In the world of business, financial control is key – and when it comes to managing end-to-end operations, you may be overlooking operations that are costing you more than you realise.
Dig deep into your business to find out where your pain points are and discover how you can improve your cashflow with payment integration.
Assessing your business requirements
Before integration, take the time to thoroughly assess your current business requirements. This will enable you to have a strong understanding of your business operations, as well as how to move forward with the most effective solutions to ensure consistent cashflow.
Review your current system
Begin by undertaking a review of your business’ end-to-end processes, highlighting where financials come into place. By finding out where and how finances transition throughout your business, you will gain a clearer insight into what’s working and where processes can be improved. Be sure to consider factors such as time, employee / employer responsibility and any additional income and work staff from seasonal holidays.
Identify points for improvement
Pinpoint areas that can be improved in regards to your finances, from managing your customer’s financial transactions through to follow-up on missed or delayed payments. Slow payment processes can not only impact your cashflow, but in turn affect your entire business operation. Internal processes including taking payments, reporting and reconciling are all time-consuming tasks that can impact on your operational costs.
Access your cost of improvement
Once you’ve identified the processes that are impacting on your financials, start accessing your cost of improvement. This means finding ways to streamline and minimise the cost of operations, which may include cutting time spent chasing overdue payments, invoicing and administration tasks. Implementing a quality payments platform can effectively combine these costly business operations, enabling you to focus on increasing cashflow, rather than simply maintaining it.
Review current customer data
What customer data do you currently hold? From home addresses through to credit card numbers, there comes a wealth of responsibility (with very strict rules) when you are in ownership of personal information. Audit your current payment data, along with a review of how you are storing and securing this information. If you’re looking for a means to add extra security to your customer – and business – data, integrating a payments processor may be the easiest and most effective option.
Find the best service for your needs
Finally, when considering how to increase your cashflow by streamlining your current business operations, ask yourself:
How am I selling my product or service? (Online, in store, via phone)
How much are my current ‘slow processes’ costing?
Will integration help to streamline recurring payments?
If there are potential improvements to be made regarding recurring payments, consider integration
with a payments provider. By automating payment operations (including invoicing) and securing customer data with the highest quality encryption methods, you are effectively streamlining your operations, saving money while increasing cashflow.
Improving payment integration for your customer experience
Customers are the bottom line of business. They will determine your income, your reputation and your likelihood of success. Once the decision has been made to purchase, it’s in your best interest to keep methods of payment quick and simple.
For products or services that are offered via recurring payments (such as childcare fees, gym membership or internet service provider), making your process as seamless as possible will improve your likelihood of satisfied long-term customers.
Keep the following points in mind when improving payment integration in your customer journey:
Research your customer spending habits
Consider how your current customers are spending their money – do they prefer purchasing via cash, opting for direct debit, paying via an online service provider or starting a ‘set and forget’ contract style of payment (aka recurring payment). Regardless of how a customer spends, it’s in your best interest to accept the payment they are wanting to give.
Today, more businesses are opting to become omni-channel. This means offering multiple payment options, catering for a wider demographic and meeting the needs for customer payment needs.
When opting for online payment, more consumers are wary of payment gateway security. By partnering with a secure payments provider, both you and your customers are ensured data is held to the highest levels of security. Adding a badge or logo to your payment form showcasing your chosen provider and their credentials adds an extra layer of credibility to your business.
Reward customer loyalty
Do you offer rewards to your customers for their continued purchases? Improve your business’ reputation by implementing a customer loyalty program that rewards for on-time payments or long-term relationships. This could be in the form of on-time discounts, annual giveaway draws or discounted membership rates for long-term customers.
Keep it simple
Finally – and perhaps most importantly – make your customer purchasing experience enjoyable by keeping things simple. The less a customer has to do regarding their payments, the more likely you are to retain their business. This includes keeping all payments on site (not having to leave to a third party site to purchase) and removing the need for additional log in credentials.
To learn more about having a completely connected payment services system, download our free guide, Preparing Your Business for a New Payment Platform.