Training your staff to use card machines at Christmas

Small Business Advice 20 December 2010

Without going into how to use the various different types of card machine out there on the market today, there are many other ways in which you can train your staff to use the card machine; and these ways are arguably more important than knowing how to switch the machine on.

Customer service is important

Christmas time is a particularly important time to train your staff to be good with the customers and this will ensure that you get repeat customers and also new business into the New Year.

Knowing how to talk to the customers is above all else the most important thing to master when it comes to customer service training. There are some pretty specific rules to follow when you are taking card payments from your customers in order to ensure they feel comfortable making payment.

Training to use the card machine

There are several things that customers are likely to be a little nervous about when paying for their goods and services via debit or credit card, and these insecurities and doubts are likely to be even worse around the Christmas period. Therefore, your staff needs to know a few basic rules when accepting a card payment:

Never take the payment card from the customer if you are using a Chip and PIN machine to accept payment. The cashier shouldn’t have to touch the card at all. Doing this gives the customer some peace of mind that they are not allowing anyone else to see their card details and numbers when they make a purchase.

Look away when the customer enters their PIN number. This is yet another way in which you can make a customer feel secure when they pay for their goods or services.

Try to give the customer a little privacy from others when making their payment. You can sometimes do this by having a post telling people where to queue. This way you can ask customers to come forward to pay when your previous customer has finished. Remember that your customers also have insecurities about others seeing their PIN number and card details just as much as you and your staff.

Give your customers time to make their payment with the card machine. Some people are slower than others and for some the whole idea of putting a card in a machine to pay for their goods and services is still a very new thing. Be patient and do not rush the customer, reassure them where appropriate.

Do not embarrass the customer if payment is rejected. Discretely offer them another chance to enter their PIN number if this is the problem. If this fails then reassure them that it could quite easily be a bank error and they should perhaps consider paying with a different card or method. If this is not an option then advise them to call their bank or visit the branch to sort out the problem. Remember to be quiet and calm about the whole thing. The customer knows that they cannot leave your premises without paying for their goods so it will be quite unnecessary to remind them.

It’s not too late to accept cards before Christmas

It’s not too late to get set up for card payments before the major Christmas rush either. If you check the various payment processors out there and see how long they take you may be pleasantly surprised that it’s possible to be up and running in less than a week! Don’t waste your time with those who take longer, as you need to remember that not everyone likes to do their Christmas shopping last minute!

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