The competition is fierce these days and most enterprises are vying for the attention of potential customers. The higher the competition the higher the chances are of your customer switching over to a competitor. One of the many challenges in this field is getting your customer to pay for your work. Your clients may delay payment for a variety of reasons, for example, they may feel that your work does not meet their expectations, or they may be trying to bargain with you and bring down the amount they have to pay. Dealing with delayed payments can be exhausting and if you go about it with no strategy in place, chances are that you will end up ruining your relationship with the client.
Insellers present some pointers to get that client to pay the real value for your work. Assuming that the product or service you provide is competent and meets the expectations of your client, there are some tried and true strategies to help you on this journey. Let’s dive in.
Convince your Customer
No, I’m not talking about convincing your customer to pay, I’m talking about convincing your customer as to the benefits of your product or service. Look at it this way, when surrounded by the range of products that are being marketed today, don’t you feel confused? Similarly, most customers experience doubts when they go through the purchase cycle. They compare the different products available and try to decide which option would give them the maximum value for the money they are spending. That is the reason why you have to convince your customers, do your research and know what products you are competing against and make a case for your product. Stress upon your USP and personalise your responses according to your client. Tell them how your product can benefit them. Show them concrete results, positive reviews from past clients or media attention. If the customer feels like your words are true and that your product has indeed made good of these promises, they’ll be more than willing to pay you.
Almost 86% of customers are ready to pay more for a better customer experience. Keeping your customers happy can have a wide range of benefits. The client’s relationship with the company can also impact his willingness to pay. A satisfied customer who wishes to remain a regular customer would not hold back payments deliberately. Go that extra mile for your clients, pay attention to the little things. They should not feel that they are just a source of revenue, each client should feel that you care about them, and special treatment and personalised customer service can go a long way in nurturing client relationships. Regularly check-in on your clients even if they are not buying anything at present, and they’ll stay loyal to you and hence pay promptly for your services.
Not many customers keep a log of all the payments that are due at a specific time. Some customers may welcome the option of paying upfront as it saves them time, and they don’t have to plan ahead. One thing to be kept in mind here is that not all customers may prefer this method due to financial constraints or because they don’t trust your company yet, so make sure you have other options available for them to choose from. For example, you can ask for a partial payment to be done at the onset and then ask the client to pay the rest when the work is delivered.
This is one of the more obvious ways of getting your client to pay. Set a reasonable rate for your service at the very beginning of the agreement and let the client know when you expect to complete your work and when you need the payment. Send updates about your work progress so that the client is also involved in the process and along with work updates send reminders of the payment. Keeping the client involved can help boost client relationships and the timely reminders would prevent the client from forgetting about the payment. Sending reminders must be done in moderation as you are at risk of irritating the client if you overdo it. If the client misses the payment even after these reminders, contact them on the due date. Not all customers miss a payment deliberately. If they did not notice your reminders or if they simply forgot the date for payment, calling them up and reminding them can help.
Payment Plans and Incentives
There may be clients who want to pay you but are not able to at present due to financial constraints. Identify these customers and suggest payment plans for them, whereby they could pay the bill in instalments. It is advisable to use this method only with regular clients who are otherwise prompt in their payments. You can also consider adding incentives for quick payments. This can effectively encourage some clients to make early payments. The incentives could be a discount or a special service or a free product. Such offerings can enhance customer loyalty and provide your customers with a sense of satisfaction.
According to the latest BCM, late payments from customers are a greater challenge than a year ago for one in five businesses (20%). Six out of nine sectors (Property, Business Services, Manufacturing & Engineering, Construction, Retail & Wholesale, and Banking, Finance & Insurance) are experiencing this as a growing issue, while nearly a quarter (24%) of SMEs are also reporting this. The rising concern about the issue has prompted various enterprises to adopt traditional as well as innovative solutions. For example, many companies are adopting automation to send automated reminders to their clients through text messages, as most customers prefer text messages to emails.