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Article on Square’s Customer Support: What Lesson Can Schools Learn?

If you’ve been investigating mobile card readers for use at your school’s fundraising or other events, you may have read a recent Los Angeles Times article about customer service complaints at Square:  As Square considers IPO, rancor from merchants is a trouble spot. Are these criticisms fair in light of current standards and, more importantly, how much should you take customer service into account when evaluating mobile card readers?

Mobile Card Readers Are a Great Tool for Schools

Let’s start with a basic truth – mobile card readers are a great tool ideally suited for many payment activities unique to schools: Live auctions, bake sales, equipment and spirit wear sales, etc.  They’re convenient, can avoid card-not-present fees, reduce paperwork and can even leverage impulse buying to increase donations or purchases at your school.

But Things Happen. There is, however, another basic truth: problems and questions will arise, even in the school environment.  People change their minds about purchases and charges may need to be reversed.  The new volunteer team for the live fundraising auction may have trouble understanding how to use the card readers one year and they may make mistakes. You’ll need to sort those out.

The problem with Square, according to thousands of complaints, is that they will only answer your questions via email or a live chat.  More often than not, that’s probably enough to solve the problem.

But it doesn’t solve the problem for some.  The customer profiled in the article, in fact, was so frustrated after several email exchanges failed to resolve her problem that she drove two hours to the company’s headquarters. Once there, she sat in the lobby waiting to talk to someone for another two hours. In the end, she never spoke with an actual person about her problem.

You Can and Should Limit Your Mobile Card Reader Options to Those that Provide Live, In-Person Support

So is electronic support enough for you and is it what you have to accept with all card readers? It certainly isn’t what you have to accept.

The article points out that Square is hardly alone in Silicon Valley in putting the onus on customers to understand and navigate through a set of online help tools. This keeps innovation cheap, the argument goes, which, in turn, helps free up resources to keep new technologies coming. 

But whether or not this is the industry norm or the Silicon Valley standard, the truth is that there are mobile card readers available from companies that do provide live, in-person support.

At Diamond Mind, for example, we’ve learned after ten years that when our clients have a problem, they don’t want to spend time typing it out or figuring out a process for reporting it.

As a business officer, you need to fix any problem as soon as possible.  Our clients want to pick up the phone, talk to a person and get started on a solution.  Accordingly, our on-call customer service team accepts your calls from 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM EST every weekday.  You don’t have to deal with a written response maze.

So yes, it’s both a fair and important criticism of a product if you won’t get the kind of customer support you prefer. As you examine your options for mobile card readers, keep the company’s customer service reputation high on your priority list.

Find out more about how Diamond Mind’s mobile card readers will allow you to process fast and easy payments anywhere at your school.