Sooner or later all companies are confronted with unpaid invoices. A customer may simply forget an invoice or may need a payment plan. In any case, unpaid invoices must be followed up quickly and correctly. Let’s dive into some effective tips to improve your payment reminders for your clients.
First, what is a B2C payment reminder or client payment reminder?
First of all, a B2C (business-to-consumer) payment is a transaction between a company and its consumers. Most B2C payments are one-off payments, such as subscriptions, or less regular payments, such as bills for a particular type of service. A payment reminder is a notification, usually sent by email, post or SMS, that a business sends to its customer when a payment is overdue. The purpose is simply to remind the customer of their unpaid invoice that has passed the billing date.
1. Choose the right communication channel
It all starts with the communication channel you choose. If you start by selecting a channel that is not effective or not adapted to your customers, your B2C payment reminders will not be seen or read, and therefore your invoices will not be paid. Do you know your customers? Do you know which platforms or devices they are active on? It is important to know your customers and to create typical personas to know how to act afterwards. This applies to payment reminders as much as to marketing, sales and other areas of your business.
2. Choose the appropriate tone of voice
Don’t forget to be empathetic and end the appropriate message. Payment reminders can be really tricky and people generally get sensitive when we talk about payments. You don’t want your customers to feel persecuted or judged. Start by making it clear who you are and why you are making contact, what the problem is and what steps they need to take to solve it. Do not start by pointing fingers or being aggressive in your communication with your customers. In most cases, they have simply forgotten that the payment has not been transferred.
3. Provide the invoice details of your payment reminders
Did you ever open a payment reminder message without clear information? You’re probably postponing the payment deadline due to a lack of clarity. People are multitasking these days, if your customer receives an effective and clear payment reminder text message, where the amount to be paid and the communication to be noted are clear, they will pay immediately. But if there are too many texts, file numbers and other confusing figures, you may have to wait a long time. You’ll stay on their “to-do list” for a while. An effective payment reminder should be straight to the point, but above all, contain the most important information to call for action! You can get into the details via email with more information.
4. Provide a payment link
Never underestimate a link, especially via SMS. As mentioned above, your customers will probably receive your payment reminder SMS while they are doing another task. In order to keep their attention and encourage them to pay directly, add a payment link in the text message. Payment links in SMS have a much higher than average payment rate. At RingRing, most of our clients use this very effective method to optimize their payment reminders. This solution is not only appreciated by the companies but also by the end customers who pay in a few clicks!
5. Personalize your message
To improve the payment rate of your payment reminders, personalize them! It can sound weird but it’s really effective. Just adding a name or a little wink to your clients will help them know it’s not only an automated robot sending payment reminders to every client. They have to feel close to the company, even if we talk about payments. How do you react when a friend asks you to pay back the lunch from the last time? You pay for it right away because the emotional part is activated. This works just as well for a company-customer relationship. If your message is just a series of impersonal codes and numbers, the customer will feel like one of the miles and will postpone payment. If you personalize the message as if someone from the company is sending it, the manager or an employee close to the customer, it will work better!
6. Choose the right time to send an effective payment reminder
Choosing the right time to send an effective payment reminder is centric. When we talk about time, two things are important: the sending time (i.e. the best sending times for an SMS) and the best time for your company to send it (i.e. as soon as the payment deadline has expired).
Talking about the best time, send your payment reminder as soon as the payment deadline has passed. Don’t wait too long, because that would mean that it is not that important to you, so why should it be a priority for the customer? Also, be reactive and proactive: you can send a friendly message a few days before the expiry of the payment deadline to ask them if they have forgotten you, for example.
7. Automating the sending of payment reminders for your clients
Error is human. Sending payment reminders should be an automated task to avoid oversight or even a lack of regularity.
Ideally, payment reminders should be sent at fixed times and at crucial moments as explained above. In addition to keeping your payment reminders effective through timing and content, you will save time by automating payment reminders for your clients. This will allow you or your employees to concentrate on other more interesting and demanding tasks. It is usually more efficient to send out a mass mailing. A specialized bulk SMS and payment reminder platform such as RingRing can help you. Taking credit management to the next level and further optimizing your company’s cash flow.
Save time and money by sending payment reminders to your customers
Don’t forget to follow the 7 valuable tips for sending effective and, above all, respectful reminders. This will allow you to maintain a good customer relationship while keeping a sufficient cash flow for your business. Do you need help activating payment reminders in your company? Don’t hesitate to ask our experts for help!