The past three days are traditionally the busiest for my office, on a customer service front. Annual membership dues were billed March 1 and due April 2 before service termination. Like pretty much everyone, the majority of our members waited until the very end of the month to make their payments.
Now, yesterday was the busiest day for us. And, of COURSE, the computer system decided to act up. Anyone who was accessing the system through the web-front (ie, our members) had no problem logging in and making payments, but those of us in the office could not get on to verify payments, check invoice amounts, issue receipts, and pretty much anything else that fell under the ‘customer service’ umbrella.
Let’s just say, I was freaking out a little bit.
Some deep breaths and we looked at what we had available to us. Our debit machine wasn’t tied to the system in a meaningful way, so we could still take debit payments. Same with cheques and cash – we just didn’t have a way to validate invoice totals or issue a receipt. So, anyone that had brought their invoice was easily helped – we took their payment and bundled it with that invoice for later processing.
So, for those that did not have their invoice, how could we help them? Invoices were emailed to the members, so we had to pull the email logs and search for their invoices in the outbox of our unmonitored ecommerce account. Problems solved. Again, bundle payments with identifying information for later processing.
Our local internet terminals worked fine, so anyone that came to the office wanting to pay with credit card was helped in paying their fees through the web portal.
After about 2 hours of downtime, our system was back up again and we could get back to business as usual. We got through the trouble spot and the affected members were sympathetic and understanding (which, I can’t say THANK YOU enough for).
The busiest is over and I can get back to focusing on the launch of the new financial system in a month.