Integrated online sign up is all about integrating your online sales process into your billing platform. Depending on your platform, this can mean that your coverage, products, and payment options are all captured, managed and invoiced automatically.
However - much like a good coffee, not all integrated online sign up tools are created equally.
There are some key factors that differentiate the good from the bad. Admittedly, we’ve seen a fairly broad range of these and we’d like to share what we’ve seen to work the best.
#1: Keep it simple. Take it step-by-step.
The user experience is your #1 priority and with great power comes great responsibility - right? Even with all this power available to you, you need to make sure you keep it simple. This is still an online purchase after all - so all the traditional online tips and tricks apply:
- Don’t overwhelm the prospective customer with information - Internet Services are a pretty confusing purchase anyway for the average person on the street. Make sure your page layout is clear, well-structured and easy to consume
- Make sure to pace the purchase journey properly. Don’t just jump from viewing products to making payments. Trust is important and you don’t want to scare off your sale
- Clearly define the required steps in your purchase journey - prospects like it when their expectations are managed correctly
- To complete the sale, you need to keep your customers engaged
#2: Include a feasibility check
Not all types of Internet services are available in all locations. And how frustrating would it be for a prospective customer to have to go through the entire purchase journey, only to be told that fibre actually isn’t available in their area yet?
Having a feasibility check at the start of the process allows your customers to check their GPS location against your product offerings available in their location. And guess what? It’s so much easier to do this when your online sales are integrated with your automated business process system, like SOLID.
You can see an example of a feasibility check on our fictitious ISP website here: https://ispcorp.soliditech.com/coverage/#/coverage
#3 Make sure your site/plugin/tool is responsive
Remember a time when static, unresponsive HTML websites were all the rage? (okay, maybe not the rage, but the only available option). Well, the world has moved on since then and having a responsive website is absolutely vital. Why? The world has gone mobile. Most people access websites and sales platforms via their mobile phones or tablets.
What does this mean for YOUR website? Make sure your website and all its features are responsive. Simple, it looks great and most importantly, works on all devices. You want your leads and customers to be able to complete a sign up, whether they’re working off a laptop, on a tablet or on their mobile phone, without struggling to view or complete sections of the sign up process.
Our fictitious ISP website is another handy example:
#4 Pick a platform with pedigree
There’s nothing worse than partnering up with a platform or service provider, whose system is outdated, lacking functionality, or too complex to actually use. Make sure you go with a platform that’s easy to integrate with all your current systems, has all the functionality you need for your online sign up system and is up-to-date with all the current infrastructure.
How do you go about choosing the right platform? Do some research. Narrow your options down to a few reliable companies and take a tour of their website. See who some of their existing customers are - SPOILER - if they have some well-known customers, they’re likely to be reliable and well-established. If they have customer testimonials on their website, even better.
#5 Make sure your chosen solution includes all the necessary tools
Does your online sign up need a map integration tool to allow for feasibility checks? Make sure it’s all part and parcel of your integrated sign up system. This is something you’d plan and work through with your Software Project team, in the planning stage of your project.
It always helps to have extra helpful tools included in your sign up process, as it makes the process easier for your lead and limits the extra work your team has to put in.
#6 Test, test, test. And then test some more
We truly can never stress this enough. Testing is one of the most important steps in developing (excuse the pun) software that works. And not just at the end. Testing needs to be done throughout the Software Development Lifecycle - as the name suggests, it’s a cycle.
Now, when it comes to testing, there’s QAT (Quality Assurance Testing) and UAT (User Acceptance Testing). In short, QAT is testing whether the software works according to the specifications set out in the planning stages. UAT is testing done with something of a focus group, where they test the usability of the software in the company.
Also, make sure you test on a range of devices. There’s nothing worse than not being able to sign up from your phone or tablet. Or equally as bad, you can, but the UX is terrible, making the process tedious and tiring.
So, like we said, test and test some more. And when you think you’re done, test again.
#7 Make sure payments are secure (and offer a good selection of payment platforms)
In the 21st century, nobody wants to make a payment for something that isn’t secure - there are just too many dubious people out there.
So, when you’re setting up your integrated signup, make sure you integrate secure payment platforms and gateways, like Netcash, to protect your customers and ultimately, make your online signup stand out above the rest.
Integration ties everything together and makes for seamless business operations, resulting in increased efficiency, a better bottom line and a heightened customer experience.