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Recover Failed Payments

How to Recover Failed Payments Beyond Dunning Emails

Customer Service 5 min read

Dunning management apps help many subscription-based businesses automate the recovery of failed payments. As these tools are pretty affordable, it’s a no-brainer when it comes to reducing involuntary churn. But, what happens after your dunning emails are sent?

What happens to the customers that exit your recovery email campaigns and lose their access to your software or services?

In this article, we explore the four steps on how you can recover failed payments beyond dunning emails. The common theme? Personalization.

1. Segment at-risk customers and lost customers

Before you begin recovering failed payments outside of your dunning email campaigns, you need to identify who you want to recover. We’ll break them down into at-risk customers and lost customers.

At-risk customers

Once a customer enters your dunning email sequence due to a failed payment, the customer is considered an at-risk customer. This is because the customer will churn if no action is taken by the end of the email sequence.

While the customer still has access to your app or service, you have a higher chance of recovering that customer.

Lost customers

Customers that have exited your dunning email sequence and had their accesses revoked are considered lost customers. Though the chances of recovering them are a lot lower, you still have a chance to get them back. They will take more effort, but they may just change their minds by building trust and offering exclusive deals.

Once you have your customer segments ready, you are ready to begin.

Identify the recovery rates of your emails within an email sequence. You will want to segment your at-risk customers based on the stages that they are in. Personalized messaging used at different stages of the sequence will yield better results.

2. Make personalized outbound failed payment recovery calls

If you already have your customers’ phone numbers, this is a huge win. A phone call is a great way to build rapport and ensure that customers stay with you for the long-term. With customers getting contacted by businesses through emails and social media every day, a phone call cuts through all the noise.

But you don’t want to just make a phone call. You want to review what your customer’s experience has been like with your business and personalize your phone call to his or her needs.

To make a personalized outbound call:

  1. Prepare general phone scripts for the customer segment that you will be calling.
  2. Review your customer’s subscription history.
  3. Find out why the payment failed.
  4. Identify the last dunning email your customer received.
  5. Contextualize the information you have and ring your customer up.

Once you have your customer on the phone, do not just read off your script. Build rapport, have a conversation, and guide your customers through the process of payment. Ensure that the payment process is simple and easy.

Should the call not go through, you can do this a few more times through the week before switching to emails. Call your customer during working hours only. You do not want to irritate your customer and take up too much of their time.

3. Send personalized failed payment recovery emails

Should calls fail, or you lack the phone number of a customer, personalized emails come into play. Why not just send dunning emails and call it a day?

Well, dunning emails may get missed. Customers may unsubscribe from your mailing list, these emails could go to spam, or they get reassigned to some other parts of their inbox due to mailing rules.

A personalized email from you goes a long way, and once again, cuts through the barrage of emails your customer receives.

To send personalized emails for failed payment recovery:

  1. Prepare general email templates for the customer segment that you will contact.
  2. Review your customer’s subscription history.
  3. Find out why the payment failed.
  4. Identify the last dunning email your customer received.
  5. Contextualize the information you have.
  6. Personalize the email based on the information you have.
  7. Attach the payment link so your customer can take the necessary actions.
  8. Send it out.

Personalized emails will go a long way in recovering revenue and building up relationships.

If needed, move the email exchange to a phone call to reduce the effort required for recovery. Get a phone number from your customer and build rapport further through a phone call. You can also offer your phone number so your customer can call you back.

4. Take inbound calls for failed payments

Does your business have a phone number for people to contact with regards to billing?

If you do, you’re a step ahead.

If you don’t, here’s why you should start taking inbound calls for failed payments.

While running your outbound efforts to get revenue recovered, not every customer will have the time to answer your phone call or email there and then. By offering a phone number for customers to call back at their own time, you open up an avenue that offers flexibility. Customers get to contact your business on their own terms. With inbound calls, there’s a degree of unpredictability that you have to be prepared for.

To receive inbound calls for failed payments:

  1. Prepare general phone scripts with possible inbound call scenarios about payments.
  2. When you receive the call, find out the purpose of their call.
  3. During the inbound call, review your customer’s subscription history.
  4. Identify the last contact your customer received.
  5. Contextualize the information you have.
  6. Guide your customer to ensure he or she takes the necessary actions for payment.

Customers will appreciate having a phone number to contact.

Attach your phone number to the payment recovery emails you send. Customers may prefer to just call you up instead of replying to your email. This gives both the customer and you the opportunity to recover the payment fast.

Recover lost revenue with a personalized done-for-you failed payment recovery service

Now that you know the steps to recover lost revenue, make the best use of your current setup for failed payment recovery. When you’re ready to take it one step further, a done-for-you failed payment recovery service can help recover even more lost revenue by creating highly personalized experiences that customers will never forget.

Need a dedicated customer experience team ready to support your brand?

Book a consultation with us and we’ll get you set up.

A co-founder of LTVplus that is on a mission to rid the world of bad customer experiences. We build outsourced customer experience teams for e-commerce brands in any time zone and language. #cxnerd

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