Most business owners and managers know that you can’t plan for everything – some business situations are difficult to plan for before they happen, and it’s impossible to plan for everything.
However, you shouldn’t wait until you are stuck in a situation where your business isn’t getting paid before you implement strategies and solutions for driving timely, accurate payments from your clients and customers.
Every customer has the power to share their experience with your business and point out your flaws and failings instantly, and publicly. The customer experience is more important than ever because it can impact your brand for months and years to come. After all, the Internet is forever.
Because of this, we’ll be focusing on some helpful tips that can encourage understanding and acceptance of your payment policies before you are forced to spend time fighting to prove that you should have already been paid for your products or services.
Here are some effective tips to help you increase business payments.
Review Payment Patterns Monthly
You can’t get your customers to consistently pay you more frequently and punctually if you don’t know how and why they aren’t paying you in the first place.
Make it a standard practice to track customer payments and monthly payment patterns. If new customers are struggling to get payments to you, it could be due to your payment processing system. Customers don’t like complicated or drawn-out checkout and payment processes.
Conversely, if a regular customer has been consistent with payments and you’ve recently noticed a downturn, that customer may be experiencing financial distress and may benefit from your reevaluation of their credit limits and customer terms, which brings us to our next tip: create and/or update your credit and collections policies.
Create/Update Your Credit & Collections Policies
Offering products and services on credit is a great way to entice customers to take the plunge on larger packages or items in your business inventory. But if the policies in place for outlining your credit and collections policies aren’t transparent and easy to understand, you’ll likely be fighting harder to get paid.
When you are creating your credit and collections policies, keep your customer’s experience at the forefront of your mind. Make the payment schedules easy to remember, create quick reference guides to send out to those who have applied for credit through your brand, and give your customers easy access to their balances and account information.
There are tons of tools and software to help you navigate tricky payment problems. ReliaFund, for example, offers recurring payment processes that allow you to set up subscription-based, seasonal, and installment billing statements that make tracking your credit-based customer payments simple.
This tip does add a bit more responsibility to your staff and other team members but invoicing your customers immediately after purchase can increase business payments handily.
This applies especially to businesses that operate online. If you send an email or notification with an invoice within a few minutes of the transaction or credit application, you can maintain your presence at the forefront of your customer’s mind.
Waiting even one day can drastically lower your chances of prompt payment.
Offer an Early Payment Discount
To incentivize your customers further, you can even offer an “early payment discount.” For example, you can offer a percentage off the total invoice amount if customers pay in full within a certain window of time.
This window can be one week, 10 days, 30 days – this timeframe should be determined by the invoice amount and your preferred payment times. The discount amount is at your discretion as well. If your invoices are in the thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars range, even a 1% discount can save customers a hefty sum if they pay within the 10-day early discount window.
Offer Multiple Payment Options
Consumers today want convenience above all else. And many are willing to pay extra for that expedited experience.
You can create this desired experience by offering multiple payment options. Credit cards, cash, PayPal, Zelle, EFT, ACH – offering this larger variety of customer payment options also allows you to skip those awkward conversations where you end up losing a sale because you don’t offer digital payments, for example.
To make things easier for you and your business, ReliaFund can help you create a one-stop-shop payment processing experience.
Make Payments Easy with an All-in-One Solution: ReliaFund
Getting paid is a crucial component of your business’s success. That’s why ReliaFund makes tracking, sending, and analyzing payment information and data easy with our end-to-end payment processing platform.
Increase business payments by integrating your credit card, check, recurring, ACH, and other payments all in one place – the user-friendly ReliaFund platform.