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This 34 message thread spans 2 pages: 34 ( [1] 2 > >     
Contacting customers with failed orders

 7:08 pm on May 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

If a customer places an order on a website but their payment method is refused, it is acceptable to contact them via email to either enquire if there was an issue or to offer them an alternate method of payment? Maybe offer them a gift voucher for having problems, for example?



 7:15 pm on May 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

I think the 1st thing to do is too work out how often the payment method you are not using is being refused and add it on the site as an option.

I would contact them by mail, it shows them there is customer service on the site and find out what/if there is a problem. All they can do is tell you to bugger off which is rare or more than likely ignore the mail.


 7:18 pm on May 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

it is acceptable to contact them via email

Absolutely! If we do not get a response after several e-mails, we will usually call.

Just to clarify, when we contact the customer, we say that there was a problem with their payment and that it was declined. We ask them to re-submit their information (most of the time it's just transposed numbers or an incorrect expiration date).

[edited by: LifeinAsia at 7:41 pm (utc) on May 4, 2009]


 7:24 pm on May 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

I only offer Paypal and cheque/postal order - two customers today have tried with Paypal and the orders have failed. I will just email them and find out what the problem was and let them know we can accept payment via cheque as well :)


 8:28 pm on May 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

When we see an abandoned cart (all info logged, order created but no payment), the first thing we do is log into our merchant account and look for actual decline codes. Some we do not see declines so we assume it's a true abandoned cart versus a payment decline.

THEN we give it 24 hours to see if they'll return and finish checking out. The happens quite a lot in our niche. They'll setup the cart to get a complete total with S&H and return later to purchase. (Despite the fact we have a mini-cart view on each page with estimated S&H).

After 24 hours, we send a "canned" personal email asking if they had any issues checking out and to give us a call if we could assist them.

We're able to convert about 30% of our abandoned carts using this method.

[edited by: T_Miller at 8:29 pm (utc) on May 4, 2009]


 9:09 pm on May 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

Actually I have implemented a script into my shopping cart software only for that purpose. If an order is not paid within 24 hours for Paypal payments, 5 days for bank-transfer, the customer gets an automatic email, reminding him to complete his payment, with detailed instructions. There are many things that can go wrong: Paypal down for maintenance, customer did not get email with our bank account details, customer forgot to transfer the money, and so on.

The rate of customers that complete payment after getting an email reminder is about 30% for me, too.


 10:17 am on May 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

T-Miller, 30% is good. What i have introduced for drop out carts is after 20 minutes the customer gets an auto mail, on the mail is the order number, what they have ordered etc. I capture all the info, then re-send it with the mail with the usual questions, with our phone number prominent. Also, i have introduced the "Live Help" which is included in the mail so the end user can get in contact straight away while they are "hot" to buy. This has done very well for CR.

I used to run 24 hours, then went down to 12hrs, then down and down till 20 minutes. This has worked very very well, i think the more pro-active the shop is for the end user the more comfortable the end user is especially a new end user buying for the 1st time.


 10:57 pm on May 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

I always call customer directly. This way I can resolve the problem fast and easy. In case of fraud, you can also tell right away. Customers never mind and usually are helpful in resolving issue. You need to let them know that this is not your fault. Also, it is impportant to call not later than next business day. If you call them week after, they probably already expecting order to be at their door. Finding out that you did not even start processing it may result in cancelation. Anyway, I always call and never had problems because of that. Funny thing, If you send an email, they will actually call you instead of emailing you back. They want to have it done asap too.


 12:53 pm on May 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

I phone customers as soon as a I realise they are having a problem it converts well. Im in the UK and Americans love the idea im phoning from there to help them....


 9:53 am on May 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

I feel embarrassed asking customers in case their payment failed due to insufficient funds. The incidence of declined transactions has increased for me over the past few months.
I'm not very good at this am I!


 1:42 pm on May 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

I do not followup on insufficient funds declines. There might be good reasons why it was declined. Usually wait until those customers come back with sufficient funds. Otherwise that's flogging a dead horse and might make for an embarrassed or unhappy customer. Failing to complete the cart, on the other hand, is something you do follow up...and track the errors to see if modifying your cart will REDUCE those errors.


 4:51 pm on May 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

Part of our process also includes checking our merchant account "failed transaction" report and seeing what error code we got. "Issuing Bank Decline" is always a curious one. But we always send our abandoned cart email (rather ambiguous).

I closed an $800 sale this week that was declined by the issuing bank. In fact, he added to the original order! Come to find out, his bank declined due to a name difference: He didn't put his middle initial and "Jr" on the first attempt.

I made a slight wording change on our cart because of this to emphasize the name needs to be exactly how it appears on the card.
Most banks will accept slight difference in name, but you never know.


 1:14 am on May 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

We implemented a process to call back customers with declined cards after having this happen to us on Tire Rack. We don't show the customer on the web that there card was declined. Rather we just download the order and call them back. Most people end up completing the order after a call back.


 2:06 am on May 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

I feel embarrassed asking customers in case their payment failed due to insufficient funds

On any declines we always say 'there was a message for you to call your bank, please let us know when we should put it through again'. It's almost always the bank stopping things on a fraud hold and has nothing to do with a card problem.

Never address specific card problems with a customer if they talk about plenty of credit, call the bank for me, etc. since you don't want to get involved in peoples ego or face issues. Just play ignorant.


