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The GoCardless guide to: Optimising your payment mix with internal training

How can internal team training increase the proportion of payers that choose bank debit?

Whether through the use of customer incentives, customer campaigns, or optimising your payment pages, there are several ways to increase the likelihood of your customers choosing to pay you by bank debit (often referred to as Direct Debit in the UK) over other payment methods. Increasing the proportion of bank debit payers benefits both you and your customers, for example by reducing the likelihood of a payment failing. 

But there’s one thing that underpins all these initiatives: internal team training. 

In other words, how do you ensure your team understands the benefits of bank debit, and how do you incentivise them to pass these benefits on to customers? Whether you’re adding bank debit as a new payment method or simply want to increase its usage, a good starting point is to categorise your efforts and create a strategy around the implementation (or expansion) of this new payment method.

The three stages of internal training are as follows:

  • Coaching (or value proposition)

  • Collateral (continuous learning)

  • Incentivising (measuring on results)

Coaching

To begin with, it is important that the team understands the value of paying with bank debit both for you and for your customer. To really articulate its value, an opening presentation or video is the most straightforward way to achieve this. This session should be aimed at really explaining the ‘why’ of bank debit, using compelling data and demonstrating where the value lies for you and your customer. A simple session like this is a great introduction for the team.

Once you have taken your team through the first session on the value of bank debit, you can begin to give them a deeper understanding of the payment method, ensuring they can easily and confidently articulate the benefits to customers. Some ideas on how exactly to conduct follow up sessions include: 

  • 1-2-1 sessions: a forum where you can gauge each team member’s understanding in more detail and give advice on how to handle difficult situations

  • Pitch perfect: In smaller subsets of your wider team, playing out potential scenarios with customers is a good way to test different arguments and objection handling. 

Collateral

To support the coaching side of the training journey, it’s useful to supply your teams with associated collateral. We’d recommend a combination of the following:

  • Gamifying the journey: There are various learning management systems that you could use to make an engaging learning experience, but the core idea is that you create a game around what you want your team to learn. This could be something as simple as a quiz that will allow them to gather information in a different way than from listening.

  • Battlecards: Create short and snappy, visually appealing one-pagers around the value of bank debit that will make it easier for your team to retain key information.

  • Customer advocacy: Pulling testimonials (in the form or quotes, videos or short blogs) from your customers that are already using bank debit is a great way to further enable your team, as well as give them further data to pass on to customers.

  • Videos/podcasts: If you want to create on-demand training assets, instead of filling up the calendar with virtual meetings think about creating videos or podcasts that your team can watch or listen to when they have time. This is a great way to engage your team on their own timeframe.

  • The single source of truth: Centralise all the information you have created around how best to sell bank debit to your customers in one easily accessible knowledge base. This can be created using your company’s intranet or a tool like Confluence. It makes sure none of your hard work goes to waste, and team members can refresh their knowledge on an ongoing basis. 

  • Customer objection sheet: Create a list of FAQ’s your customers will likely ask, which your team can use to address any potential concerns. 

With all of these routes, the important thing is to make the content engaging, to give your teams the best learning experience and cater to the different learning styles you’ll find in a diverse team.

Incentivising

Once you have given your team initial value sessions and associated collateral, you can let them actually start persuading your customers to pay with bank debit. But it can also be a good idea to further incentivise your team with a combination of the following:

  • KPIs (key performance indicators) or MBOs (management by objectives): Giving each team member a specific target makes increasing bank debit uptake more measurable.

  • Regular KPI reporting: Provide a regular overview of how the team is performing as a whole and individually, allowing you to congratulate high performers and strengthen a sense of shared accountability. 

Share progress to the wider business: To make sure your business understands exactly what you’re trying to achieve, regularly share progress with the wider company. You can also use these sessions to further celebrate high-performing team members.

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