APS Approach – Follow ups, flags & reminders
- Taking lead on an item – If you are able to assist on an item that comes in via email or phone, we like to refer to it as “your baby.” We always want to follow through with the item from beginning to end, to ensure that all appropriate measures have been taken during the process of assisting to ensure the item is completed. Follow ups with the merchant’s processor(s), APS partners/Software Vendors & APS Departments internally will help to confirm that the item is completed across all teams & systems. After we have confirmed completion with the above mentioned, we then want to follow up with the merchant and/or the merchant’s sales rep to let them know that the item is complete.
- Flagging and email – Once an email is received from a merchant or a merchant’s sales rep, and you have replied to “ALL” that you are taking lead on the item, you will want to “flag” the email. By doing so, the email is added to your To Do List in Outlook. This will help to ensure that the item doesn’t get lost and you can find it easily if you move it out of your inbox. You may also set a reminder with the flag, to remind you to follow up on the item at a later date/time. Some items will take more than a couple days to be completed, so this step is important to help you keep it on your radar.
- Following up – As mentioned above, we always want to follow up with all appropriate parties to confirm the item has been completed. If you have sent an email to have any changes made to a merchant account, or have requested an item on the merchant’s behalf, you will want to set a reminder on the email to follow up after 2 business days if you have not heard back. After sending a follow up email to confirm completion and you don’t receive a reply after 1 business day, you will then want to call the party you sent the email to, to try to reach them. We need to hear back from all parties involved before reaching out to the merchant or the merchant’s sale rep to let them know it’s complete. We do also want to inform the merchant that the request may take up to 10 business days for completion in extreme cases such as a new merchant account application submitted, 5-10 business days for an Account Closure, and 3-5 days for any merchant account changes. This is stated on the APS change forms that they must fill out and sign prior to us being able to make any changes.
- Setting reminders – There are 2 different ways that we can set a reminder in Outlook:
- By setting the reminder with a flag on the actual email
- By going to your Outlook Calendar and putting the reminder on your calendar for a future date/time, and attach the email to the reminder.
Using either of these methods will help to keep the item on your radar.
- Weekly review of open items and updating action/priority – At every week’s end (Friday), it’s always a good practice to go through any open items you have for that week to perform any final follow ups needed. If you started working on the item that Monday-Wednesday and it is not a new merchant account application or an account closure, trying to get the item closed out before end of day each Friday will help to keep smaller items off of your To Do List. If the item cannot be completed by that Friday for any reason, re-set your reminder to the following Monday for follow up.
- Important Reminders –
- As we are handling items via email, you will always want to keep all communication separated between the merchant and/or the merchant’s rep and the APS Team, their processors, software vendors, etc. In other words…remove the merchant and/or the merchant’s rep from any email chains while you are handling the item, and then go back to the original email and confirm completion with them.
- If you are working with a merchant and for whatever reason they become irate, cussing, threatening, hang up on you, etc …do your very best to remain calm and assure them that you are doing everything you can to assist them and try to calm them down. If they continue to speak irately towards you, you will want to immediately bring this to Jennifer’s attention so that she can assess the situation. At APS we do our very best to serve all of our client’s needs in a timely manner but sometimes they are in a rush to get things done. Even if we have completed the item on our end, we are at the mercy of their processor(s), software vendors, etc. to complete things on their side and sometimes they do takes longer.