Recurring payments are a great way to improve cash flow and reduce costs, while building customer loyalty, thanks to the added convenience. Customers always appreciate when a store does its best to accommodate them, whether that means staying open for longer hours, offering a wider selection of products and services than the competition, or having an automated billing system.
In fact, it’s a good idea to actively promote automatic billing programs if you have them implemented, by offering customers who use them extra benefits. The great thing about this system is that it attracts busy, successful people, who are more likely to be long term repeat customers. When marketing this service it’s important to target this type of customer.
Persuading customers to sign up for recurring payment programs takes different messaging when communicating with different customers. Some will respond immediately, because they already have experience with this type of program, while others will take more convincing to sign up. Regardless, consider trying to sell this feature at every opportunity.
You can add calls to action on all of your invoices, letters, newsletters and statements. You can also get your employees on board, by implementing a company-wide policy, which states that all customers that get in touch with the company should be encouraged to sign up. For this you can use on-hold messages as well, which are basically free advertising, and you can incentivize employees with various rewards for each sign up.
Of course, the internet cannot be overlooked in this case. Most customers that sign up for recurring payments are more tech-savvy than average, so the internet offers a great marketing opportunity. Your website can have clearly displayed information, banner advertisements and calls to action. And while you’re at it, you can make sure that customers can sign up for recurring payments directly through the website, instead of them having to place a call.
How to set up recurring payments
If you want to set up recurring payments, you will first have to be able to accept credit cards using a merchant account. You will then require a payment gateway if you also want to accept online payments, which should be provided by your merchant account provider. When signing up, make sure to confirm that the merchant account provider you utilize provides the ability to accept recurring payments.
Companies that request recurring payments normally offer a service or product that is itself recurring, such as a magazine subscription, or cleaning service, but you can also get creative. For example, many SaaS (software as a service) businesses choose the subscription model because it often generates more revenue.
For example, let’s say that you have a business selling shaving products. Surely, that would never work on a subscription model, right? Well, not really. Dollar Shave Club is a particularly popular example of how to set up and market a subscription-based shaving product. At Dollar Shave Club, customers sign up for a monthly delivery of blades, which goes to show that with a little creativity, your business might also benefit from implementing a subscription-based system.
For more information on recurring payments or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.