Today’s guest post comes from Elaine Bennett, a digital marketing specialist focused on helping Australian startups and small businesses grow. :
Attracting new customers and expanding your customer base is critical for your business growth. However, customer retention is even more important. Statistics show that the cost of acquiring a new customer can be five times higher than the cost of retaining your existing customers. Given these digits, it’s not surprising that a good customer experience is expected to become even more important than your products or prices by 2020.
In this customer-centered era, your billing system can become a key factor in boosting the overall customer experience and building stronger relationships with them. Let’s see how to use it to increase customer retention rates.
Building Highly Personalized Customer Experiences
Today, personalization dominates every segment of your customer interactions, including your invoice management. People are used to highly customized services, tailored just for them. For example, some of your customers prefer to make payments using different credit cards, while others would go with a bank direct debit. And, before they book your services, they will first check whether you offer their desired payment method.
Precisely because of that, you need to make sure payment options are highly flexible and adapted to your customers’ needs. This is where automated payment processing shines. Namely, the implementation of a direct debit system allows you to manage recurring direct debit payments across multiple sites, helping your customers carry out transactions using multiple payment options and currencies. By providing a plethora of ways to pay, your target customers will be more likely to sign up for a repeat purchase.
Greater Security Builds Trust
The rise of online payments provides cyber criminals with easier access to customer information. And, your customers are aware of that. Precisely because of that, they choose those companies that can guarantee that their personal information will stay safe during the transaction.
Therefore, to get your target customers to choose you over your competitors and come back to you again, you need to meet the highest payment security standards. Of course, this is an extremely time-consuming and costly process, as it requires strong servers and hiring in-house tech support.
However, with the help of automated billing software, you can reduce your operational costs significantly. No matter if they’re used as a standalone platform or they’re integrated into your existing business software, these platforms are cloud-based and comply with PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard). By investing in them, you will make sure that your customers’ sensitive data, billing, and payment processing are out of hackers’ reach and handled at the highest level of security.
Don’t Let Failed Payments Hurt Customer Relationships
Studies show that more than 64% of small businesses face the issue of failed and late invoices. For any business owner, handling this major problem is inevitable. It includes sending multiple dunning emails and reminders that are not pleasant to their customers’ ears, too. Therefore, it’s a great challenge to get your customers to pay you and, at the same time, maintain strong relationships with them.
This is why you need to automate your rebilling efforts. A reliable payment platform will first try to rebill your customers automatically and collect the payment again. Most importantly, it will notify your customers of any failed payments and empower them to resolve the problem as fast as possible.
Real-Time Information Boosts your Customer Retention
To keep your customers satisfied, you need to tailor your billing system to their needs. And, to do so, you need to monitor your business health and performance, track your customers’ behaviors and understand what their major problems are when carrying out transactions. Of course, tracking your major KPIs and creating regular reports manually would eat up loads of your time.
So, instead of handling a myriad of digits and using complicated Excel spreadsheets and formulas, you can invest in an automated billing platform and generate your financial reports effortlessly. Most of these platforms have in-built reporting tools that you can customize and adapt according to your needs.
With these reports, you will have a full insight into the distribution of billings, a comprehensive customer list, a list of invalid customer information, transaction details, and so forth. By tracking your financial health, you will be able to make better-informed decisions in the future and tailor your business operations to your customers’ needs and expectations. Above all, you will be able to identify the major problems in your billing system and prevent these from hurting your customer relationships.
Over to You
To win your customers over and turn them into your brand advocates, you need to focus on building strong relationships outside your products. And, this is where a solid recurring billing system comes as a blessing from the skies. It will help you interact with your customers more effectively, help them complete the desired actions faster, and tailor your invoicing and rebilling strategies to their needs and expectations. Above all, you will be able to make data-oriented decisions that would boost people’s experiences with your business.
How do you use your billing system to retain customers?