Bringing empathy to your collections policies could make the difference
At Billtrust, we believe that organizations that take a customer-centric and empathetic approach within their collections process will strengthen customer relationships, and most importantly, help get cash in the door. Here are five tips:
1. Adjust Policies to Accommodate Evolving Payment Behavior
Under normal circumstances, an organization's collections policy may be fair, but in a low cash flow business environment they will have to adjust what they can expect from customers and their policies. Organizations will have to evaluate if their existing policies make sense under current circumstances, and consider adjusting policies to accommodate evolving payment behavior.
2. Revise Templates, Scripts, and General Approach
Ensure your templates and scripts take the current business landscape into account by adjusting the tone, tactics and prescribed frequency of communication with customers. Additionally, consider automating some of your touchpoints through automated campaigns so that your team members remain free to focus on accounts that need direct, high-touch communications.
Bonnie Halvorson, Financial Analyst at Werner Electric Minnesota, recently implemented Billtrust Collections and described the benefits of automating their customer outreach and expanded account coverage, saying, “One of our biggest successes is the ability to send automated emails to our customers when their invoices become overdue. These emails include all the details they need so we’re not having to spend time resending invoices. Before implementing Billtrust Collections, we struggled trying to balance between working the large dollars vs. the small dollars, and it wasn’t efficient. This tool eliminates that struggle for us.”
Cloud-based collections solutions can standardize this information across decentralized, remote teams, ensuring that they’re able to reduce the amount of overdue receivables and risk without affecting long-standing and valuable customer relationships.
3. Centralize Customer Information for a Decentralized Workforce
Excel spreadsheets, printed reports and siloed information living in personal desktops or email inboxes are inefficient, and potentially detrimental, to an organization’s financial health. This is especially true when it comes to collecting outstanding receivables, especially in disrupted working environments where teams are working remotely and away from their terminals.
Teams need a centralized view of their customers. That’s why Billtrust Collections arms collectors with a dashboard that provides a holistic account view including past touchpoints, commitments and valuable historical context. Having information centralized also provides critical visibility and transparency to management, leadership and other important stakeholders across the organization. As a result, finance teams are better equipped to predict cash flow, and sales teams know which accounts are being contacted and the approach taken.
4. Manage Dispute and Deduction Resolution from Anywhere
Core to building trust between organizations and their customers is the customer experience and resolution philosophy. Today, collections analysts can create, assign and route disputes quickly and efficiently. Additionally, dispute status can be tracked so that analysts and managers know where attention is needed.
5. Customer Experience Is King
At Billtrust, one of our core values is our commitment to customers, and that value even goes into our product design and development philosophy. As a result, our solutions provide ways for teams to bring forth their culture. Bonnie explains, “Even with automated emails, our templates are able to match our culture, style, and how we do things. It doesn’t feel robotic - it feels human.” Thanks to Billtrust Collections, Werner Electric Minnesota is able to build relationships that are trustworthy, while also making sure invoices get paid. “We’ve seen great success with this approach. More customers are responding proactively after receiving these emails and making payments quickly. It has been a blessing for our team in helping them free up their time.”