COMMUNICATION | 10 MIN READ
10 Tips That Will Make Your Customers Happy to Pay You
Getting payments from your customers can be time consuming and repetitive, and is often on top of all the other responsibilities you have during the work day. It can even be a source of stress and anxiety when you’re chasing after customers with invoices long overdue. However, throughout this process, it’s important to remember at the other end of this account you’re attempting to collect, is a real person.
“Acquiring a new customer is five times as expensive as retaining an existing customer.” – Harvard Business Review (HBR)
Whether you’re collecting for your business, or on behalf of another, customer retention should always be in the back of your mind. Especially, when according to Harvard Business magazine, it costs five to 25 times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one., it is more profitable for a company to retain its customers rather than trying to win new ones. That research even adds that increasing the customer retention rate allows a company to increase its profits by 25 to 95%!
So, is it even possible to collect from customers and actually make them happy to do it?
Here’s 10 tips that will help you communicate, invoice, and collect from your customers in a way that keeps them happy and satisfied to continue doing business with your company
1) You will try to understand why the customer has chosen you
Don’t forget that your current customer has already gone through the sales cycle. He has been through the full sales cycle and the service has convinced him. Therefore, reinforce his choice when you re-launch him! Used wisely, the time to cash out is a good opportunity to maintain customer relationships.
2) You will show your client that you are listening to him or her
3) You will show that you are attentive to the means of interaction that he or she favors
4) You will have an in-depth understanding of your client’s purchasing and payment channels
5) You will understand that there are individuals behind the company
6) You may want to consider setting up client advisory committees (CACs)
Bevin Maguire and Jane Hiscok explain that they have implemented such committees in their respective companies, IBM and the Farland Group. These committees are very beneficial to them, as they allow them to gather valuable information about their clients’ activities and priorities. They can then improve their go-to-market strategy and approach, while strengthening relationships with their customers. If you have the human, time and financial means to implement them, they will be a real asset.
7) You will detect risks before maturity
8) You will sometimes use the human relationship as a means of pressure
Quantify the cost of late payments and put your cards on the table. For example, say, “Our company makes 600,000 dollars a year in turnover with your company. On average, you pay with a delay of 15 days. It may seem trivial to you, but it generates a permanent cash flow gap of 25,000 dollars for us… And we are obliged to finance it by factoring. This costs us 2,000 dollars a year.” We would simply like to make you understand that a small structure like that cannot absorb such costs.
9) You will use the human relationship to establish a long-term vision of the business relationship
10) You will put in place measures to speed up the collection process
All in all, it is now more important than ever to build long-lasting and prosperous business relationships. All the more so in a context of strong competition and the automation of companies, where perpetual hunting for new customers can be very costly. We hope that these few tips will help you make the collection process more favorable for your company and for the customer.
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