How to Handle a Customer’s Declined Credit Card

Yesterday I presented a keynote for Progressive Business. My aim was to position customer service professionals to go out of their way to make customers feel good. During the Q & A an attendee asked:

 “How to do you handle a declined credit card and still make the customer feel good?”

I explained to the attendee, and the entire audience, that in this situation you want to go out of your way to make the customer feel good and comfortable.  A declined credit card is awkward for you and embarrassing for them, but if you go out of your way to put the customer at ease, you can make the absolute best of this challenging situation. I encouraged my attendee to say something like, “I swiped your card, but I’m sorry, it didn’t go through. Do you happen to have another form of payment you’d like to use?” I cautioned that her tone needed to be discrete, positive, and warm.

After my keynote, I found a YouTube video that is a great response to the “How do you handle a declined credit card” question. If you deal with credit cards from customers, you may find this helpful.

Getting a “declined” message back on a customer’s credit card is awkward for you and embarrassing for the customer. But your discrete, positive, and warm response will leave the customer feeling good and comfortable.

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