January 7, 2011

Shift4: Founded on World-Class Customer Support

In the late 1980s, the Shift4 founders were running a successful accounting software business in Southern California when a long-time customer approached them with an issue: she needed a way to integrate her front-of-house credit card system with her back-office accounting program.

Dedicated to providing stellar service and never prone to shy away from a challenge, the founders decided to take on the integration, and in the process found themselves on the cutting edge of a new discipline – online payment processing. They continued to hone the technology and a few years later left the old company to incorporate as Shift4.

With that kind of a corporate genesis, it was immediately evident that Shift4 would take customer satisfaction very seriously – and we still do. Shift4 Customer Support representatives are available to support you 24/7/365. And with us, you’ll never get outsourced to some call center in Timbuktu – every Shift4 support call is answered by a Las Vegas-based Shift4 employee that is trained to support DOLLARS ON THE NET®, IT’S YOUR CARD®, and the Universal Transaction Gateway®. With that in mind, we would like to share with you a little bit about our Customer Service department – their practices, expertise, and the services they provide to Shift4 customers.

By contractual agreement, Shift4’s support staff provides “Operational Support for ASP Service.” Technically that means Shift4 service reps are to diagnose the problem sufficiently to determine where the responsibility lies. Just as a stool requires three solid legs to stand level, electronic payment processing requires coordination between numerous organizations (all of which must be functioning correctly) in order to be effective.

As this coordination is 100% necessary, Shift4 support staff may require that multiple third parties (Merchant Banks, Processors, POS/PMS, Internet Service Providers, etc.) be available for troubleshooting. If the issue is found to be something within Shift4’s control, it is resolved as quickly as possible, in accordance with our clearly defined escalations policy. Tier 2 and 3 Technical Services Representatives are available to assist Customer Support staff when necessary. Supervisors, managers, and even executives are also on call 24/7 to resolve issues as needed.

In addition to these onsite and on-call resources, the Customer Service Management Team holds weekly meetings with the founders and members of the development staff to address any unresolved (open) cases and discuss our customers’ concerns, issues, and suggestions. We have even been known to make back-end code changes to relieve our customers’ networking, compliance, processor connectivity, and/or security issues as an outcome of these meetings. This is the beautiful aspect of an ASP or SaaS system – most changes can be facilitated without impacting the merchant. The solution is constantly improving.

If the issue is not with Shift4’s solution, our mandate to assist goes no further than to refer the client to the responsible party. In practice, though, our support process is often quite different. You see, Shift4 Customer Service has a mantra: “if transactions aren’t flowing, keep going.” Meaning, if the flow of transactions is interrupted, we keep working on the problem until the flow is restored. Not only is this the best way to ensure world-class service, it’s also the way we stay profitable.

With that in mind, our support staff is empowered to assist customers so far as they feel confidently capable to do so. We regularly assist with resubmitting customers’ batches that suspend due to processor unavailability at time of settlement, we perform re-installations of the UTG to ensure continuous transaction processing, we perform quality control steps to ensure that our customers are set up by their Merchant Services Provider correctly, and assist in identifying downgrades if they occur. We act as our merchants’ advocate with the POS/PMS companies as well as the Merchant Services Providers to explain issues so that our customers do not have to be experts in electronic payments. We happily do all this and more – even though we are under no obligation to do so.

Unfortunately, at times problems may fall outside of our control, leaving us (and you, our clients) waiting on a response or repair from a third-party organization. In these situations, Shift4 (being merchant-centric) often acts in a supportive or hand-holding role with third-parties in order to help facilitate getting a merchant back up and running as soon as possible. We are happy to be kept in the loop, but ask for your understanding that we can’t control other companies’ response times. (Trust us, we wish we could!).

We are proudly merchant-centric and are dedicated to providing you with quality service. If at any time you are in need of assistance, please contact us at 1.702.597.2480, Option 2. Non-urgent questions can be e-mailed to [email protected].