If you’ve signed up to start using GoCardless, the next step is to get your customers to do the same. Getting them to create a Direct Debit instruction (DDI) with GoCardless is easy, but some might need a little more encouragement. Here are a few tips that work well for other businesses that use us.
Start with your new customers
Make GoCardless the default payment choice for any new customer. It’s much easier to instruct someone at the start than to ask them to change behaviour later.
When we engage with new clients, part of the set-up process is to complete a GoCardless mandate. We will only complete work for clients if an active GoCardless mandate is in place. (Paul Bulpitt, Co-founder at The Wow Company )
2. Time it right with existing customers
Just like you, your customers are busy. So find the appropriate time to talk to them about changing to Direct Debit with GoCardless. If you have a subscription business, this could be when your customer is due to renew. Or when you’re refreshing contract terms.
You could start with customers who consistently pay late. Explain to them that creating a Direct Debit instruction with GoCardless is a one time job, after which all their payments to you are completely automated, so they’ll never need to remember to pay on time again.
If you’re not sure yet whether GoCardless is the right payment method, try testing it with a friendly customer first before rolling it out more widely.
3. Explain how they’ll benefit
As GoCardless has one of the highest payment success rates, customers can just set up their payment once, and then forget about it. That’s one less job for them to remember, and no more awkward conversations with you if they forget. And with their payments arriving on time, every time, there’s no risk that they’ll suddenly be unable to use your service.
Other benefits could include moving their billing from one big annual payment to more manageable monthly or quarterly instalments; or if they ever need to pause and restart payments to you.
“For some clients, it’s an education piece – being able to easily articulate [the] value is sometimes all it takes... (Matthew Hall, Hallway Studios)
4. Give them an incentive
Less hassle and lower admin can feel too abstract or not urgent enough for your customers to act. If they need an extra nudge to switch to GoCardless you could incentivise them with a discount or offer. Add a deadline to give them another reason to switch now. Remember that the cost of a one-time incentive is normally much lower than the hassle of chasing up late or failed payments time and time again.
When we take on new developments, we offer residents a payment plan, allowing then to spread payments typically over 10 months. (Guy Hudson, Norwich Residential Management)
5. Reassure them
If you think some customers may be reluctant to let you pull money from their bank account, then reassure them that they always remain in control. With GoCardless they will always be told when a payment is about to be taken and for how much; they'll be able to stop the payment; and they are legally protected if any payment is taken in error.
6. Tell your side of the story
The best businesses don’t see their customers as just paying clients. There is more of an emotional connection. This is true of small and large businesses alike. If that applies to your business, tell your customers that when they switch to paying with GoCardless, you’ll have more time and cash to keep improving what you do.
If you'd like any more advice on how to persuade customers to switch to GoCardless, try one of the following articles: