With the increased ability to pay for things faster and more efficiently, customers expect an easy and secure method of payment wherever and whenever they decide to make a purchase. There are many apps and different software that a business can choose from, some even provide tailor-made packages. As a result, there’s no excuse for a business to have a payment system that’s unable to do so otherwise, as it will have an impact on sales and cash flow. With this in mind, here are some suggestions for you to handle your business payments efficiently and effectively.
Stop the Paper Trail
There’s really no need to provide paper records of the business, sending electronic invoices allows for instantaneous delivery, which means there are fewer opportunities for them not to get to their destination. Aside from ensuring you have the right email address and have entered it correctly in your address book, or it’s getting placed in your recipient’s spam folder, there aren’t many other reasons for it not to be received by them.
Completing electronic transactions means saving on printing costs as documents can be electronically sent and there’s no need for stationery, such as envelopes and stamps, further saving on unnecessary expenditure. It will also save on time, as there’s no need to use a delivery service or take a trip to the post office. More importantly, perhaps to your customers as much as your business, is that you’re reducing your paper consumption and completing payment transactions more quickly than ever before.
Create an Online Payment System
Customers expect quick and efficient service, from the moment they either enter your business premises or visit your website. One way of doing this is by providing a reliable, secure and efficient payment system. Having a button that initiates the payment process at a mere click on it will enable this to be facilitated. This will not only save a considerable period of time but can also do a number of other things, like set up automated payments and allow payments to be made at any time of the day or night.
If this is something you’re interested in, you may want to consider a payment initiation service provider (PISP). They can help with initiating payments from customers that have accounts with institutions, like building societies, banks and credit card companies. It’s important that the one you select to use has a PISP License, which effectively gives them the authority to act as the go-between between your business and your customers’ accounts, so payments can be easily made. By making this process not only easier but automatic, your business and customers will greatly benefit.
Setup Recurring Invoices
This can be a game-changer, for both your business and customers alike. From your business’s perspective, it’s no longer required to send monthly reminders or invoices, as subscriptions only need to be sent once for the client to complete regular payments. This allows a more automated accounting system, including regular billing and payment receipts, without the need for someone to manually do this every month.
Of course, having a procedure to deal with late payments is crucial, and should be explained to your customers at the time of them subscribing to your payment service. By agreeing to make regular payments for a service or product that you’re providing, customers also agree to the terms and conditions, including late payments and possible fees that could be applied.
The software your business uses can also issue reminders and follow-ups for late or non-payment, some will even notify your finance department of this, so they’re able to keep an eye on what’s happening with this particular customer. It’s a good idea to have a procedure in place, for instance deciding when to call a customer about their late or non-payment, to see if you’re able to help them if they’re having a temporary cash-flow problem. It also enables your finance department to work out what to do, based on their individual circumstances.
Following on from the last point, automated email reminders are great to chase up late payments and can also be useful to provide friendly reminders to customers about when payment is or was due, and what they can do if they’re having problems meeting it. If you have several customers, imagine the time spent repeatedly sending invoices, month-on-month. It’s not only time-consuming but also a lot of work. This will only increase as your business grows, so it makes sense to have an automated service that will issue reminders to your clients. Many customers will be grateful for this, especially if they, like you, are extremely busy with other aspects of your business.
These are a great way for you to let customers know about the developments in your business operations and how they will benefit from them. These can be emailed to all your customers automatically. It lets them know that you’re always striving to improve the way you do business with them, making sure they’re experiencing the best customer service that your business can provide.
Explaining what systems your business uses to ensure payments made by customers are taken quickly and securely will not only provide them with confidence when buying your product or service but more likely have them recommend you to others. With more customers likely to value the opinions of others, this may not be such a bad idea. Word of mouth spreads fast, especially where the money’s concerned.
It’s a win-win for all concerned when it comes to your business handling payments efficiently and effectively. It’s good for your customers because they’ll know that their money can be safely moved from their accounts into yours for payment, without hassle. Not only that, but it’s also good for the reputation of your business because it demonstrates that it’s professionally run and can handle basic operations with quick ease. Your customers want to know that their money and details will go where it’s intended, and not be subject to hackers stealing them. Our suggestions are good starting points for any business and can be adapted to meeting the needs of your business.
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