Poor planning and execution will cause customer dissatisfaction, and consequently, more chargebacks.
- Buyer Engagement
Actively communicating with buyers is a great way to stay on top of their needs and concerns. So, amp your online interaction game this holiday by implementing website live chats, pop-up instant messaging and social media campaigns to keep your customers close. Holiday shoppers will be less inclined to file chargebacks if they know they can reach out to you directly.
- A Hassle-Free Refund Policy
Nothing encourages customers to file chargebacks than a tedious refund process. If a buyer expresses dissatisfaction with an order, therefore, give them a refund as soon as possible, especially if it’s a low-cost item. Making them return the product before getting their money back will likely upset them even more and motivate them to file a chargeback.
Although having lenient refund policies will expose you more to malicious customers, the increased customer satisfaction can lead to a net gain overall.
- Expedited Shipping
Shipping let-downs are a major cause of chargebacks, particularly during the holiday shopping rush. Therefore, let your costumers know the shipping and delivery dates before they place an order. Even private carriers like UPS and FedEx can experience delays during the holidays, so, have a disclaimer explaining the same. Ship all products within 24 hours and use expedited shipping when possible to prevent delays.
- Tight Security Features
Robust fraud and chargeback management features are crucial in the holiday season. Start by looking into your customer verification system and implement policies like two-factor authentication and behavior tracking to identify any suspicious transactions. CVV (3-digit credit card code), AVS (Address Verification Service) and Pinless 3D Secure can also help to prevent bogus orders. Additionally, reach out to your payment processor and consider implementing any chargeback protection features they may have.
Lastly, your usual tactics may not be as effective this season as they did last year. So, don’t forget to monitor the news for any trends in online fraud, including new identity theft tactics and emerging fraud-prevention tools.