Opinion Series

Opinion series: Sara Sabbagh on why customer service is key to business success

August 23, 2021

The opinion series aims to share knowledge, provoke debate and stimulate thought and conversation about relevant industry topics. The blogs reflect a range of perspectives from our team here at Pomelo Pay.

Customer Service is an integral part of a business, and there are many ways to ensure that you deliver a service that creates the perfect experience to keep customers happy and engaged. Business leaders who focus on the quality of their service often see maximised customer lifetime value. We spoke with Sara Sabbagh, Head of Partnerships and Customer Success at Pomelo Pay, to discuss the importance of customer service and why it is key to business success.

Hi Sara, welcome to the opinion series. We’re looking forward to finding out why customer service is key to business success. What does your job consist of on a daily basis?

Thanks for having me! Most of my day is spent talking to business owners, which is good because I really like to chat. I am able to get to know all of the businesses and look for opportunities to find more value for them. I talk to potential customers about their processing needs and get them through the onboarding process, set up demos for merchants and run through how to use our technology for their business, whether that is face-to-face or just on their website.

What does a typical customer buying process look like?

Usually, a customer has already downloaded the app or has spent some time on the website and may have a few questions just before signing up. I need to make sure that it is a qualified business, so our license then means we can onboard that business and make sure that we are compliant. As financial services, we have to make sure that we follow the rules.

I speak with the business to understand their needs, and once on board, I set up a demo based on this. At this point, the merchant should have a good overview of our services and what to do but our Customer Success team is on hand to help as and when needed.

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Why is customer service important?

It’s a customers first impression of a business, so the way that you treat customers and help them impacts the brand you are representing. Great customer service keeps customers loyal and builds trust. Bad customer service harbours distrust and high turnover which can be very harmful to a business, not to mention the long lasting effects bad reviews can have!

Absolutely. So, what makes for a great customer experience?

A lot!

With great customer service comes word of mouth and loyalty, so it’s important to get it right. That means making sure customers are not only treated respectfully but are happy with your services/products, understanding the wants and needs of businesses you work with and exceeding their expectations. I’d say feedback is a big one - taking the time to listen to your customers is valuable and as innovators, we can improve our products and services based on that feedback.

What would you say are 3 key elements to good customer service?

Approachability, efficiency and effectiveness. Your customers should feel confident contacting you, and you should be able to action what has been said in a timely and satisfactory way. It's important to find a solution to any problem a customer brings so they walk away happy.

What do you think is the main reason for customer push back?

I think the onboarding process is the biggest contributor to customer push back. There is a lot of competition out there and I think it’s quite confusing for merchants, for example if you type ‘accept card payments’ into Google and you’ll get a bunch of companies with different prices, options, packages, services. This understandably makes it overwhelming when trying to find the right payments provider and sign up with them. Because of this, it’s important that we make our onboarding process as seamless and easy as possible for merchants.

And do you think that the prices of hardware and contracts that come with that contribute to this push back also?

Yes, definitely. Businesses might find themselves in a situation where they are spending money on expensive hardware or locked into long-term contracts that cause extra hesitation. That’s why we’re trying to move away from card machines, introduce more approachable solutions like QR codes, soon to be released Tap to Pay, and there’s no contracts - just a flat rate of 1.49% per transaction.

With the help of our Customer Success department, we can help merchants by identifying pain points, and it’s up to us to guide businesses through these changes with solutions rather than complicated hardware.

Solutions like QR Codes and Tap to Pay eliminate the need for hardware and contracts

What do you enjoy the most about working in Customer Service?

Businesses have been hard hit by the pandemic and we’re seeing more and more people transact again - it’s good to see businesses bounce back and help to get them up and running again. It’s been amazing to see the British business ecosystem putting itself back together. I get to be a witness to that and find ways to help them do that, it’s quite special.

Personally, I enjoy going that extra mile when it comes to our customers so that I can leave a lasting impression. It’s important for businesses to remember the experience they’ve had with you.

What is the best way for customers to give feedback to you?

Our team is always on hand for an email or phone call. We do have some really good relationships with our merchants and we are able to highlight this with case studies through our spotlight series.

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What makes Pomelo’s Customer Service team stand out from the competition?

At Pomelo, we are very customer centric and we pride ourselves on the support we are able to give businesses. We build solutions our customers love, and our team is focused to make sure we’re here for them along the way. We’re committed to our merchants and want them to know that we care about their business, which is why there’s always someone available to speak to.

What channels does the Customer Service team have open for people to get in touch?

There are a variety of ways that customers can get in contact with the team at Pomelo, depending on what platform they wish to use. We have live chats on the website where customers can ask any questions they have and someone from our team can help to give the best possible answer, along with emails and phone calls. We are very quick to respond to emails and voicemails and any voicemails are always replied to within 24 hours. Another point of contact would be our social media: Linkedin where you are able to connect with us and keep up-to-date with new releases we have.

About Pomelo Pay

Pomelo Pay is a hardware-free digital payments service provider, founded in 2017 by a team of financial services and tech specialists. As a principal member of Mastercard, regulated by the FCA, and with PCI at Level 1, it is a trusted partner of businesses, big and small, across the UK and Asia.

We help businesses by introducing multiple touch points for them to take payments on the go, in person, remotely,online, and through a payment gateway. Click below to find out how your business can benefit from digital payments by speaking with our Sales Team.