Forte Payments Advantage: Automated Payments
Save $80/year per customer enrolled in an automatic payment plan.
Here are some suggestions to get your customers to sign up for Autopay.
1) Every time you interact with a customer whether they are paying a bill, signing up for service or calling for support let them know about the convenience of an automated payment plan.
You must train staff to do this automatically. Invest the time and effort to create a checklist/script people can refer to.
There must be a concerted ongoing effort from all team members. EVERY interaction is a chance to save $80/year. The data about who is/is not on AutoPay has to be at everyone’s fingertips.
2) Include information about your automated payment plan or check by phone option on all invoices and customer correspondences. Include a call to action to sign up for the automated plan and make it easy for them to do so.
You may do an insert with all the benefits [or reference arguments for Autopay. Make sure you say “Call us now to sign up” maybe include an incentive. Direct them to your website for sign up forms/more info.
3) Make your website a billboard for your automated billing plan.
Include sign up forms and directions. Educate your customer. If they understand that ultimately they get time and money savings plus better service and environmental benefits they typically will agree.
Maybe a Top 5 reasons why AutoPay is the way to go [or the only way]. Here is a Top 5 sample but you can modify as you wish:
- Saves you time: No more check writing, stamps/mailing envelopes
- Save money: Stamps are getting expensive!
- Environmental benefits-less paper. No mailed invoices or paper checks
- Reduces Identity theft potential: Paper checks with personal info get lost in the mail and sometimes find their way into hands of bad people. AutoPay reduces risk substantially.
- Helps business be able to spend more time on quality service
4) Start an incentive campaign for automated payment sign up.
Consider giving 5-10% off their next 3 months billing or some other motivational offer. Consider partnering with a local business and offer cross promotional coupons for 10% off products in return for program sign up. An example might be a restaurant/plumber/HVAC.
This is also a great way to develop referral partnerships with businesses that have a parallel [non-competitive] customer base. Consider creating your own referral/cross promotional group.
Done correctly you can create a new, consistent customer acquisition tool. Some businesses have taken this a step further and charge a monthly fee to be part of the group. They hold quarterly meetings/do coop advertising, create a local website directory etc.
This is an extraordinarily powerful way to grow your business. If you are the one organizing you have a huge advantage.
5) Telemarket your customers and let them know about the program and advantages of signing up.
You can use internal staff or hire a telemarketing firm to call for you. For a couple of hundred dollars you may be able to up your participation rate dramatically.
If you have staff with downtime fill it with these types of calls. Utilize any of the other suggestions and TRAIN them what and how to say it. Please do NOT leave this to chance-train, measure and strategize how to improve. $80 year per client incentive to get this right. If they leave a message direct to your website.
6) Consider implementing an Autopay only option for new customers.
You can give them a choice of paying automatically via check or credit card. Stress all benefits.
I can hear some of you saying “that won’t work-I will lose customers”. Although this may be true this may end up being a good thing [what!]. YES-in fact you should probably fire some clients. There will always be peole who demand everything, appreciate nothing and want to pay next to nothing. They are simply not worth the money and aggravation. Focus on attracting “ideal” clients. People you want to work with and love helping.
Those who balk at paying automatically are likely slow payers or “problem” customers. Fire ’em. You will replace with ideal clients.
7) Make it a fun! Offer prizes for participants.
Hold a raffle of 3 months of free service to the winner or $100 cash card etc. You only get a ticket if you are a current AutoPay user or you switch over!
8) Consider a fee increase for credit card related payments.
“Nudge” customers to choose the ACH option over credit cards.
9) Tout the benefits:
– The environment: no more paper invoices/reminder letters/paper checks/bank trips etc etc.
You want to focus on providing the best level of service possible.
10) Charge an admin fee [i.e. an extra $5/month] for NOT using AutoPay.
Hit people in the wallet.
11) POS sign up: If you are in a client’s home and can close your sale pre-sell them on Autopay and present it as the best option.
Use our education piece that details how electronic payments are MUCH safer than paper checks or mailing in payments.
So get going on AutoPay- AlarmBiller makes it great for your business.
Contact us with any questions.