How ISVs Can Retain Customers Through Effortless Experiences

Everyone wants payments to be simpler. Consumers who make them. Merchants that accept and manage them. And integrated software vendors (ISVs) that offer them through their platforms.

But the “rules” for enabling simple payments are changing. ISVs will need to know how shifting trends in customer experience (CX) will influence their ability to retain customers.

In a recent webinar, a panel of CSG experts dissected five major shifts in CX that ISVs can capitalize on to deliver better customer journeys for merchants and end customers alike. “The State of the Customer Experience: How ISVs Can Create Effortless Experiences” was moderated by Liz Bauer, EVP and chief experience officer at CSG, and she was joined by these panelists:

Mark Smith, SVP of customer experience, CSG

Sukanya Madhavan, VP of product management and engineering, CSG Forte

Jeannette Mbungo, VP of payments operations, CSG Forte

Watch the full discussion here, or read on for a sneak peek.



The panelists discussed the concept of making customer experiences “forgettable”—which, to many organizations, sounds counterintuitive. Conventional wisdom was that organizations should aim for digital experiences that wow their audience, but that’s not what customers are necessarily asking for—certainly not customers who are just trying to make payments.

“The world we live in today, people like efficiency, and ease and speed,” Mark said. “They get to do the thing they were trying to do, and they almost don’t notice it. That’s the best kind of experience. That’s what customers love, and this search [by organizations] to try and overreach and deliver something incredibly special, that’s not where the money is in this market today.”

This means ISVs need to focus on providing frictionless and intuitive payment journeys that meet the customers’ needs and preferences. Whether it’s online, in store, contactless or omnichannel, the payment experience should be effortless and forgettable.

For the payments industry, Jeanette pointed to the importance of the onboarding experience—“the first meaningful interaction you have with the customer”—as a high-priority touchpoint. This means creating a smooth application process where customers can easily provide all the data that’s required of them. It should also be easy for ISVs to monitor and manage, with webhooks to get status updates on customers’ applications as they progress.

So to me, that’s the first key milestone, if you will, that we need to pay attention to, and we are intentional about enabling our customers to provide that effortless and seamless onboarding experience,” Jeanette said.



Collecting data is only step one. ISVs need to use data to understand their customers better, personalize their offerings and optimize their processes. Data can help ISVs identify pain points, opportunities, trends and behaviors that can inform their decisions and actions.

This means ISVs should not only look at the data, but also be able to use it to engage the customer intelligently throughout their journey.

“A simple example could be, if I am using contactless payments on a regular basis, show me only that as the first option for me to go in and finish the payment,” Sukanya said. She added that ISVs should leverage voice of the customer and customer advisory boards to gather the data and act on it, helping them continuously refine the payment experience.

In addition to personalizing the payments journey, data analytics can also help bolster payment data security. ISVs should be able to recognize patterns in the payments that are processed among their merchants and end customers.

“We know what our consumer patterns are and what merchant patterns are, so [we use] that data to detect any anomalies,” Sukanya said. “Typically, a business processes transactions less than $5000 on a regular basis. If I see a transaction over $15,000, that is an anomaly—send an alert asking for confirmation.” AI can also help predict fraud risks and help organizations be proactive in stopping fraud, she added.



It used to be, organizations felt pressure to offer as many communication channels as possible to satisfy as many customers as possible. This approach didn’t always account for which channels each customer actually wanted, and at what point in their journey.

Applying that to the merchant training journey, Jeanette said the key for ISVs is to not throw everything at the customer at once.

“It may make more sense to share a video or an article about how to handle disputes within your system maybe 30 days into your processing journey, versus [telling them on] day one: ‘Here are your credentials, here is how you work with disputes, here’s where you log in to pull reporting.’ That may be too much.”

In short, the goal is “to understand the customer journey and meet [customers] where they are in their journey to provide the optimal solution that aligns with their needs,” Jeannete added.



These were only three of the five shifts that the panelists delved into throughout the webinar. To learn about the rest—and how your business can respond to build customer loyalty—check out the full video here and download CSG’s State of Customer Experience report.