Business owners have a lot of balls to keep in the air. Each part of the operation – whether inventory, staffing or whatever – requires attention and thought. Arguably, the most crucial of activities is payment acceptance. Even though payments is where the rubber hits the road for businesses (after all, why be in business other than to make money?), the payments experience is often overlooked as a method to increase customer relations and loyalty.
Here are a few ways your business can use payments to improve the customer experience:
Not since shoppers chose between shells, beads and pelts have there been so many methods to pay for goods and services. It’s not simply a matter of cash, check or charge. Intersecting technologies now allow options for the medium of the payment. Services like Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay are enjoying a surge in popularity. Electronic checks are common. Many larger retailers are exploring apps which permit customers to avoid the checkout and pay with the mobile device prior to leaving the store. There’s an opportunity for merchants to offer convenience, allowing customers to pay in the most comfortable way for them.
Businesses can avoid the hassle of paper invoicing by embracing electronic billing. A variety of solutions are available which can create and distribute a bill via email, mobile or other digital means. Then, a simple click allows the recipient to pay via an app or portal. Not only does the business avoid payment delays, but the payment process is easy.
Business models with memberships or other predictable payment schedules should consider recurring payment models. When a customer’s credit card or account is debited automatically, this equates to a reliable revenue stream for the business. For customers, payments are “hands-off” – they use the service but know the payment is handled behind the scenes.
Finally, maintaining cards-on-file is a simple way to offer payments convenience, speeding the checkout process. When a customer’s information is already accessible, reentering that information is unnecessary. There is some added complexity when offering this option, as encryption will need to be implemented, ensuring customer data remains safe. But convenience, when bundled with security, can be beneficial for everyone.