As we discussed in our most recent blog, Saltsha Prime is a merchant cash discount program that allows a business to distribute the credit card processing fees among their customers instead of shouldering the fees themselves. While credit card fees might seem like a small price to pay for doing (and getting) business, they can be a make-or-break factor on businesses who have ultra-thin profit margins.
While the idea of not paying credit card processing fees is very enticing to many small business owners in Fort Worth, it’s natural to wonder if there will be negative reactions from customers when the fees are passed onto them. After all, your business doesn’t exist without your customers, so if you lose them you’re completely out of luck.
In our discussions with our clients, we’ve found that it’s not really that big of a deal to most customers. They’ve already made the decision to dine with you or purchase a product, and as long as there is a clear sign somewhere letting them know about the cash discount they can get by not using a credit card, the convenience far outweighs the small charge you’re passing on to them.
But What If a Customer Does Complain?
While it’s not the norm, there’s always the chance that a customer will complain about the fee. If you run hundreds or thousands of transactions (saving money on every one of them by not paying credit card processing fees, by the way), you’re bound to run into a customer now and again looking for something to complain about. So, what’s the best course of action when dealing with a Fort Worth customer who doesn’t like the idea of you passing the credit card processing fee along to them?
Waive the Fee
If a customer doesn’t like the idea of paying the non-cash fee, the most obvious choice is to simply remove it. Saltsha Primes makes it easy and fast. With the press of a button on your POS system, the fee is gone from the customer’s bill. Yes, you’ll still be on the hook for it, but it’s a small price to pay to avoid a scene and — with any luck — convince the customer that your business is worth coming back to next time.
Depending on your policy, you can also decide how you’ll invite them back next time. You can either say, “Next time you’re in, just remind us and we’ll happily wave the fee again” That could be a great way to entice them back to your store. You could also say, “Next time you’re in, remember that you can avoid the fee altogether if you bring cash.” (If you want them back, of course. While you certainly don’t want them bad-mouthing your business, you might not want them back if they also complained about the food and left no tip for your servers.)
Explain It To Them
Some customers simply don’t understand retail, especially if they’ve never worked in a public service job before. They look at a burrito and say, “There’s probably four cents of beans, six cents of salsa, and a dollar’s worth of meat. Why are they charging $6 for it?” They completely ignore all of the overhead, including leases, cost of refrigeration, employees (and their benefits), and everything else it takes to run a business. They forget that the convenience of you cooking for them also includes you making a living!
If a customer complains about the non-cash charge on the receipt, you can explain to them how you’re simply trying to reduce the cost of overhead and how this fee helps keep posted prices low. By distributing the costs among the customers, you’re actually able to make a profit instead of giving all of your money to the credit card company. Once again, we recommend posting the explanation of the non-cash charge so that the customer doesn’t feel like they’ve been blindsided. You can also let them know how they can avoid it in the future by paying cash.
If you’re in a high-turnover business, we understand if you don’t have time to explain the economics of running a restaurant to the customer. If so, it might just be better to waive the fee and wish them a good day. Goodwill beats arguing with them any day. And speaking of arguing…
We’ll admit, there’s a fine line between what we just suggested — “Explain It To Them” — and arguing. If you tell them the situation once and they get it, great! If they respond and you have the urge to explain it to them again…you’re probably arguing!
We’re not here to tell you how to run your business, but we doubt it will do you any good to argue with the customer regarding the processing fee. Sure, losing one customer probably isn’t a big deal. But the bad word-of-mouth could end up costing you a dozen more customers. Even worse, their bad review on Google Reviews or Top Rated Local could end up tanking the reputation you’ve worked so hard to build. They might even say, “they tacked hidden fees onto the check,” which can harm the public’s view of your business even if the non-cash charge was clearly posted.
Ready To Save Some Money?
As we’ve mentioned before, the bulk of customers either don’t care about or don’t notice the non-cash fees. And while they’re enjoying your product and not caring, you’re saving thousands of dollars in credit card processing fees. Click here to learn more about Saltsha Prime and what it can do for your business in Fort Worth or anywhere else in Texas.