The 5 Most Important Considerations about Choosing an Online Registration/Ticketing Service
- PCI Compliant
The application service provider must be PCI compliant. Stop here and read no further if the software provider you’re looking at cannot show you their up-to-date PCI certificate. Just mention that your accountant has asked for a copy of this certificate.
The PCI standard ensures cardholder security and ensures that the application service provider has been checked for compliance and is qualified to perform credit card transactions over the web on your behalf. The PCI rules are being updated all of the time. The service provider if compliant is scanned monthly for compliance, and if found not compliant during a scan is alert to the problem and mandated to fix the issue.
- Ask about Experience and Acquire 3 Good References
Before signing up to any new registration software or ticketing software, ask for how many years the service provider has been providing registration services. It’s not easy for a service company to stay up-to-date and relevant in today’s changing market. A few good client references and some good URL links from the service provider’s to existing customers can go a long way in convincing you that this service provider might be a good choice.
- Customer Support Team
Registration or Ticketing services can be confusing and complicated. Make sure there are knowledgeable people who you can call if you need help solving any setup issues. 20 minute or less questions should always be FREE. A good test for good customer support is whether or not the people go out of their way to listen and attend to your concerns in a timely fashion.
Most of the mistakes that occur when your clients are registering for your services or events could have be caught if there had been better testing prior to going live. Don’t under estimate the value of testing the registration sequence over and over again for all possible combinations. By doing so, you’ll catch a wrong date or wrong price which will save lots of time and phone calls down the road. A good service provider will have their own testing department and will have tested things thoroughly before asking your team to do some testing.
- Price Matters
The costs of online registration varies from provider to provider. Here are some of the key pricing points:
- Study carefully the terms of your merchant account (i.e. VISA/MC/AMEX account), i.e. the account attached to your online registration service. Use your own VISA/MC account whenever possible. It’s cheaper to negotiate with an outside bank or merchant acquirer than to use the account supplied by the online registration company. You should strive to pay somewhere in the range: (2.00% – 2.75% on the merchant discount rate; no more than $0.16 per transaction; no more than $25/month for your merchant account) In Canada, make sure that VISA Debit is supported.
- The software or ASP fee. This fee is charged by the online registration service provider for using their software. Strive to pay on a pay-as-you-go basis, if possible. For example, pay $500/year for the first $100K of revenue, then $1000/year for the next $250K. Look for unlimited events and unlimited registrant options.
- Support for setting up your events should be tiered. For example, for 20 minute or less questions expect it for FREE. For a setup team to setup your events for you, expect to pay no more than $125/hour. Ask up front how long it will take to setup your events and for when you can expect the job to be completed.
Online event registration and selling tickets online over the web is getting more and more complicated to implement and manage. This is because the merchant account providers, VISA & MC & AMEX, are ratchetting up the regulations and loops you need to jump through in order to get your website properly setup. So in my opinion, you pretty much need to outsource your website’s ecommerce to a good online application registration service provider. As with anything new, there are good, fair and poor registration companies out there performing online registration. These 5 steps are a great way to start a discussion about how to sell your events online.
For more questions or to simply discuss your registration or ticketing needs, please feel free to call the author, for some more free advice.