Do you have a military credit card? If so, congratulations—you’re in good company! According to the Department of Defense, over 10 million service members and their families have access to a military credit card. But how does that translate into good customer service for your cardmember? What will they gain from having access to a military credit card? Do you need to worry about your customers using your cards as leverage against you or doing business with you only when it’s convenient for them? Let’s take a look at some best practices for managing your customer’s military credit cards and how you can keep them happy.
Be Clear About Your Process and Why You’re Doing It
When you’re managing a military credit card, you’ll likely have customers who are veterans, active duty military personnel, or former members of the military. These people often have specific needs that are unique to the process of acquiring and using a credit card, and it may not be worth trying to cater to those different needs. If a customer has a specific question about your credit card, make it clear in the FAQs or another helpful brochure you’ve printed that you have a few choice answers. You don’t have to be a military expert to know that veterans and active duty personnel often have unique questions and needs. Make it clear that you have a few different answers for those different types of customers. You can also read more about credit cards for veterans on American Women Veterans website. They have a list of some of the best credit cards you can get as a veteran. Check it out.
Be Clear About Fees
The most common fee on a military credit card is the annual fee, which is usually waived for active duty personnel. It’s important to be clear about the annual fee and how it relates to active duty personnel and veterans. Are there other fees that your customers may not be aware of? Is there an additional fee if you want to increase the amount of money they can spend on their card? If you’re offering a military credit card, it’s likely that your customers will use their cards frequently to purchase things they normally wouldn’t be able to afford. Having an understanding of all fees that may apply at the time of application is helpful so you can communicate them clearly and consistently with your customers.
Be Consistent in Your Communication
Military credit cards are often different than regular credit cards, so if you’re going to offer one, make sure you have a consistent communication plan for your customers. Different military cards have different terms and conditions, but if you ask customers who have access to military credit cards—active duty members or veterans—what they like/dislike about them, most will say consistency is important. Customers want to know what they can expect when they apply for a military card: Do they need to fill out more paperwork? Are there different application deadlines depending on their status in the military? What kind of benefits do they get? Be clear about what your customers can expect when applying for a military credit card.
Be Clear about Benefits
Although it’s not required, most military credit cards offer benefits that are similar to other credit cards. You can offer rewards programs, such as airline miles, hotel points and cash back. Some military credit cards have a sign-up bonus, which is a guaranteed reward that’s given to new customers after they spend a certain amount of money within the first three months. There are also other benefits that can be offered to active duty members or veterans: They may get double points on gas purchases, or they may get an extra $100 if they spend $5,000 in the first year of their card. If you’re offering a military credit card and you’re new to this market, ask your customers what kind of benefits would be helpful for them and make sure you offer those kinds of benefits when you’re offering your military cards.
Be Direct and to the Point
If you’re asking a customer to pay you back in full, it’s not a good look. Be direct and to the point about why you’re doing something and what the final payment should be. This will put your customer at ease and help them feel less nervous about the entire process. Similarly, if you ask a customer to pay you in exchange for a service, be direct about what service you want and what the final payment should be. If a customer asks you for a discount in exchange for their business, state what the final payment should be and be prepared for a tough conversation. Be clear about what information you want and why.
Make Your Service Accessible by Dealing with Clients via Video calls
If your customers are military or veterans, they’re likely going to prefer telephone banking over the internet. In that case, you may wish to consider offering video support to make the process of opening an account, applying for a card, and closing a loan smoother and less time-consuming. Depending on your customers’ expectations and the level of video support you decide to offer, you may be able to offer a smoother experience and make your customers’ experience with you more positive overall. When a customer calls you, be sure to answer the phone and help the customer as quickly as possible. Be especially mindful of how long you stay on the line with a customer and how fast you hang up the phone. Keeping the conversation going as long as possible will help your customer feel more comfortable and at ease with the whole process.
Have A Customer Service Team on Call For Issues and Summaries
When a customer has an issue, be sure to get it straight to the point. Don’t waist your customer’s time with unproductive questions and answers that will just confuse the issue further. If a customer’s issue is complex or has multiple parts to it, break it down into digestible pieces so that you can cover each question or concern and feel better about dispatching the issue to the right person. Also, have a basic outline of what your customer service representatives do so they know who to contact if they have a question. When a customer has a problem, it’s often because they didn’t cover all the pieces of the issue with their initial call. You don’t have to be a genius to do this—most problems have multiple parts and can be broken down into digestible pieces.
Offer Discounts to Existing Cardholders and Rewards for new Cardmembers
Rewards programs are a great way to offer new cardholders a discount on their first purchase and a chance to win a great prize. While airline miles and hotel loyalty points are often valuable, points tied to specific products work best when redeeming for that specific product. When you offer a rewards program, be sure to clearly mark which cards are participating in the program and which are not. When a customer first calls and asks about the card, mark which cards they have access to and which they don’t. This will help avoid confusion and keep your customers happy.
Consider Offering Travel Protection, Warranty Extensions, And Reverse Mortgages
Travel protection, warranty extensions, and reverse mortgages are all valid examples of offering benefits to existing cardholders. Travel protection refers to coverage you provide for customers who travel abroad. A warranty extension refers to a time when a customer’s card is due for a repair or update and you issue your customer a warranty extension card and cover the repair or update fee. A reverse mortgage is when a customer makes a payment on their card and then has the option to have their loan paid off in exchange for a higher interest rate.
When you manage a military credit card, you’ll likely have customers who are veterans, active duty military personnel, or former members of the military. These people often have specific needs that are unique to the process of acquiring and using a credit card, and it may not be worth trying to cater to those different needs. If a customer has a specific question about your credit card, make it clear in the FAQs or another helpful brochure you’ve printed that you have a few choice answers. You don’t have to be a military expert to know that veterans and active duty personnel often have unique questions and needs. Make it clear that you have a few different answers for those different types of customers.
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