It's time to reframe transaction disputes as an important opportunity to build customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Not many business owners are necessarily excited when customers challenge a transaction. However, resolving your customers' questions and concerns before they turn into a formal transaction dispute can transform a challenging situation into an opportunity for greater customer satisfaction.
And remember, when a customer initiates a transaction dispute on their credit or debit account with their issuer, the outcome is usually in their favor. So keep the relationship strong with your customer and save yourself the chargeback fee by resolving matters before the card issuer gets involved.
Considered over the long term, managing disputes well translates into stronger loyalty for future purchases — not to mention a boost to your brand reputation for being responsive and solution-oriented.
Transaction disputes are on the rise
Transaction disputes — when your customer challenges a transaction with their card issuer — are on the rise globally, but recent data from the United States illustrates their runaway growth. Out of 66 billion transactions, about 25 million disputes occur each year, and that volume is on track to grow to 33 million transactions by 2022.
When a customer reaches out to you to inquire about a charge on their account, it's typically for good reason. Therefore, it's helpful to approach every customer dispute from a place of empathy and a desire to help. Sometimes it's an error on the part of your business or employee. Other times, the customer's financial situation has changed, and they can no longer afford an item. Maybe another family member made the purchase, unbeknownst to the cardholder.
Now more than ever, it's important to work with your customers to place their experiences at the forefront of your business strategy. Recent research from the University of Newcastle underscores that handling customer complaints adeptly has a tangible dollar value. The return on investment for managing complaints effectively was as high as 1,000%, or $10 for every dollar spent, according to the research, proving that even though you're having to refund a purchase in the short term, your empathy will pay off in the long run.
Disputes can be a hurdle, but keep in mind that when you resolve your customers' transaction disputes can actually give you a competitive edge.
All in all, it's best to issue a refund before it becomes a disputed transaction. If the customer ends up disputing the charge with their card issuer and you lose the case, you'll be responsible for paying back the cost of the sale, as well as the chargeback fee.
You may also lose a future customer who would have otherwise sought out your business next time they were looking to make a purchase.
Resolving disputes with digital tools
Leading businesses are treating disputes as an opportunity to delight their customers by meeting their needs. However, if you do find yourself in a situation where you need to resolve a disputed transaction, make sure you have the right technology to help you manage dispute responses and reach resolutions quickly and efficiently.
Look for a well-designed and technology-forward disputes management system that:
- Harnesses the cloud: Access your disputes activity anytime, on any device, with an intuitive, at-a-glance viewing experience with crystal-clear graphical representations.
- Uses artificial intelligence: AI-powered probability scoring can advise on your likelihood of success with any particular dispute. After all, it can take the same amount of time to address a $5 charge as it does a $500 one, which means businesses should prioritize which cases are most important.
- Issues timely alerts: It's tough to stay on track of your disputes activity given everything on your to-do list. Look for a system that keeps you current with automated reminders and can even take action proactively when no input is needed from you.
- Stores data for the long haul: Aim to have access to your customers' data for up to 13 months, so you're covered if you need to research transaction information in the future.
- Uses intelligently guided workflows: It's important that the workflows in your disputes management tool comply with network standards and processes.
- Offers robust reporting: Make sure you have access to reports on milestones and timing requirements at your fingertips.
Transaction disputes can win customers
Disputes can be a hurdle, but keep in mind that resolving your customers' transaction disputes can actually give you a competitive edge. That ultimately translates into stronger customer satisfaction, creates an improved perception of your brand and frees up time and energy to do what's most important — run your business.