What you’re about to read is a true story, with a major national retailer you all know. The other day, my wife needed to call the retailer’s call center to make changes to our membership details. Typically, not a big deal. It turned into a moderately big deal, thanks to a poor customer experience.
The needed changes were easy enough to facilitate, and then the agent asked my wife if she wanted to pay the new balance now. “Sure,” She said, looking forward to getting everyone done in one call. So the agent began asking for credit card details.
My wife is very digitally savvy. Just about every purchase she makes is made online. Naturally, she was taken aback by the request to read her credit card details to someone she doesn’t know. What’s going to happen? Is this person writing it down? Will the agent repeat the numbers out loud? “Don’t you have something where I can punch the numbers in with my phone,” she asked. The answer was no. But the agent assured her that it’s okay; they type the numbers directly on their computer.
With hesitation, she completed the transaction by reading her credit card details to the live agent. And then proceeded to be concerned about what she just did for the rest of the day.
For me, this was a great (well, not great for my wife) case study in an internal exercise we did here at IVR Technology Group: consider the emotional impact of customer experiences. For your customers, have to read a credit card number aloud to a live agent can spark a litany of negative emotions and even anxiety. All of which will be associated with your brand. In 2020, there’s no valid reason not to have an automated alternative.
This major retailer’s most significant concern should be with PCI Compliance. Standard 12.6 of the PCI DSS requires a formal training program to ensure employees are aware of cardholder data security standards. These courses must be conducted annually and require verification. But even the best training program won’t prevent abuse of credit card information; it merely checks the box on the audit.
Another concern is the retailer’s agents! If they truly have created a PCI DSS compliant process for live agents to accept calls, it comes at a price. Agents who accept credit card data can’t have their mobile phone with them, can’t have any papers on their desk, can’t have reading material, and other requirements for a sterile workspace. These are horrible working conditions. And we all know that agents operating under poor conditions tend to project their dissatisfaction in their interactions with customers.
While I have our sales team reach out to this retailer about our Compass Payments Suite, check if your agents are accepting credit card data. If they are, eliminate customer anxiety and agent displeasure by automating your payments with an IVR. Your customers will thank you. And your agents might even buy you a cake.