Making Strategic Billing Lemonade Out of Lemons
Often, the delivery of bills is seen as a mundane, redundant financial process. However, macro environmental factors are having a marked impact on the role of billing. Major changes include the exponential growth in electronic channels for the presentment and payment of bills, changing role of mobile for communicating, increased focus on “going green”, and most recently, the changes taking place within the United States Postal Service (USPS).
Each and every one of these trends impacts a business’s costs, cash flow and customer satisfaction. We recently conducted an educational webinar on the impact the USPS changes are having on billers (View the presentation here). As the USPS raises postage rates and cuts back on services, businesses will see their costs go up and it take longer for them to receive payments. It is important that organization take steps to protect their profits and minimize the impact the changes can have on their working capital.
The focus for any business should be on getting bills to customers quickly and accurately, ensuring they are offering a range of channels for their customers to receive their bills, and importantly, making sure there is a range of channels offered for receiving payments. One of our customers, East Coast Metal Inc., (a leading distributor of HVAC/Plumbing supplies) recently used the USPS changes to encourage their customers to move to eBilling.
They placed messages on their bills and used bill inserts to emphasize that delays in mail time could impact their payments. Since they started the campaign a couple of months ago, their e-Adoption has grown 3 points to 48%. To steal an expression often used by my grandmother, they are doing a nice job making “lemonade out of lemons”.