There are numerous crucial factors that can make or break your customer onboarding strategy, one of which is, of course, payment efficiency and effectiveness. Payment efficiency is not just about streamlining the payment process to reduce customer effort or improve customer satisfaction, it’s also about making sure that you get paid on time for your products or services in order to maintain productivity and preserve cash flow to resume normal operations on a daily basis.
Fail to implement modern and even innovative payment tactics into your strategy and you risk alienating the younger demographics, and sending them into the welcoming arms of your competitors, which is why payment efficiency should be one of your top priorities. With all of that in mind, let’s break down the five ways payment speed can improve the customer onboarding process and how you can integrate it into your operation.
It’s a hectic and fast-paced world we live in, so it only stands to reason that all processes pertaining to financial management need to complement our fast-paced lifestyle, otherwise we are wasting time, money, and other valuable resources. This is true for modern business, as well as the modern consumer market, as the 21st-century customer needs and wants to be able to manage their finances on the go, communicate with their preferred banking institution in real time, and make payments with the push of a digital button.
This is one of the reasons why banks are among the first to develop digital financing solutions for clients, because they recognize the need to make payments and financial management in general as seamless and straightforward as possible. This is also why you have to pioneer this integration yourself, offer a quick and easy sign-up, compare prices on your site so that the customer doesn’t leave, offer prices in local currencies, and disclose all relevant payment information to incentivize a purchase.
In most cases, business owners consider upfront payments to be a sort of collateral and insurance that the company will get paid in full either upon the completion of a project, or the specified date. And yes, upfront payments do serve the purpose of protecting your brand and ensuring at least some cash flow until you’re paid in full, but more importantly for your customer acquisition and retention strategies, upfront payment serves the purpose of reducing customer effort.
Keep in mind that the modern customer doesn’t mind paying for goods and services upfront, and they especially don’t mind making payments to brands they know, trust, and believe in. This is your golden opportunity to capitalize on upfront fees, while allowing the customers to plan and adjust to your fees ahead of time. Consider charging half upon sign-up if you’re selling a service, and charge the other half of the total sum when it fits your customers – this will also help build consumer loyalty through payment flexibility.
Maintaining cash flow regardless of late fees
Speaking of payment flexibility, one of the major reasons why companies are struggling to acquire long-term customers and integrate them into their system is because the customer simply can’t meet the payment deadline. Of course, you have to invoice your clients for your goods or services, but nowadays innovative financing solutions allow you to maintain cash flow without pushing the customer to complete the payment.
It all has to do with brand reputation and trust, which is why forward-looking companies are increasingly using fast invoice finance solutions to supplement their income streams and allow their clients enough time to meet the payment deadline, without jeopardizing their relationship with the brand. It’s all about offering better payment terms to keep your customers coming back, and most importantly, it allows you to tailor the onboarding process to the needs of the client without any financial constraints.
Streamlining the onboarding process
And speaking of the onboarding process itself, it’s important to remember that to make it as seamless and straightforward as possible, you have to optimize the “three Ps”: people, processes, and products. Each of these processes need to be optimized from a financial standpoint in order to improve onboarding as a whole and make it as easy as possible for the customer to purchase your products. Starting with the first P, the people need to know exactly who they are interacting with, and who can help them with any issues or questions regarding payments.
The second P, the process, is where you will identify the payment preferences of your demographic, integrate the solutions they want, and most importantly, anticipate their needs in order to implement innovative payment solutions that will incentivize them to become your loyal clients. And finally people, your product range needs to be tailored to the needs of your demographic, and that means tailoring the price range to remain competitive yet affordable and incentivize a purchase.
Leveraging direct debit systems
And on a final note, always consider the possibility to introduce a direct debit system into your financial strategy. If you’re selling a service or a range of products that your customers need on a weekly, monthly, or annual basis, then automatic billing might be the perfect solution for your brand. This is one of the best ways to streamline customer onboarding as it takes care of the invoicing process for you, ensures that you will get paid on time, reduces customer effort, and allows you to focus on delivering stellar customer service and build your brand’s reputation.
Customer onboarding and payment management are inextricably intertwined, as making your payment strategy as efficient and effective as possible will allow you to maintain a positive cash flow, while at the same time incentivizing your customers to become your loyal brand members. Use these tips to improve payment efficiency and thus elevate your standing in the competitive industry.