How to help your customers form good payment habits.
Updated: Jul 29, 2021
Your customers want to pay on time but sometimes life gets in the way, sometimes technology gets in the way and sometimes either you forget to send the invoice or bills get lost in the pile.
Forming habits requires a 3 step process that loops repeatedly. Trigger, Routine and Reward. The trick is to make these 3 step processes so easy that it is almost impossible for your customers not to form these good habits. Fortunately in the context of payments and technology, this is easier than you think.
It starts with you. As Australia has one of the worst corporate records when it comes to customers paying on time, it won’t change without behavioural guidance by suppliers, use of technology and the promise of cooperation to become good corporate citizens (https://bit.ly/3ixrBIN)
The solution is a combination of personal and technology, leading to less stress, release money tied up in processes, good cash flow and ultimately, a happy and stronger business reputation (https://bit.ly/3wpBATU).
To help your customers form these good habits, use the simple concept of ‘1’ in choosing the technology you want to use.
Look for 1 platform that allows your customers:
To see and be automatically reminded (Trigger) of their upcoming bills (including other vendors); and
To set up Routines, such as:
Load all their cards and bank accounts in the 1 wallet.
Centrally manage and pay all their current and future bills.
Control their total company spend budget.
Even allow your customers to manage their sales invoices; and
To be automatically Rewarded in the form of discounts for paying all invoices (not just yours) early or be recognized for paying on-time.
This concept of 1 means your customers can avoid a barrage of logins, information and custom vendor payment platforms, which all adds to the confusion of payments to be made. Consistency is the key. They should always know what to expect, when to expect it and when they should pay for it, all in the 1 place.
Simplify their numerous processes into 1 and watch these good habits (plus financial benefit) develop and spread amongst the community.
The same ‘1’ principle applies to you as well, not just your customer. As a vendor, to help maintain good payment habits, you must be flexible, provide multiple payment options, police your payment terms, automate early payment via incentives, and constantly communicate with your customers, while automating as many processes as possible using the ‘1’ platform principle.
Good verbiage in your invoices can also avoid awkward conversations about expectations on payments. Tie that in with your choice of payment platforms providing ease of use for your customers and a “transaction” can turn into a relationship.
Even with the right software, you should never underestimate the power of maintaining relationships.
Provide all of the above for your customers and you will have peace of mind that you have done all you can to help form good payment habits.