The online payment experience is one of the most critical interactions your organization has with its customers. Between changing customer expectations and evolving technologies, however, many organizations struggle to keep up.
The key to improving your payment experience lies with your online payment platform.
The majority of organizations already have an online payment platform in place. And while these solutions might get the job done — meaning they offer your customers the opportunity to pay their bills online or through a mobile device — there are still likely many gaps in your online payment experience. The fact is, all online payment platforms are not created equal.
Payment platforms should be able to drive real and significant results for your organization, such as reduced customer service calls, decreased staff workloads, and increased collections efficiencies. To drive these kinds of results, an online payment platform has to be designed with the customer experience in mind. This means providing a simple, efficient online payment experience that will make your customers want to pay online.
A recent research survey showed that convenience and flexibility were the top two reasons why consumers choose to pay bills online. Meaning that, if your payment platform is too clunky or difficult to use, your customers won’t use it. Instead, they will mail in a check, make an in-person payment, or call your customer service team – all of which use up valuable staff time that could be spent on other, high priority projects.
For many organizations, a clunky online payment platform can be the difference between retaining and losing a customer. Payments are one of the most frequent customer touchpoints. So a difficult payment experience could be the last straw that causes your customers to switch providers. With customer expectations constantly evolving, your organization needs a payment solution that can keep up. This means helping your organization meet its goals, and keeping you one step ahead of the competition.
Getting Started: Conduct an Experience Audit
So how can you tell if your online payment platform is driving the best possible results for your organization? Start by assessing your current online payment experience. Evaluate the experience from your customer’s point of view and write down the steps it takes to complete a payment. Pay special attention to things like:
- How many steps does it take for a customer to complete a payment?
- What are the potential roadblocks in this process – like unnecessary login screens?
- Where in this process might a customer abandon the payment route?
- How easy is it for customers to enroll in self-service options, like paperless billing and automatic payments?
After you’ve conduced an experience audit, you need to work on solving challenges with your current online payment platform. Focus on removing the obstacles that might be keeping more customers from paying online.
Some common challenges include:
- A clunky online payment experience. If your online payment experience is confusing, then you might have an online payment platform your customers don’t want to use. Improving online payment adoption rates is the key to driving results for your organization. So you should look for a platform that was designed to drive more online payments through a simple and flexible user interface.
- A manual software update process. Your staff shouldn’t constantly spending time manually updating software to get the latest security updates or technology enhancements. To eliminate this problem, look for a true Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution that can roll out updates automatically, to save staff time and keep your organization secure.
- Limited enrollment in self-service programs. If your customers aren’t taking full advantage of your self-service capabilities, like paperless billing and automatic payments, then you need a solution that was designed to engage customers throughout the payment route. Increased paperless billing and automatic payments save time and money for your organization.
Improving your online payment experience can seem like an overwhelming process, but the solutions to your most common challenges are simpler than you think. If you take the time to truly evaluate your existing solution, you’ll be able to uncover the roadblocks that are preventing more customers from paying online. If you’re looking for a quick way to uncover your organization’s biggest payments challenge, take this short assessment quiz.