Customer Experience, Personalization, Payments Experience, Crisis Communication

Why Frictionless Payments Matter in a Crisis

Tracy Borreson

Tracy Borreson,
April 14, 2020

There are so many things happening during a crisis, and if your customers generally miss payments, then outside stress and anxiety definitely aren't going to help. 

What DOES help is an easy payments experience. One that can support access from anywhere. One that reminds you (gently) that you've missed a payment. One that keeps you informed on what to do to maintain the status of your account.

Read on for tips on how to create your own frictionless payments process!

Access from anywhere

If you're anything like me, thoughts come and go out of your head almost constantly. One minute I'll be thinking about making an upcoming payment, and the next, I'm on to something else. Then, I'll think of it again, maybe I'll even make a note in my calendar. And then - POOF - gone again.

Generally, people aren't missing payments on purpose. But, especially in a crisis, so many things are happening at the same time and people just can't stay on top of everything. You can't know when people are going to think about paying you, so by making sure you are where they are, you maximize their opportunity to pay.

So, how can we do that?

      Make sure people can pay online from their mobile device

      Make sure you can support direct deposit & recurring payments

      Make sure all payment processing is secure

For more information on setting up streamlined payment processing across channels, check out our partner Global Payments!

Send a reminder

I would love to say that making timely payments is always top of mind. But let's be honest, it isn't for almost anyone. A gentle nudge in the right direction is sometimes all it takes to get someone back on track. 

To reiterate, generally people aren't missing payments on purpose; although a crisis can often throw people into a state of unpredictable cash flow and MORE people (that don't normally miss payments) may be delinquent. Making sure you continue to treat your customers with respect, even when they owe you, is key to making your payments experience as good as possible. 

Let's take a look at some of the things we can do to support this goal:

      Gently remind people with a tone-right message in their channel of preference

      Create easy ways for people to pay within your reminders

      Remind people multiple times, with increasing urgency

I can't state enough the importance of using preferred channels and tone-right messages. Using preferred channels will allow the best access to your customer's attention. And for more information on which channels work best for tone-right communications, check out our blog post here

Tell them what to expect

If you read my blog posts often, you'll know that I'm all about managing expectations. In the case of a missed payment, there are some likely scenarios that a customer might expect; predominantly, account cancellation. 

I'm starting to get repetitive here, but, again, most people aren't aiming for an account cancellation. Which means that it's not top of mind for them, even if they've missed a payment. If you don't tell them what to expect, they will make assumptions that may be wrong. 

So, how can we make sure their expectations are well-managed?

      Tell them WHAT they can expect if they don't take the recommended action

      Tell them WHEN they can expect it

      Tell them HOW they can rectify the current situation

These three items are all critical to the success of your expectation management. 2/3 won't cut it. If you miss the WHAT, people can't understand the pain they might feel. If you miss the WHEN, people won't have a sense of urgency. And if you miss HOW, you have a bunch of people urgently trying to avoid pain that don't know how. So, a 67% might be a pass somewhere, but definitely not here. 

Why it matters

As businesses, we fail to thrive without payments. If we all provide our services and don't get paid, we go out of business. Simple. If we want to encourage payments, we need to do all the right things to ensure we are making it easy and safe for our customers to pay us. That's it. 

Still need help making sense of it all? Schedule a Consultation

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About the Author

Tracy Borreson

Tracy Borreson

Tracy has been a member of the SPLICE Team since 2012, with roles in both Client Success and Marketing. As VP of Marketing, she leads the team's demand generation, branding, and communications efforts. Tracy holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing from the University of Alberta and a Relationship Selling designation from Dale Carnegie. Prior to SPLICE, Tracy perfected her marketing expertise through senior level Project Management and Marketing positions at Kirk Marketing, Honeycomb Direct Mail, The Brick and CFCW. Her contributions also extend to the community, including past roles as Vice President of Marketing at the Credit Institute of Canada, Calgary Chapter. She is also a proud mother of a rambunctious, red-headed little boy.

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