You’ve been browsing away on Amazon, found the item you want to buy and then you go to pay. But despite being ready to quickly enter your card details and crack on with the next job on your list you are told to wait for an email to come through. A few hours later it arrives. Despite having your card out ready it tells you to make a BACS payment. You login to your banking app. Then refer back to the email with the bank details. Then enter them, find your card reader to authorise a new payee, double check you’ve entered all the details correct and press send. Then you eagerly wait to hear that your payment was received and you definitely did enter the right details. A slow anxious process.
As the seller, you now have the job of checking the payment arrived, letting your customer know and slowly entering details into your accounting software.
If you had to do that each time you shopped on Amazon you would buy less often, or not at all. The question is, what options do you offer customers to pay you? Can they click on a payment link as soon as they have your quote or do they have to wait for you to send them banking details and go through the whole rigmarole? Is your payment process integrated into other systems or standalone?
What are the benefits of online payments?
Allowing payments to be made online can help you receive payments faster and can actually help to increase sales. An IDC study shows that, on average, businesses using Stripe attribute a 6.7% increase in revenue to the Stripe platform.
Customers can buy with increased confidence. Sending money via bank transfer offers the customer no buyer protection. If they make a mistake with the bank details or even you didn’t provide a report, the customer has no come back. Card payments offer them a safety net – they can make a claim with their bank should they never hear from you again. You know you have a reputation and you wouldn’t run away. But this might be the first time the customer has ever heard of you as a small business.
Speed – as soon as the customer has a payment link they can go ahead when they are ready. If they have to wait to receive it, the chances that your customer isn’t busy doing something when your payment link comes through is low. They read your email, plan to do it later and forget. You have to chase them up. Making the customer journey more seamless means having things ready the moment they are.
Admin – setup correctly, payment and customer data can feed straight into your accounting software so you don’t have to spend time inputting data or rectifying input errors.
Online Payments – Transaction Cost v Opportunity Cost
You may only want to offer BACS payments to your customers because there is a transaction cost when receiving online card payments. All your customers have paid you via BACS so far – they are happy. The reality is most aren’t in today’s world – they’ll put up with it if they have no choice but very few would prefer that choice over card payments. It’s more time consuming and offers less buyer protections as we mentioned earlier.
Consider when your customer may have free time to make payment. For customers arranging the payment on a mobile phone mid-commute, a card payment is easy. Show your face to the camera and it enters your saved card details. Meanwhile jumping between the mobile banking app and your email is simply a pain. People also don’t want others seeing their bank balance as they login to pay you. So, they end up leaving it for later in the day.
The reality is that card transactions just aren’t that expensive. They cost anywhere between 0.75% per transaction and 2.9% depending on who you use and if you have a monthly or pay as you go setup. The most commonly used pay as you go setup is Stripe and it integrates easily with almost any software or website. They charge 1.4% + 20p. On a £400 survey that’s just £5.60 to secure payment as soon as the customer has their quote as well as to save yourself the admin cost of chasing customers up for payment. It even saves you having to check you’ve been paid – you’ll get an alert from Stripe letting you know you’ve received a payment!
Still not convinced? How busy are you in a normal working week. How long does it take to periodically login to your accounting software to add all your sales (or how much do you pay someone to do that)? This is a task you need not bother with. Most payment software links into most accounting software. All you have to do is confirm the transaction and your accounting is up-to-date with an invoice created. No manual data entry, it’s already there.
As we’ve mentioned before with the sales funnel every hurdle you put in the customers’ way increases the chances that they won’t use your services. Each barrier you offer is a sign of the hassle in their customer journey to come. At this stage of the process the customer is not as emotionally tied to you as after the moment that payment is made. Any other surveyor who makes contact in the time they’re putting the payment process off is a great opportunity to swoop in, offer an easy experience and take them away.
Is it worth losing out on a whole survey, to spend time chasing payments or waste time on accounting admin for the sake of £5.60? It’s a no brainer. Less time on admin also means more time on survey care or converting sales leads. Again, invest your time in chasing and checking payments. Or invest in automation so you can focus on tasks that win you more money.
Automating Online Payments
If you are able to submit quotes to your customers (automatically or manually) online, payment systems can be integrated to allow payment to be made automatically. This removes the need to manually set up invoices, enter customer details and submit them. It also removes the unnecessary step the customer must make to tell you they’d like to go ahead and wait for your payment information. Fewer hurdles to payment helps push more customers through the sales funnel.
Survey Booker has been set up to allow you to provide quotes to customers, to integrate payments and feed this data into your accounting software. If you’d like to speak to the team about how we can help you remove admin from the sales and survey process, please feel free to speak to a member of the team.