Of Product Payment Process

So much we take for granted that when something is amiss it’s like a slap in the face!

Recently I was out shopping for a couple of gifts. At one particular store, the display was so well laid out that it felt like an Aladdin’s cave glittering with trinkets and ‘nice-to-have’ items. The salesmen oozed charm and knew a lot about the products they sell. They presented themselves well, in casual but sleek outfits and perfectly coiffed hair, spoke clearly and in a good pitch, kept eye contact and moved to help me like there was no other care in the world. I was even offered espresso (or maybe water) and I had been in the shop for less than 5 minutes. I did find what I was looking for and  once wrapped in exquisite packages, there was nothing left to be desired!

There was one crux – they did not accept credit or debit card!!

Imagine my surprise, when I heard “either cash or cheque”!

That was such a blow. I did not have a cheque book so I needed to walk back to the car, drive to an ATM and return back to the shop and once again find parking space – no mean feat in traffic-clogged Malta at 11.30 in the morning. Such a waste of time and energy!

I have always believed that the process or processes (including product payment process) surrounding and facilitating the acquisition of a product should be planned out in a way which are easy to understand and implement. They also need to be as user-friendly as possible. This might be coming from my background of system analysis and business-process-reengineering but having efficient and customer-centric services and processes is also a fundamental issue in marketing. I thus wonder why people who have clearly thought out about so many details and layers of their product offering leave out something like ‘payment via card’!  In today’s world, where convenience is key, I have taken payment by card as part of the basic product.

Espresso?!!! I’d rather be allowed to pay by credit card.

Would you like Payment by Card or an Espresso?
In today’s world, we are delighted when we are engaged in exceptional service encounters. What feeling is solicited when we find that expectations like ‘payment by card’ are not available? Would you still enjoy the espresso?