TABLE OF CONTENTS
So you’re ready to jump into the $2.5 trillion IT tank with the other tech support sharks and swim? Have you decided to target the business sector or direct to consumer? The infrastructure and processes for these targets are different and require specific attention to remain effective. Because the industry changes so frequently and is growing so quickly, there would not be much time to start, grow, and scale your tech support business efficiently if you are being pulled in multiple directions. So, step one is to answer the original two questions. Step two is understanding the nuances of B2B or B2C tech support services. Then, step three is finding a way to secure a high risk merchant account so that you can provide credit card processing for your customers. Additionally, it’s important to consider whether your business should support B2B payment processing.
Step One: Finding Your Niche in Tech Support
To answer the questions above, you may need to better understand what B2B and B2C means.
What is B2B?
Business to business (B2B) means that your tech support company works with other businesses as clients. If you sell your products or services to another business, you fall into the B2B category. For new tech support business startups this may be the easier road to take. Business usually know what type and scale of support they need. Less guess work, but it may take you longer to become established
What is B2C?
Business to consumer (B2C) means that your tech support company works with individuals as your clients. If you sell your products or services to individuals, you fall into the B2C category. This platform is more of a gamble, dealing with a myriad of customer issues and much more competition. But, being able to solve a problem that tons of people deal with on a daily basis could be more fulfilling as a business owner.
Step Two: B2B and B2C Tech Support Differences
The basic principles of providing tech support services is the same for B2B and B2C. A problem arises and you are contacted to fix it. However, with larger clients come more complex issues. Outlined below are the differences between tech support services for B2B and B2C.
- More Complex – An issue that a company is experiencing usually doesn’t have a simple answer. B2B issues have a much lower First Contact Resolution (FCR) than for B2C issues. This usually means that contacting their tech support is a last resort, they have exhausted all other attempts at resolution, and the issue is more complex in nature.
- Larger Clients – B2B companies have issues with larger monetary implications than typical B2C clients. A server down could mean thousands, or hundreds of thousands, of losses. Whereas if a customer is dissatisfied, you may lose out on hundreds of dollars or less.
- Continued Relationships – Businesses tend to start and continue relationships with contacts in the tech support industry because of the familiarity and trust built in the initial resolution of a problem. In B2C relationships, the contact ends after the issue is fixed with no intent to keep it.
- Multiple Contacts – B2C interaction is by definition conducted with a single person. One person is having issues and is reaching out about it. This happens much less often in B2B interactions. Multiple people may be dealing with the same issues or one issue may be affecting others along the line indirectly.
- Smarter CRM – In B2B support, keeping up-to-date ticketing and customer info is much more important than with direct to consumer sales. Duplicate tickets are a big issue because multiple people may be working on the same project without knowing creating unnecessary confusion and wasting time. Being able to reference previous ticket issues is another function that is imperative for B2B. These functionalities are not always included in basic tech support CRM’s, but should be when dealing with B2B business.
- Less Complex – The FCR target for B2C issues should stay around 74%. Of course, there will be times when an issue cannot be fixed on the first contact, but in this case it is much less likely.
- Smaller Clients – You will be dealing with issues on a much smaller scale, with much smaller implications most of the time. The projected losses from a B2C issue is commonly in the hundred of dollars, if that.
- Isolated Relationships – Once the issue is handled, contact is ended. And if everything goes according to plan, it will be a long time before that person encounters another issue.
- Single Contacts – There is only one point of contact in B2C tech support issues.
- Basic CRM – You don’t need to have best-of-the-best software to track every piece of customer information, because more often than not, once the fix is done, you won’t hear from the customer again.
Step Three: Tech Support Credit Card Processing
The job of an accepting bank is to measure the risk of the business and provide financial backing based on that measurement. Risks are measured according to personal financial history, the business’ financial history, and the business’ industry type. In this case, a new tech support business startup in the industry scores relatively high on the risk factor scale. Chargebacks and fraud have marred the industry and put a bad light on businesses operating in it.
Even if you have spotless credit and a year’s worth of financial history, you will still need to look for a high risk merchant account for tech support to get you credit card processing. Processors of this type are equipped to handle accounts of this type and provide risk mitigation tools to ensure the success of your business as you continue to grow.
What You’ll Need
To begin the application process for a B2B or B2C tech support high risk merchant account, make sure to have the following things on hand:
- ID/ Driver’s License
- Bank Letter -or-Voided Check
Having these items ready before you apply will make your approval time much faster. The majority of the waiting is on the side of the acquiring bank and going back and forth sending documents is unnecessary.