Talk silences payments admin to focus on the important things: customers
Talk, a Paris-based social media consultancy, helps restaurant owners, franchise networks, and hoteliers to manage content creation for social media.
As a fast-growing company, the way in which customers pay is incredibly important for cash flow visibility and minimising costs and admin. The company also wanted to ensure the logistics of payments didn’t distract from forming great partnerships with clients.
“As soon as we talk about payments, as soon as we talk about bank details, everyone gets a little tense,” explained Keavin Moussole, Chief Operating Officer, Talk. “The idea was to simplify things, to make it super transparent for our customers.”
Talk needed a solution that served both their needs as a fast-moving business and those of their customers in terms of overall experience and usability.
Keavin said: “We started out taking payment by credit card via Stripe but very quickly we ran into problems, particularly with the time lag between clients' limits being reached – which happens often with merchants – and payment attempts being made again."
When you're a young company, growing fast, a few weeks' delay in payment collection has a real and immediate impact on your cash flow.
Simpler and more predictable payments
As Talk grew the team wanted a simpler payments solution, and GoCardless’ ability to collect payments promptly, predictably and automatically caught Keavin’s eye.
“It was clear having customers pay by Direct Debit via GoCardless would make payments more streamlined and more predictable,” he said.
Within months, the majority of Talk’s customers were paying by GoCardless and the improvements to cash flow and operations have been swift and significant.
“In 12 months we swung from 99% of customers paying by credit card to 90% paying by Direct Debit via GoCardless,” said Keavin. “That means we are able to collect more quickly from our customers, and we are more sure of the amount we will receive each month.”
GoCardless has also saved Talk and its customers the time – and hassle – of the back and forth associated with maxed-out credit cards. “GoCardless has reduced by three to four times the hours our team spends on collections with customers,” said Keavin.
A logical and intelligent solution to failed payments
Talk is now onboarding new customers every week. This has seen their payments requirements mature to include strategies for mitigating failed payments, which inevitably grow as a company’s customer base increases.
“Improving the collection rate can make a big difference to financial performance and predictability,” said Keavin. “But no one wants to be called and told, ‘Sorry, you didn't pay your bill. What are we going to do?’”
With payment failures sitting at almost one in ten, Talk turned to Success+ from GoCardless, which uses GoCardless’ payment intelligence data and machine learning to identify when each customer is most likely to have funds in their account. It then automatically retries payments on that day.
“Success+ is extremely effective and our payment failure rate has halved from 8% to 4% – that’s quite something,” said Keavin. “Success+ for me is a simple, logical, super-efficient tool. We are in the process of moving to a billing tool that also has an intelligent reminder feature – but for nothing in the world would I give up Success+.”
Customer Success supports next level of growth
Talk’s support and service requirements have also grown with their business, and the company now benefits from access to GoCardless Customer Success.
“Our original onboarding was 100% online, very fast, and automated – perfect for a start-up,” said Keavin. “But when our number of transactions grew, we were happy to move to a higher level of support which provides business intelligence information that is not available in the classic GoCardless dashboard. We also have a named Customer Success Manager, who has taken the time to learn our business and is available to answer our simplest questions, as well as the most technical ones.”
Global payments partner
Talk is now targeting expansion into other market sectors and countries, and Keavin expects to streamline the process by leveraging the international reach of GoCardless, plus the platform’s consistency and repeatability.
“Expanding with GoCardless will take a lot of the pain out of replicating our operations,” he said. “We will be able to offer the same payment speed to all teams, regardless of country, and we will be able to offer the same onboarding experience to all customers. That speaks to exactly why I think GoCardless is a great asset to us: customers' payments are not an operational challenge anymore.”
“As a result, 100% of mine and the team’s time can be focused on doing what we do best – because GoCardless are the payments experts, and that will be true wherever in the world we end up next.”