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February 13, 2019

How to Retain More Merchants as an ISO Agent

Cole Godsey

Written by:

Cole Godsey

How to Retain More Merchants as an ISO Agent

As an ISO Agent, you know how important it is to retain your current merchants.

Losing merchants is costly and can be harmful to your business, because your merchants provide you with residual income and referrals. When one drops from your portfolio, you lose that source of income and must find new opportunities to replace them. That also means an increase in expenses for advertising, travel, and more to attract new merchants. According to Womply Insights, you’ll need to find three new merchants to cover the expenses for each one that is lost.

Even if you offer the best experience possible for each merchant in your portfolio, unfortunately about 21 percent will change Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs) or Acquirers each year.

How can you retain your merchants for the long-term? There are plenty of tactics you can use to keep merchants in your portfolio, like these seven from HubSpot:

  1. Lean into your best customers.
  2. Be proactive with communication.
  3. Define a roadmap for your new customers.
  4. Offer incentives.
  5. Ask for feedback often.
  6. Analyze churn when it happens.
  7. Stay competitive.

Keep reading for three ways to retain merchants, improve your reputation, and keep your business profitable.


Be Transparent and Demonstrate Value

Merchants want to partner with businesses they can trust. They also want to know what they’re paying for, as anyone should. Be completely transparent in your communication with each merchant and reach out often. Even if nothing is wrong and you aren’t trying to make a sale, just call a merchant to see how things are going. These little touches show a merchant that you care about their business and that you are a partner they can trust.

Don’t just tell them how working together could positively impact their bottom line - show them. Your merchants care about transparency and trust, but they also care about getting a good value for their money. Plus, if they can realize this value and continually see a positive return on their investment, they will be more likely to continue the partnership.

Some of the specific metrics your merchants care about include transaction volume, system speed, security, and cost per transaction. Be sure to include information and updates on these as you are working to make a sale or encourage an upgrade.

Most importantly, remember to always listen carefully to your merchants and try to assist them in any way you can. After all, you’re partners! Their success is your success.


Offer High-Quality Customer Support

To stay competitive, you must provide the best possible customer support. That means partnering with an ISO who also provides top-notch support for you and your merchants.

You can’t build trust with a merchant if the ISO you are partnered with is plagued by negative reviews and complaints. Those negative reviews can instantly undermine all the hard work you have done and tarnish the positive reputation you have built.

Make sure your ISO has plenty of happy merchants and offers 24/7/365 live customer support. This will go a long way towards keeping your merchants happy and encouraging them to continue your partnership.


Know Your Industry and Differentiate Yourself

Your merchants’ perception of you and the services you provide can be easily influenced by online reviews and word-of-mouth, but also by you. You’ll need an in-depth understanding of your business and industry to stay relevant and competitive.

If a merchant knows you’re offering them a high-quality, credible product or service, they are less likely to leave you for a competitor. One way to demonstrate your credibility is to review your merchants’ statements with them. Explain exactly what they’re paying for so you can analyze and remedy any inefficiencies. This valuable, attentive customer service improves your merchants’ experience and strengthens your credibility with them.

You have the power to retain more merchants as an ISO Agent.


Partner with the Right ISO

Are you looking for a new ISO partner with an excellent reputation and unmatched customer support team?

Electronic Merchant Systems is a leading provider of payment processing and merchant services. We currently maintain a 4.7-star rating on Google due to more than 900 reviews from happy merchants. We also have an OpenCompany designation and 4.0 rating on, and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. EMS considers these trust elements a valuable business asset that assures business owners they will receive the quality service and assistance they deserve.

Click below to contact us today and learn more about becoming an EMS Agent!

Get the Sales Support You Need


Sources: HubSpot, Boomtown

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