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How Gift Cards Drive Business

How Gift Cards Drive Business

If you aren’t offering gift cards to your customers, you’re missing out on a great way to attract new business. If you’re already offering paper-based gift certificates, you really should upgrade to plastic gift cards, as they have more perceived value.

There are a variety of reasons why gift cards are great for business:

Additional spending. Studies show that when consumers have a gift card, they often will go into the store and spend more than the amount of the card. That’s business you likely never would have received otherwise. Even better, if the consumer chooses to visit twice or three times in order to exhaust their gift card, that’s more opportunities for upselling!

Improved cash flow. Gift cards are a great way to stream cash into your business without having to immediately exchange goods and services for it. This cash can help you upgrade your business, or simply earn interest. Also keep in mind that many consumers forget they have the gift cards, so they may never redeem them. Or they’ll partially redeem them and forget to close them out. Obviously, that’s not a positive outcome for the consumer, but bear it in mind that you could occasionally be getting free money with unredeemed gift cards.

It’s very effective advertising/marketing. Just think, someone is giving a valuable card emblazoned with your logo to a consumer who may never have visited or been aware of your business before. So think of your gift cards being great marketing tools to expand your customer base. Blow them away with your retail experience and you may create new customers for life!

You can use them in direct mailers. What’s more compelling than a coupon? A gift card, of course. Even $5 or $10 gift cards could encourage consumers to go out of their way to enter your store. And once they do, who knows how much they’ll ultimately spend?

At Meridian, we offer a variety of gift card programs that can strengthen your bottom line. We’ll craft a solution that is perfect for your business. Give us a call at 334.422.9333, email us at sales@meridianmerchant.com, or fill out this handy contact form. Let’s see what’s the right fit for your business.

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How Businesses Should Deal with Chargebacks

How Businesses Should Deal with Chargebacks

Chargebacks. They’re an unfortunate circumstance. For one, you might have an unhappy customer that you need to take care of. But just as bad is the money that just fell out of your pocket in the form of not only a lost sale but extra fees.

Why do they happen? A variety of reasons, as you probably know. Identity theft. Improper order fulfillment. Customer dissatisfaction. Incorrect or duplicate charges.

Fortunately, there are a number of steps you can take to reduce chargebacks.

Make your identity clear. People often forget making purchases on their credit cards. When they get their monthly bill, they may be suspicious of business names they don’t recognize. Make sure your payment descriptor matches your company’s name as much as possible.

Be deliberate. We all know that paying with a credit card implies that it will be a speedy process for the customer, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be careful. Check the expiration date. Enter the security code. Check to see if the signature on the back of the card matches that on the receipt. And if there’s no signature on the back, ask to see ID before you process.

Don’t put it off. If you are alerted to a dispute, try to address it with the customer as quickly as possible. To do this properly, invest the time in making sure you are offering outstanding customer service, as the disgruntled customer will likely appreciate it. You might be able to resolve the issue, save the sale, and not incur more fees.

Hang onto proof of the transaction. If your business isn’t keeping a physical or digital paper trail of each transaction, you’ll have nothing to fall back on during a chargeback scenario.

At Meridian, we’re always happy to talk with businesses about how you can reduce and handle chargebacks. Just contact us and we’ll be happy to share advice.