If you want to include an incentive for prompt payment in your terms and conditions discount codes are a good place to start.
They allow you to offer a percentage price deduction in return for your customers doing something they might not normally choose to do, but which is better for your business.
Prompt payment is just one example of this, and discount codes – especially if they expire when the incentive deadline has elapsed – are a great way to police this kind of discount if you take payments online.
You might also reward a particular type of payment with a discount, for example if payment is made electronically rather than the customer sending you a cheque that requires a trip to the bank.
When it comes to writing your terms and conditions discount codes have another useful function – they give the customer an extra reason to read your small print in full detail.
If you explain to them that your payment terms include discounts, there’s a better chance that they will read the fine print from start to finish, in order to retrieve and use the code.
Of course, in a perfect world customers would be reading your Ts & Cs in full anyway – but it doesn’t hurt to reinforce these good intentions with some positive action, too.
Your discount codes don’t have to be written into your Ts & Cs themselves, but if you do offer some kind of discount, you should make sure you spell out the conditions that are attached to it.
For example, how does the customer redeem their discount? Can it be applied to orders that have already been placed? When does it expire? What other limitations apply?
Unless you set out very clearly the ways in which the code can be used – and the ways in which it cannot – you could find yourself unwittingly open to disputes from customers keen to use an expired code, or to apply it retrospectively to outstanding orders they have not yet paid for.
Make your Ts & Cs cast-iron and you avoid any such disputes, helping to make sure that the incentives you offer in the form of discount codes have the intended positive effect on your business, without unwelcome negative consequences.