Recurring payment is a process of charging customers at a regular interval for the services they’re using. In this process, the merchant, supplier, or wholesaler can charge customers automatically without making them go through the hassle of manual payment processing every single time. Although recurring payment software and payment gateways make recurring payment processing a breeze, there are still some loopholes that may get unnoticed at first, but later result in costly mistakes in terms of customer experience. In this article, we have compiled the 7 biggest recurring payment mistakes that ruin your customer relationship. Not just that, we will also talk about how you can correct these mistakes. So, without any further delay, let’s begin!
Recurring payments mistakes can ruin your customer experience.
1.Not Mentioning Complete Charges In The Invoice
Think like a customer for a second and imagine receiving a basic notification or invoice stating you need to pay “X” amount of money. No explanation, no details, nothing. This situation would probably leave you all confused as to what these are for, especially if you’re receiving recurring invoices from multiple services every month. And when you can not understand what services are you paying for, you’ll have to call customer support to get all the details before making the final payment.
All this process becomes hectic and time-consuming and often frustrates the customers. So, it is extremely important to provide your customers with a full breakdown of charges written on their invoices. Any special condition or information that can cause any sort of confusion — such as an update or a seasonal offer — must be mentioned clearly in the invoice. This becomes especially important when you’re running a recurring payment system based on usage.
2.No Personal Touch
Many online merchants don’t pay enough attention to invoicing and tend to use a rough and unfriendly tone. They forget that their customers are real entities and get affected by the tone of your invoice.
Let’s understand this with the help of an example. Suppose, you visit a top-class restaurant. They serve you the most amazing food. However, the staff and the service was harsh and rude. This will instantly turn you off and most probably, you will decide not to visit that place again. Right?!
The same thing happens during invoicing. If the tone you’re using seems impolite, it will upset your customers. So, always make sure that your invoices are friendly and have some sort of personal touch to them. Personalization is simple as using the customer’s name, greetings, and a simple thank you at the end will increase your chances of getting paid to a great extent.
3. Using Generic Invoices
Always keep in mind that the invoices you send represent your company and business as a whole. So, it is very important to maintain your standards and send a well-designed, and customized invoice that sets you apart from your kind. When you send generic invoices to your customers, it sets a poor impression, and they don’t have much interest in making payments on time. So, make sure to customize your invoices with your company’s logo, tag lines, and similar things to make them look premium.
4. Not Paying Attention to Marketing
If you’re sending recurring invoices merely for getting paid, you’re losing a great opportunity to market your business and services. The thing is, customers can easily ignore your promotional emails, brochures, and other marketing materials, but they can’t ignore the invoices. When you send an invoice, you get the full attention of your customers as they check every single payment detail closely before making payments.
So, you can take advantage of this behaviour by including your marketing content in the invoices. You can include promotional deals, discount offers, new products /services, etc. in your invoices.
5. Not Specifying a Payment Date
Many services send recurring invoices to their customers without mentioning a deadline for payment and later complain about not getting paid on time. And when a customer makes a late payment, they charge them with hefty late payment penalties which sour their experiences. So, avoid this situation by mentioning the due dates very clearly on the invoices.
6. Not Offering Enough Payment Options
Lack of payment options can quickly frustrate the customers. This is one common mistake that results in customer drop-off very often. So, make sure to offer several instant payment options to your customers.
7. Relying on Manual Payment Processing
In a subscription-based business, recurring billing is an important task that needs to be performed smoothly without any error. But manual payment processing does the opposite things — it is error-prone and time-consuming.
So, the only solution is having an automated payment processing system like a reliable payment gateway that can help you collect the recurring payments in the smoothest way possible.
Most of the above problems can be easily solved by using a feature-rich payment gateway. All you need to do is find the right service provider, and once you find one, you’re good to go!