Custom Service 101—How to Deal With Declined Cards Without Upsetting Your Customers

Dealing with Declined Cards

Custom Service 101—How to Deal With Declined Cards Without Upsetting Your Customers


With the summer heat bearing down on us, patience is thin and tempers are short. We all know the holiday shopping is often a customer service nightmare, but the hottest days of the year are also prime time for tense and angry customers. As you and your teamwork through these dog days of summer, you will face even more customer relations challenges. While you will face everything from the “Nothing You Can Do Will Make ME Happy!” customer to the “Why Are You Not a Mind Reader?” customer, one inevitable situation will challenge you and your employees like no other: Dealing with Declined Cards Customer. And when you accept credit cards, this will inevitably happen.

Handling Declined Cards with Tact and Compassion

Let’s face it…no one ever wants to be in the position to have their credit or debit card declined.  Whatever the circumstances, a declined card is an embarrassing situation. How you or your employees handle this situation, however, can either escalate the customer’s frustrations or leave them feeling grateful for your tact and compassion. In order to prepare for this situation, it is essential to ensure that your employees undergo comprehensive training on the credit processing solutions and technology you have implemented. Frequently, customers express doubt about their declined cards and may initially question whether the employee processed the transaction correctly. Your team should be capable of demonstrating and explaining to the customer how they can confirm that the card was genuinely declined. Employees who seem unsure only further incite these frustrated customers.

Guidelines for Handling Declined Cards

Most importantly, your business needs guidelines on how to handle these situations. For example, address the customer quietly and discreetly, without making it seem like a big deal. Next, ask for other payment options to salvage the transaction. Third, some customers feel the need to resolve the issue immediately, and will hop on their cell phones to their banks. If this happens, employees need to know how to suspend the transaction, and politely direct the customer to another area so other customers can be helped. If a customer becomes irate, your employees should have guidelines on what to do next. Finally, know what to do if the customer has to walk out empty-handed. Most embarrassed customers want to make a quick exit at this point, so offering to put up the merchandise is a good way to show that you value their business no matter the circumstances.

AVPS: Your Partner in Payment Solutions

Remember, as your trusty provider of premium merchant account solutions, AVPS is here to help you get through this tough season. Let us know how we can help make your credit card processing work for your business.