Businesses are always looking for ways to improve staff motivation and productivity. Meanwhile, sales and marketing teams put a lot of time and effort into persuading customers to buy a product or upgrade their service. But are you putting in enough time and effort into encouraging your customers to pay on time? After all, getting those payments is essential for good cash flow, not to mention building customer rapport.
Sure, your credit management team works hard to chase up payments – making phone calls and sending out invoices – but maybe a more proactive approach could help you get things moving even faster.
Check out these 4 top tips for motivating your customers:
It’s easy to assume that people will automatically know what your payment policies are. Chances are the information has been provided at some point already – in contracts and other documentation, for example. However, it doesn’t hurt to keep reiterating the information to ensure the message gets across.
Review your existing payment policy information to make sure that it’s up to date and provides everything your clients need to know, including:
- When payments are due – This should cover how often payments should be made and what day of the month they’re due.
- The incentives of paying on time – Offering clients a reward can be a great way to motivate them to pay on time and in full. This is usually in the form of a discount, but other options could include a cash-back scheme or bonus services. It’s also a good idea to remind clients that timely payments can have a positive impact on their credit scoring.
- Reasons to avoid a late payment – Be sure that your payment policy also clearly describes what actions will be taken if a payment is not received on time – this includes any late fees that might be incurred interruptions in service or goods not being delivered on time. Late payments could also result in a customer’s credit score going down.
- Once your payment policies are clearly laid out in writing, be sure to share them with everyone in your organisation. Remember: it’s not just your clients who need to know this information, and by making your policies clear to employees, you can help to ensure your customers are receiving a consistent message.
While establishing policies is one way to improve communication, there are a few other things that you can also do to ensure you are conveying the right information to your customers.
- Use a variety of methods – It’s easy to rely on letters to chase up payments, but an invoice in the post is impersonal and easy to ignore. You’re likely to get better results by using a mixture of communication methods – such as picking up the phone or sending an email. So, try different options and see what works for each client – and keep track of what gets the best results.
- Segmenting -Wouldn’t it be nice if you had the time and resources to establish a strong relationship with every client? Unfortunately, that’s not always possible – but segmenting your client data can help you to create a sense of personal service, while maintaining a high level of productivity. OnGuard Connext allows you to segment your customers and your approach towards them.
- Constantly update client data – When client information changes, the new details needs to be communicated throughout your entire organisation – not just amended in one department’s database. The role-based architecture of OnGuard’s credit management software means that everyone in the organisation can see the information that’s most relevant to them – and in real time, so it’s always as up-to-date as possible.
Involve customers in setting targets
Whether it’s at the beginning of a contract, or as a way of dealing with payment issues further down the line, it’s important to involve customers in setting targets – that way, they can feel more in control and a solution can be found that suits everyone’s requirements.
The first step in this process is negotiating terms. Once an agreement has been made, be sure to get it in writing and have both parties sign off on it. Then, it’s a good idea to monitor performance so that you can act quickly and appropriately if payments still don’t come in on time. OnGuard’s software can provide alerts and generate reports to gauge results.
Measure customer satisfaction
Working to understand how happy customers are with your service not only helps you to get a better idea of how they are feeling, but it also gives you the chance to improve procedures. Remember: even complaints can be turned into a positive opportunity if you approach them in the right way.
So how do you measure customer satisfaction? You could just ask for feedback, but any information gathered in this way will be hard to measure or analyse. Surveys might be another option to consider – these tend to give you a more standardised collection of data.
In many cases, the information you need is already in your system, such as buying trends, exit rates and customer loyalty ratings. You just need to know how to extract the data and analyse the results – and OnGuard’s software can provide a range of reporting options to do exactly that.
Contact and more information
To find out more about how OnGuard can help you motivate your clients to get their payments in on time, contact us on +31(0)294 256 666 or via email@example.com. Follow @OnGuardHQ on Twitter to keep inspired.