Brian Kamstra, President
Money isn’t what it used to be, and the status quo of remuneration for goods or services has long since changed from being mere cash-based transactions. All things considered, the storefront is still built on the tenets of “exchange of goods for cash.” Transactions need not be any more complicated than that. And yet, more and more merchants in the retail POS space find themselves deadlocked in an overwhelming ecosystem of bad service, making “finding a reliable partner” very difficult. This is extremely pertinent in an industry that is already saturated by solution providers that merchants cannot trust anymore. In the words of Retriever Merchant Solutions (RMS)’s President, Brian Kamstra, “We hear from Merchants often that they feel their previous sales partner misrepresented what they had expected when they were set up for their merchant account.”
Kamstra was disturbed by this often-overlooked aspect of sales, i.e., the lack of transparency between the merchant and the sales partner, which ultimately affects sales. This is where RMS is a game changer; The way their partners are trained lends a personal touch and total transparency to each interaction that they have with their customers. In an era when the element of human contact is slowly disappearing, RMS makes sure that they carry out most of their sales in-person, and their service comes fully equipped with a dedicated customer service team, a 24x7 helpdesk, and an emphasis on helping merchants understand the different payment solutions available to them.
The Makings of an Ideal Service Partner
Kamstra, who has been in the industry since 1993, changed his perspective on the sales industry as a whole in 1999 and wanted to re-evaluate sales operations. By revamping the way sales partners were being briefed, he realized he could help them establish a better rapport with customers.
There are so many products out there that make the merchant a little overwhelmed. To that end, we give them the products that help them best drive their business and give them the much-needed confidence
The cornerstone for RMS was laid in September 1999 with just Kamstra and an assistant, and by 2002, RMS became NPC’s-now Worldpay’s top ISO. Having started from scratch, the company began to grow, with a clear goal to help the independent commission sales partner—unique individuals with great skill and potential—in their sales process, to help them build better relationships with clients. Having been in the field himself, Kamstra wanted to take care of these professionals and nurture an excellent atmosphere of positivity for all. RMS places focus on creating a system where sales partners actually listen to the merchant, to understand and address their problems by finding the solution that works best for them.
“There are so many products out there that make the merchant a little overwhelmed. To that end, we give them the products that help them best drive their business and give them the much-needed confidence,” adds RMS’ sales partner, Chuck DeBacker. The plethora of choice is a deviation from legacy POS systems with terminals where swiping some plastic on a reader was all there ever was. Today, within the retail space, solutions are growing at the speed of light when it comes to technology, and in order to stay competitive, merchants have to stay ahead of the curve. RMS is always looking at smarter terminals, POS systems, and billing solutions that they can board their merchants to. Their supported suite of solutions covers everything from NFC-enabled contactless payment systems, EMV, smart terminals, and processing equipment to name a few. The only way to stay competitive in today’s marketplace is to adapt to the merchant’s and—at a higher level—the customer’s demands. Merchants need much smarter terminals and choices for what they are trying to implement.
RMS’ strategy also emphasizes the real value of customer service. “It’s been said that good customer service in the merchant service business is an oxymoron,” states Richard Urso, sales partner at RMS. As a company, RMS is constantly working to be more proactive in their customer service strategies, making sure that merchants don’t have to wait as they have competent people helping them quickly. The company is sailing the waters of smarter technology, but with a steady eye on the human horizon, i.e., the personal touch.
Better Service through Compassion and Understanding
One of the unique value propositions of RMS is their variable pricing model.
There are a lot of companies in the bankcard industry that have fixed pricing. RMS offers à la carte pricing, where if RMS Sales Partners need to make a decision on the spot, they have full authority to manipulate pricing as they see fit to accommodate the merchant.
Often, the core ideology of any good merchant service provider is to listen to their customers, and this is what RMS does best. According to RMS’ sales partner, Ray Topps, “The reason you have two ears and one mouth, is so you can listen twice as much as you speak, and when you are sitting down with your merchants, they want to tell their story.” Companies need to let their customers speak and really listen to them, not putting them in a high-pressure sales scenario to try and close the deal, which RMS firmly believes doesn’t work anymore. RMS focuses on having a conversation with the merchant and understanding what they need which is how they approach all their prospects, making it as less stressful as possible on the merchant, as he is ultimately who would benefit from what the product has to offer. The services provider aims at building a relationship with that person because they facilitate referrals, and that is what the business is all about. The focus on customer reception is doubly important because customers have a story about something that they want to tell and it determines how best RMS can serve them with their portfolio of retail solutions. One of the reasons why service providers should sit down and listen is because there are so many options out there, which if the merchant specs are not taken into account, can be complicated for the merchant, and this is where RMS excels in.
"Often we have merchants who have one store and they might set up a second or third location in a mall or kiosk, and they will need a terminal just for a month, so instead of RMS making that merchant buy another terminal, we will often just get them a loaner, at no expense to the merchant or the sales partner, and will get it out to them overnight," adds Kamstra.
Listening counts then, for more than just specification gathering, which as Kamstra notes is all about delivering that solution that meets the clients' most precise need such as the case above. In cases where a terminal does not connect or work properly for the merchant in a location, RMS account managers will go above and beyond to get them the proper terminal, or get it to work. RMS has a lot of people behind the scenes that do a great job coordinating and handling those requirements when they request it. Stepping into their 20th year now, the company has learned and grown a lot in terms of their knowledge of the retail market and is using it to guide their customers, who day in and day out, are navigating the unknown waters of commerce.