Have you ever gone to the grocery store for milk and come out with eggs, bread, cheese & cereal, but no milk? Ever lost your keys, wallet or phone? How about walked into a room only to walk right out because you forgot what you went in there for in the first place? On a regular basis, we forget phone numbers we call every day, colleagues’ names, friends’ birthdays, our own anniversaries, even forgetting to pay bills!
That being said, wouldn’t it be nice to have payment reminders via text?
We forget things. It happens. For most of us, it’s been awhile since our 9-to-5 really started at 9 & ended at 5. Luckily, if you wish your mom a happy birthday a few days late you don’t get hit with a $25 late fee. (Unless, of course, it costs you an extra gift.)
However, if you forget to pay a bill – sometimes no matter what the reason – it can cost you an additional $25 in late fees. And, according to creditcards.com, the number one reason for late payments is that the customer simply forgot about it.
In addition to incurring a late fee, a payment that is more than 30 days late can lessen your credit score by 100 points. Despite the legitimate penalties, half of Americans have made a late payment at some point in their lives. What’s more shocking is that 88% percent of these people have paid late within the last year.
As a business, you should want to avoid late payments for two reasons. One, obviously, because it gets the money you earned in your pocket faster. And two, because it means your customers don’t have to worry about things like late fees & credit scores. I don’t have a stat on this, but I’d bet my bottom dollar that not getting charged late fees will make your customers happier – with you & overall.
So how can you help your customers remember to pay their bills on time? It’s simple. Remind them their payment is coming due. This sounds like a major task, but it can actually be quite simple if you use an outbound mass communication system. This is a key tool that enables businesses to communicate with a large number of customers (or a select group of customers) at once.
Our mass communication system is called nResponse. It allows you to upload & store your contacts, along with their preferred communication method, onto a secure server. (Even though it’s just contact information being stored, security is still important. Would you want your name & phone number accessible to hackers?)
nResponse allows you to upload custom messages, such as “Hi, Kristen, As a courtesy reminder, your Lord & Taylor payment is due by 5 P.M. today! Make your payment by its due date to avoid late fees.”
Messages are distributed according to your customer’s individual preference. If Joe likes texts, nResponse sends him a text. If Dave likes e-mail, nResponse sends him an e-mail. If Sally likes phone calls – you guessed it – nResponse calls her.
If you’re looking to make your customers’ lives really easy, you can link your mass communication tool to your mobile payment solution.
We, for example, often pair nResponse with PayIT, our pay by phone payment solution tool. This allows us to send out customized messages that contain a link from which customers can connect to PayIT and make a payment without ever putting their phone down.
That works kind of like this: “Hi, Kristen, As a courtesy reminder, your Lord & Taylor payment is due by 5 P.M. today! Click here to your payment now & avoid late fees.”
A notification system that not only reminds your customer of a coming due payment, but also allows them to make a payment without changing gears, is a surefire way to benefit your business. It will help you collect more money faster and it will make your customers happier by decreasing the possibility that they’ll be hit with late fees. It will also help your business deliver a better customer experience – something that will increase customer loyalty & help you earn new customers.
Now, if only your dog could send you a text message to remind you it’s time to feed him.
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