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Q: What prompted you to start Beckley & Company?
A: I worked on the merchant-side of the business for nearly 10 years and, from that experience, I know exactly what kind of challenges companies face when trying to manage their e-commerce strategy entirely in-house. Through Beckley & Company, I wanted to provide more options for companies looking for an experienced partner to help them capitalize on their online business.
Q: Which pressing business issues does Beckley & Company focus on most?
A: Quality customer service and efficient e-commerce are arguably two of the most important areas in business today. While we are a traditional management consulting firm and we help clients with all areas of their business, from preparing for international growth to raising investment capital, we have gained a unique reputation for our exceptional work with clients in the areas of e-commerce strategy and customer service management.
Q: What are the most common problems you find that businesses face with e-commerce?
A: Many companies are so focused on growth and consumed with keeping their head above water as they pursue their future agenda that they lose sight of how ineffective their current e-commerce offering has become and how their customer service is suffering as a result. We see a lot of businesses that set up their online shopping experience and then never look at it again, unless there is a problem. There’s always room for improvements in e-commerce: keeping costs low, reducing spikes in customer complaints, monitoring and preventing fraudulent customers; all while converting more new customers, getting them to spend more, keep coming back and then reactivating those that have become inactive.
Q: How do you help your clients determine where they should start seeking improvement?
A: We have a highly collaborative approach towards our engagements and we are absolutely committed to the success of our clients. We like to use data analysis to identify areas of opportunity and to establish key benchmarks. Once we’ve identified where a client needs help and what their goals are, we set forth on presenting them with a strategy on what needs to be done to get there. Everything is measurable and we hold ourselves accountable to our clients
Q: You talk a lot about customer satisfaction in your articles and in other interviews I’ve read. What does customer satisfaction have to do with e-commerce and how are they connected?
A: Everything a business does should consider customer satisfaction and whether or not they are promoting it or taking away from it. With e-commerce, the correlation is remarkable and instant. Think about the last time you tried to buy something online. Maybe it was a good experience, maybe it was extremely frustrating – we’ve all had both and we know how very different they feel. Customers today are very fickle when it comes to getting what they want online as easily and quickly as possible. If a business has a complex and confusing registration and/or shopping process, customers are going to become dissatisfied very quickly, abandon the process and go somewhere else. If a business is not paying attention to their e-commerce metrics, they may not be aware of how badly they are failing and how much it is costing them. It costs a lot of money to get customers to just show up – it should be unacceptable for any business owner to then see their new customers leaving dissatisfied.
Q: How big of an issue is fraud to online merchants today?
A: Managing transactional risk and keeping fraud to a minimum is a very challenging thing for businesses today. There is a very fine balance between blocking bad customers and accepting good ones. The challenge most merchants have is in finding the perfect spot where they are accepting as much business as possible, while only blocking the transactions that are truly bad ones. Many businesses need help with this, because it’s a very complex thing to manage. It’s difficult to source (or build) and manage the right tools to scrub transactions and it’s even harder for many companies to build the right processes around fraud prevention. Unfortunately, we see many businesses that end up blocking and falsely accusing good customers while missing bad ones, largely because of poor training and the lack of an effective, formal risk management process.
Brent Beckley founded elite management consulting firm Beckley & Company in 2011, after learning first hand how valuable an effective e-commerce strategy can be to any business. A pioneer in the rapid-growth world of online poker, Brent was directly responsible for successfully processing more than $5 Billion and knows exactly what it takes for companies to achieve a harmonious balance between keeping processing costs and transactional fraud low, while extracting maximum value from customers and keeping them happy for the long run. www.beckleycompany.com