5 flexible payment methods to drive better customer experiences
Are you offering your customers the types flexible payment options they need? Perhaps your B2C customers would rather not pay with their credit card, or your B2B customers would prefer a secured payment portal. Read on the learn why offering various payme
Today, positive customer experiences matter more than ever. When making purchasing decisions, prospective customers highly value critical customer experience factors like the usability of a website, the ease (or difficulty) of making a payment, and the level of support they receive.
In fact, PwC found that 73% of customers prioritize experience as a significant factor in their buying decisions, ranked after product quality and cost. When businesses fail to properly prioritize customer experience, it’s not cheap. According to Siegel+Gale, businesses lose out on $98 billion each year because they don’t deliver simple, effective experiences to their customers.
One of the places where businesses often stumble in customer experience is payments. Whether B2B or B2C, companies struggle to provide simple and convenient payment methods that cater to their customers’ needs. That’s a problem, because the more convenient a payment method is, the more likely a customer will pay (and pay on time.)
These 5 flexible payment methods will drive better customer experiences, leading to stronger customer satisfaction, improved brand reputation, and increased sales.
1. Email pay
Normally, making a B2B payment is a difficult process filled with stuttering stops and starts. Customers often have to make payments over the phone, which is an outdated and inconvenient practice. Customers don’t want to play phone tag with merchants or read their credit card numbers aloud—they want to make payments quickly and simply.
Email pay allows customers to make secure payments on invoices delivered directly to their inbox. Once they click on the link in the email, they can enter their payment details into a secure online form, and the invoice is paid off right then and there.
2. Customer payment portal
Email pay is useful for one-off or less frequent payments, but customers that have to frequently pay off invoices will benefit from a customer payment portal. A customer payment portal is a password-protected site where customers can log in to view, manage, and pay off their invoices. Just like with email pay, they don’t have to get in touch with the merchant to make a payment—they can handle their payments on their own time, when it’s convenient for them. Customers can view their full transaction history and choose to make full or partial payments on invoices. Their card data is never shared with the merchant, which leads to better trust.
Email pay and customer payment portals definitely skew toward B2B customers, but eCommerce undeniably spans both B2B and B2C. People, whether they’re buying for their company or for themselves, want to pay online. We’re increasingly moving every aspect of our lives online, and that includes buying. If your business doesn’t have a website with easy checkout options, your potential customers might go with a competitor that offers a better customer experience instead. Giving your customers the option to pay directly on your own website builds credibility, trust, and creates a stronger, more enjoyable customer experience.
4. Mobile payments
Mobile payments were already on the rise before the pandemic fueled even faster growth of convenient, contactless payment methods. After a year of paying for purchases with a simple tap—at everywhere from the grocery store to the gas pump—customers expect cashless, mobile payments as an option.
5. Recurring billing
SaaS and subscription models are so ubiquitous now, even mega corporations like Microsoft have embraced the approach for their flagship software, Microsoft Office. B2B and B2C customers alike are accustomed to recurring billing and find the system convenient: they don’t have to worry about manually making a payment, and their service is never suspended, since the card is automatically charged. With recurring billing, the company essentially fades into the background, and the customer enjoys uninterrupted service without having to bother with the hassle of making a payment.
Deliver better eCommerce experiences with flexible payment methods
Businesses are beginning to understand just how vital the customer experience is and what it means for the bottom line. By meeting your customers where they are and delivering seamless payment methods suited to their needs, you’ll enhance their experience, build their loyalty, and see better sales in the long run.