Saturday , September 21, 2019

COMMENTARY: Easy Payments Are Increasingly Vital to Good Customer Experience. Here’s Why

As organizations look to remain competitive in the ever-transforming business space, customer experience (CX) has come to the fore.

And those that focus on CX understand that it has to be a priority in every interaction a customer has with the company, from signup and purchase through relationship building, marketing, and billing.

Payment is an important part of that CX journey, so making it easy to pay has to be a priority, particularly where payment details have been stored. Moving to a single-click payment process brings ease of use and convenience to customers.

Not only does embracing one-click payments make paying faster and easier for customers, it also comes with significant business benefits.

One-click payment is a billing solution that sends customers an email with a PDF of their bill attached. The email includes the option to pay the amount due directly from within the email itself, without needing to open the attachment or log in to a portal to make a payment.

Customers who save their account details for their preferred method of payment can pay the total amount due or the past-due payment directly from the email, making it easy from any device.

No matter how loyal a customer is, they’re far more likely to begrudge paying their bill than enjoy doing so. The last thing you want, therefore, is to make the payment process tedious or complex.

Including a payment button within the billing email eliminates a lot of the steps a customer would otherwise have to take. Additionally, it makes it substantially easier for customers to pay using their mobile device.

In the grand scheme of things, those might seem like minor conveniences. For a customer, however, being able to pay a bill right away means not risking a missed payment.  

Papanicolaou: “With technology accelerating rapidly and new tools for communicating with customers emerging all the time, email remains fit for purpose.”

With technology accelerating rapidly and new tools for communicating with customers emerging all the time, email remains fit for purpose. And, as the digital address on record for many customers, email is the perfect place to not only communicate with customers, but to send them their bill and collect payment.  

A large part of that effectiveness comes down to email’s ubiquity. There are around 4 billion email users sending more than 281 billion emails sent every day. Because so many organizations already bill via email, most customers are also habituated to being billed that way.

It simply makes sense to allow them to pay from the same platform. 

But one-click payment isn’t just good for customers. It also includes real benefits for organizations. 

When receiving a bill digitally, customers pay faster than they would with a traditional paper bill. Days sales outstanding improves even further when payment is convenient, easy, and within the same channel they’re receiving the bill, improving cash flow and reducing outstanding payments.

What appears, at face value, to be a simple button therefore becomes an incredibly valuable tool in improving the overall customer experience and reducing the time before being paid for companies. 

—Mia Papanicolaou is chief operating officer at Striata, New York City.

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