 7:36 pm on Jun 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

Carts that are abandoned after entering shipping details but not payment details get a reminder email withing 24 hours.

We follow up via phone with the customers who've entered payment details regardless of the decline type (assuming we've determined the order isn't fraudulent), but never insinuate that it's due to any error or oversight on their part.

We tell them it isn't unusual (it isn't), and is usually related to the safety precautions of their issuing bank (it is). I've never had a customer get upset with this approach. They are all happy to either call their bank immediately or provide me with a different card.


 9:17 pm on Jun 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

We used to use PayPal and as soon as we switched to Authorize.net - our sales increased almost 50% overnight - really! The main reason is that we could turn off address verification. Many people will make simple typos when entering their address and PayPal would reject the card based on that.


 9:23 pm on Jun 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

Many people will make simple typos when entering their address and PayPal would reject the card based on that

Well, at least with a real processor you can select when you want to decline based on address.

I'd still use the AVS though. Even if you just keep it on the zip code. Those 'simple typos' that the AVS weeds out for you often prevent you from shipping something to a the wrong address or running into other similar problems down the road...and it is a good tool for detecting fraud.


 9:38 pm on Jun 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

A great many of our declined cards lately turn out to be from wrong expiration dates and other simple mistakes. Surprisingly few seem to be due to insufficient funds.


 1:18 am on Jun 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

About 90% of our declined orders are due to simple typing mistakes, the rest are have bad phone numbers or email. Usually means fraud.
When calling we get good results by saying the order didn't go through or there was a typo on the order. Saying the card declined usually embarrasses or puts people on the defensive.


 8:37 am on Jun 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

Recently, I used to send out a small message to these people and 99.9% of the responses were "too expensive [for one reason or another, despite the fact I am typically equal or cheaper to that of my competitors], do you have a coupon" or something of the sorts.

Just bargain hunters / price gatherers, from my findings. No real value in these as of late.

The other 0.01% just didn't respond.


 10:34 am on Jun 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

My ecom software sends me a complete DECLINED ORDER notification email, looks just like a normal order notification email except the order was declined.

Sometimes they look like obvious frauds and I don't bother.

Other times it's glitches in the AVS system, yes, believe it or not the payment processors don't always properly match what your customer typed to their actual address.

Sometimes I have to ask people to type in their address exactly as it appears on their credit card bill, or simply click OVERRIDE AVS and force the order through.


 1:12 pm on Jun 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

"Other times it's glitches in the AVS system, yes, believe it or not the payment processors don't always properly match what your customer typed to their actual address."

YES! That is SUCH a headache. Once a customer faxed us a copy of how their bill is sent to them (the exact way their credit card company types their address) and that didn't work along with another few variations. The street name was "NorthWest Street" that's what it says on the sign, that's how they get their mail. By for online ordering they have to do "NW STR" because that's how someone keyed it into the Visa system.


 1:17 pm on Jun 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

this gives me an idea - we should probably start another thread purely discussing payment processing issues and what we can do to help troubleshoot / reduce errors to begin with / improve conversion rates etc. We offer credit card, PayPal, and Money Order. 10% of PayPal attempts fail. Out of those that fail it seems half the time the customer doesn't understand something or already has an account with their email and can't figure out how to log in, but half of the time it seems that PayPal just simply isn't working correctly (so roughly 5% of all attempts!). With credit card over 99% of attempts go through fine, and most that get declined are fraud attempts or something that the user did wrong. I'd day about 1 out of every 2,000 orders or so we get someone who seems to entering everything right, bank says they have enough of a limit etc. but it keeps getting declined.


 9:06 pm on Jun 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

the name needs to be exactly how it appears on the card.

Also watch how you process hyphenated names. I know of one site that won't recognise a hyphen and always rejects the card. Funnily typing the name as one word does work.
funnily I never have any trouble typing initials even when my full Christian names appear on the card.

With regard to addresses I have certainly found spelling mistakes in the UK PAF files. Most organisations will "correct" what you enter to match the PAF although some go the other way and insist on redundant county names. Then you get to problems over standard appreviations such as Hants/Hampshire


 11:07 am on Jun 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

Last year I began contacting my declined cc orders by phone and have had tremendous success converting these to sales (well above 50%). To date I've contacted perhaps 80 customers for this reason and vitually everyone is either glad to hear from me or they just politely decline to try the order again. No one is particularly annoyed. It is definitely perceived as great customer service by most.


 3:50 pm on Jun 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

We wrote a routine to do this automatically. Abandoned carts receive an email 15min after they are created if they are still not complete within that 15min. Our shopping cart abandonment percentage is around 11% - our affiliates love it.


 8:12 pm on Jun 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

Other times it's glitches in the AVS system, yes, believe it or not the payment processors don't always properly match what your customer typed to their actual address.

Not sure, but I assume it's only DiscoverCard (not MC or Visa)


 12:48 am on Jul 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

I send out emails out 10 minutes after they're created reminding them if they're not completed.


 12:19 am on Jul 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

I totally agree with climb512 comment
Sometime when we call people with declined orders they end up even getting more items :)


 6:56 pm on Jul 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

Abandoned carts and orders which don't go through are usually the customer trying to get the final price in their carts, which they use to compare with other merchants just prior to making a purchase.

With so many free shipping, coupons and other baits these days, this is the best time saving way to determine what you will actually be paying.

This 34 message thread spans 2 pages: 34 ( [1] 2 > >
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