Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Automated payment system participation tips

Guest post about automated payment programs

Ten Easy Steps to Increase Customer Participation in an Automated Payment
Copyright (c) 2009 Wayne Akey

Autopay programs via ACH and/or credit card are statically proven
to increase customer retention. When a person does not have to
think about writing a check or handing over a credit card each
month they are much less likely to think "Do I want to keep
paying for this service"?

If you ask a business that relies on monthly or weekly payments
to list his or her biggest source of stress it would typically be
Payment Collection. Clearly a business owner that does not have
to spend hours each month running around or calling clients to
pay for their valued service has extra time to spend ON the
business and not IN it. Business consultants consistently and
unequivocally agree that until a business owner can transition
from the day to day minutia that consume time that owner will not
realize the businesses true potential. This is where the power of
an automated payment collection system can transform your

We all know that the more customers on an automated payment plan
program the better it is for business. The challenge can be
getting your customer to get on board. Though some businesses are
in a position to mandate automated payments (health clubs have
done this for years) most businesses have to rely on customers
agreeing to the change. Here are 10 easy steps to either increase
your participation rate in an ACH and/or credit card automated
program or encouraging the customer to move from a credit card to
an ACH (echeck).

1) Every time you speak with a customer whether they are paying
a bill, signing up for service or calling for support let them
know about the convenience of an automated payment plan or check
by phone.

2) Include information about your automated payment plan or check
by phone option on all invoices and customer correspondence.
Include a call to action to sign up for the automated plan and
make it easy for them to do so. This might include a sign up form
on your web site or being able to fax a form.

3) Make your web site a billboard for your automated billing plan
and Check by Phone capabilities. Include sign up forms and
directions (for helpful forms and information visit:

4) Start an incentive campaign for automated payment sign up.
Consider giving away free certificates (see step 6) or possibly
offer 5-10% off their next 3 months billing or some other
motivational offer. Consider partnering with a local business and
offer cross promotional coupons for 10% off products in return
for program sign up. An example might be a restaurant.

5) Telemarket your customers and let them know about the program
and advantages of signing up. You can use internal staff or hire
a telemarketing firm (we can recommend a service-contact us for
info) to call for you. For a couple of evaluate hundred dollars
you may be able to up your participation rate dramatically.

6) Consider an Incentive program whereby you can reward the
customer with a free certificate for: $300 in Gas or Groceries,
free vacation, hotel and/or airline tickets. For $99/month you
can provide an unlimited supply of these certificates. Your
business makes $5 per redeemed certificate as well. (For info
visit: http://www.ach-payments.com/thanks.htm), you are welcome
to download a certificate for yourself and evaluate. We think
this can be a BIG help.

7) Consider implementing an Auto Pay only option for new
customers. If you give them a choice of paying automatically via
check or credit card as long as they choose you can rely on their
revenue each month.

8) Consider posting posters with testimonials form current
Autopay users bragging on the benefits of not having to remember
to write a check each month.

9) Offer a raffle for 3 month's free service to the winner. You
only get a ticket if you are a current AutoPay user or you switch

10) Ask your current payment processor to provide a $50 cash card
to be randomly awarded to new AutoPay subscribers.

Be creative and WORK at it. The benefits are there for the
taking. More free time, less stress, reliable cash flow and
greater customer retention-Priceless.

Article written by: Wayne Akey
Visit http://www.ACH-Payments.com
for more info or call us at 888.729.4968
ACH-Payments.com: Payment Processing
solutions guaranteed to save your
business time and money.

Greg Cryns

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