You go to the dentist and get a cleaning. You bleed a little and get scolded for not flossing (naturally), pick from the 60 flavors of fluoride they always have for some reason, and go on your way.
A few days later, you get a bill in the mail for $25. It turns out your fluoride wasn’t covered by insurance. Not a big deal. Your bill instructs you to call a number, so you can read off your credit card number to someone (super secure) and they’ll take care of it. You realize it’s 6 PM and the office is closed, so you file the bill away for later. You’re a little annoyed you need to carve out time to call and read a credit card—what kind of business doesn’t have a way to pay online?
In the grand scheme, this is a minor inconvenience. But still, I need to read off a credit card? Nah. Send a check? Younger generations barely even know how to write a check. And if you’re the business sending the bill, do you really want your team to spend time processing payments over the phone when it could happen automatically?
The point is that these days people want convenience through every step of the customer journey. Many businesses forget the fact that billing and payment is just as important as everything else. Why ruin a great experience by making it hard to pay?
With that in mind, what are the other options? What can your business do to make payments almost kinda fun for customers?
Let’s make this simple. Outside of in-person payments, if someone can’t easily pay their bill with a few taps on their phone, you have some work to do. According to Zenith, people spent about 3 hours and 30 minutes a day using mobile internet in 2019. People are using smartphones often to consume entertainment, but also as their go-to tool for everything. They expect to be able to pay using their smartphone.
These days, everyone has a different way to pay. Cash as well as credit and debit cards are still popular, but with precautions around COVID-19, many businesses are moving toward contactless payments. Depending on your type of business, you may not accept payments in person at all. Whatever the case may be, it’s wise to consider how your business can be more flexible in terms of how a customer can pay. No, that doesn’t mean you need to start accepting Bitcoin (although some businesses do). You should, however, be able to accept the following payment types (and remember, these must be mobile-ready):
People are fallible. And busy. Despite having good intentions, they might pay bills late having forgotten they had them. It’s easy to miss emails about bills, or to ignore them altogether. In order to get your business paid a little faster and make life easy for customers, many businesses will send a text-message based bill reminder. Since it’s sent via SMS text, your customers are likely to see it. Plus, a gentle reminder feels friendly rather than antagonistic. Plus, if you use a solution like Swell Pay, your customers can even pay their bill with just a few taps after following a link in the text message. This saves your staff time chasing down payments but also makes it super easy for customers to settle up.
If you want to make customer payments more convenient, Swell Pay is a great option. At its core, Swell Pay is a way to text a customer a link to a bill and conveniently pay it. Since it’s built with Stripe, payments are fast and super secure, and customers can pay via credit or debit card, ACH bank transfer, or even mobile payment options like Google Pay and Apple Pay. Everything is customizable. Just pick a recipient, type in relevant details about the bill, or attach a formal PDF invoice, and text it along. Customers can literally pay their bill within 3 phone taps. From there, you get a convenient dashboard that shows you how many bills are past due and how much is overdue. This way, it’s easy to reconcile the numbers between Swell and the invoicing and accounting software you use.
These days, it’s surprisingly easy for your business to set up a variety of payment options, and indeed, it’s essentially a requirement for great customer service. Taking the time to update your approach to billing and payments can help you reduce delinquent payments and give customers a better experience.
And if you want to do it all the fast and easy way, get a custom demo of Swell, so you can see how it all works.