Accepting credit cards has become synonymous with finding ways of avoiding chargebacks for many merchants today. What are chargebacks? If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, chargebacks occur when customers contact their credit card company to dispute a charge on their cards. If the dispute is deemed to hold some merit, your merchant account is actually debited the amount of money in question (even if it has already cleared), and you have to pay chargeback fees, which can be as much as $100 in some cases.
For many small businesses, finding merchant protection against chargebacks is nothing short of an absolute must. What can you do to end the problem for your company? These tips can help.
There are a number of things you can do to prevent customers from filing a chargeback with the credit card company.
- Understand why Chargebacks are Occurring: The single best move you can make is to take a look at the data you’ve already gathered on chargebacks. If a common theme emerges, you can address that problem immediately. If the chargeback reason codes are all over the place, you may have to address issues in several areas.
- Create Stronger Policies: If customers don’t understand your purchase policy, your restock policy, your return policy, or even your subscription policy, they’re going to get frustrated. What often happens when customers get frustrated is that they don’t know where to turn, and one of the easiest, fastest ways for them to deal with the problem is to contact their credit card company and get their money back. You can avoid all of this if your policies as far as shipping, billing, and returns are carefully worded on your site and easy to find. Many sites even put a little info section next to their product or service description so customers understand what they’re purchasing.
- Build Better Customer Service: What happens when a customer contacts you? Your team and policies with regard to customer service may need to be revamped as well. Make it easy for customers to reach out to you. Offer a phone number, 24-hour chat service, an email address that you check regularly, or even social media links to help better connect with customers. Not only will this step help to prevent chargeback problems, but it may also increase your brand’s credibility, and that could lead to repeat customers. Just remember that rapid replies are essential. They’re already frustrated when they reach out to you. Be ready to help as soon as possible.
- Consider Shipping Updates: If you sell physical products, be sure customers know when their items have shipped and how soon they should arrive at their doorsteps. There are many automated services you can deploy to do this for you, and the more insight you can offer customers, the more likely you are to avoid shipping related chargebacks.
- Beef Up Anti-Fraud Tools: Fraud happens, and it can actually create more chargebacks than you’d imagine. While criminal fraud represents the minority of those chargebacks, friendly fraud happens quite often. Sometimes it’s buyer’s remorse. In other cases, they just don’t know how damaging it is to the merchant at the other end. Either way, use the anti-fraud tools you have at your disposal. Address verification, customer blacklists, and more can all help you prevent problems. There are lots of antifraud platforms, too, that can help you build a more robust strategy.
A Note About Subscriptions
If you’re one of the many merchants who offer subscription-based services, you need to recognize that you’re at real risk for chargebacks. It should be an opt-in option if possible. Ensure you make it incredibly easy to cancel those subscriptions, too. Additionally, you need to ensure the description that goes to a customer’s credit card statement helps identify what’s going on. If you have another name that you’re doing business as, it should be part of what actually gets charged to a customer’s card. Furthermore, customers should know what that charge will look like on their cards.
The Moral of the Story
Chargebacks happen, but they don’t have to happen to you. At Y2 Payments, we have a number of solutions aimed at preventing chargebacks. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.