It’s a trend fueled by the rise of the debit card, the explosion of credit cards, an uptick in bank drafts and of course, a surge in online bill payment, otherwise known as epayment. More than likely, your customers pay you in most or all of these ways.
Paying bills online is the option with the most growth potential, and because of its double benefits for businesses–it’s a cheaper way to bill customers and it results in quicker payments–businesses, of course, want to move more customers into epay systems. Trouble is, because the early adopters have already signed up, the customers that are left are the hardest ones to convince. They’re the ones who are worried about security, who like the bill paying systems they already use or who are tied to having paper bills as tangible evidence of expenditures.
Convincing them to make the shift takes work. Over the last few years, Bluegrass has worked with more than 100 clients to set up epay programs. Based on what we have learned, we have created a process that we call our E-Adoption program that helps our clients get more of their customers to sign up for epayment programs. On average, our clients are getting about a quarter of their customers to sign up for epay.
Here are five keys to getting people to move to epayment:
It might seem excessive, but you really can’t promote a program like this enough. On bills, social media, websites, billboards, in newsletters or in offices. Epay has to be marketed a lot and it needs to be explained in a way that is easy to grasp.
An epayment system has to be easy for the customer to use. If the system is cumbersome or time-consuming, customers will abandon it and go back to their old ways of paying bills.
The easiest way to convert a customer is when they initially sign up for service. That’s because they aren’t locked into a payment system and are open to new ideas. Plus, they have to sign up anyway, so why not adopt this new way of paying bills?
Epayment is appealing for many reasons and companies need to play up all its pluses. In an age in which an organizational expert can make millions with a small book about decluttering, it makes sense to promote that with epayment, bills are no longer scattered about the house. For those with busy schedules, epayment can be promoted as a time management tool. For those who hate waste, the millions of trees and tons of paper saved by epayment can be a motivator.
Some companies encourage customers to sign up for epayment by offering incentives or gifts for doing so. A few, but not many, have decided to start charging customers for paper bills as a way to push more toward epayment. That disincentive has been shown to backfire on many companies as customers close their accounts and move on to other companies.
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