Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to think about many things we haven’t before. We’ve learned that wearing face coverings can help to slow the spread of disease, the risk of transmitting disease is lower out in the fresh air, and that hand sanitizer is only effective if it contains at least 60% alcohol. We’ve also learned a lot about the importance of being flexible.
All of us have experienced different scenarios throughout the pandemic that have required flexibility, such as reducing the size of a wedding, visiting a loved one through an open window, or even changing vacation plans.
Changing plans and the ways we connect in our personal lives is difficult, but we’ve learned to adapt.
However, many small business owners have not had that luxury. The sudden need to change everything about the way they do business is completely overwhelming. The truly unfortunate reality is that some businesses will not survive this socioeconomic crisis.
To get their business through the pandemic, merchants need help, guidance, and support. In this post, we’ll share some things you can do as an Agent to give your merchants exactly what they need right now.
How to Help Your Merchants through COVID-19
If you’ve worked as an EMS Agent for a while, you may already consider yourself an expert on merchant services and payment processing. That’s a great start! However, now, you must add a few more things to your knowledge base if you are going to help merchants through to the end of the pandemic.
Here’s how to get started:
1. Stay Informed of the Current Public Health Requirements for Your State
First, you’ll need to become an expert on current public health and safety restrictions, requirements, and suggestions for your state. You should be able to access a detailed list of these on your state’s department of health website. Let’s look at the state of Ohio as an example.
The Ohio Department of Health has been following a “Responsible Restart Ohio” plan since the summer of 2020. Under this plan, some business types were required to remain closed while others were permitted to reopen, provided they adhere to specific health and safety rules. Currently, almost all business types have been permitted to reopen under the latest health and safety regulations.
The list of rules can be found here, broken down by specific business sector. Be sure to check back often to review these for your merchant's business type, as they are regularly updated while the overall plan progresses and new COVID information becomes available. By staying in tune with these requirements for your state, you position yourself as a valuable resource for merchants in a time of confusion and fear.
2. Emphasize the Importance of Contactless Payments
Even before this pandemic, consumers were craving a seamless, simple, or even invisible payment experience. Now that many stores and restaurants are changing the ways they do business in response to the virus, flexible payment solutions are more important than ever. In fact, making sure your merchant’s business is equipped with the right payment solution for their customers and the current situation can help them survive today, and thrive tomorrow.
A great option for many of the businesses you serve is a contactless payment solution. Leading with contactless payment options when calling a merchant during this time is wise for a couple of reasons.
First, it shows that you are paying attention to the needs of the industry.
Second, it shows that you are considering the health and well-being of both the merchant’s team and their customers.
If you haven’t sold a contactless payment solution in a while, be sure to brush up on its benefits and hardware and software requirements.
3. Offer Socially Distant Solutions
There are plenty of other socially distant solutions available to help your merchants safely serve their customers. During this time, bring these options to the forefront of your sales strategy. By doing so, you show that you are also willing to adapt and make changes to your business during this pandemic.
As a reminder, here are some of the top solutions EMS offers for serving customers from a distance:
For many, shopping looks different now than it did last year. Your merchants need to meet their customers where they are, and right now – they’re online. So, encourage them to invest in an eCommerce solution now to help them weather the COVID-19 storm, and emerge a stronger business when it’s over.
Online Menus and Ordering
For health and safety reasons, many shoppers and diners are choosing to order online for delivery or pickup. Your merchants can equip their website with online menus and ordering capabilities to offer customers a simple, speedy ordering experience. Click here to learn more.
Mobile Payment Acceptance
Empower your merchants to simplify the payment process when completing a curbside pickup or delivery order. A mobile payment acceptance solution gives their mobile device the power to accept payments anytime, anywhere. Click here to learn more about the mobile solutions we offer.
Make recurring payments a breeze for your merchants and their customers. A virtual terminal offers set-and-forget payment options to keep revenue flowing. Click here to learn more about our virtual terminal solutions.
To review, here's how to become the expert your merchants need right now:
1. Complete plenty of research.
2. Adapt your sales strategy.
3. Try to see the current situation from your merchant’s perspective.
Take time to reach out just to see how they’re doing, and if there is anything you can do to help. This will not only be good for your relationship, but it also helps you help them. If we all put people first, we’ll get through this together.
For more social distance friendly selling tips, check out these posts:
Source: Green Sheet