By Dave Baxter | CEO Solutions by Text
As the collateral damage from the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the supply chain, labor supply and people’s liquidity, the pain points continue to grow for the Services and Accounts Receivable Management (ARM) industries. It’s critical for A/R professionals to recognize emerging trends and challenges and implement new strategies and technologies to recalibrate their 2022 goals.
Here are four strategic initiatives to consider for 2022:
1. Put data to work for you
Assess your accounts receivable portfolio to identify those customers who may encounter financial insecurity due to COVID-19. With customer segmentation, you can focus and tailor your collections strategies to those who need them most, improve customer relations, and prevent your limited resources from being stretched too thin.
- By bucketing customers into segments with similar attributes, you can scale collections processes with a greater number of customers, improving efficiency.
- Segmentation optimizes your customer correspondence strategies with personalized messaging.
- Recover more receivables with fewer resources and less cost.
2. Enhance customer consideration by offering new payment terms
It’s a win-win to acknowledge your customers’ financial stress with tailored payment solutions and improve your collection rates at the same time.
- Encourage early payments with incentives. Often small discounts work to speed up collections in financial hardship.
- Offer short-term relief (suspending interest and late fees) in exchange for prompt payments.
- Work out payment plans with your customers.
3. Optimize your accounts receivable process with new technology
Improving operational efficiency by adding new technologies not only saves time and money, but it can bring financial flexibility and resilience to your company during downturns. In addition, implementing new technology can provide numerous opportunities to enhance the customer experience.
- Create a seamless payment process with software that improves your A/R functionality and provides an easy way for your customers to pay.
- Meet your customers where they want to be met: SMS is fast becoming the customers’ choice for communicating with businesses. Consider adding compliant text messaging to your communications channels. 85% of customers prefer receiving business text messages over calls or emails. two-way text messaging is conversational, drives engagement and, most importantly, builds a valuable rapport with your In these stressful times, customers may feel more comfortable interacting via a digital channel.
- Work with a compliant texting services partner. Reg F changed the texting landscape by allowing debt collection text messaging to be sent to debtors. Good news with a strong caveat: not all texting service providers are created equal. Many SMS providers take a hands-off approach to compliant messaging, with little to no guidance on ensuring your message language and content are compliant. Make sure to work with a compliance-first partner that is dedicated to helping you navigate the regulatory landscape of SMS.
85% of customers prefer receiving business text messages over calls or emails.
4. Make adjustments to your collections operation depending on workforce availability
If your workforce has been affected by the labor shortage, you’ve most likely had to pivot to reallocate staff from high-touch roles and rely more on automated processes. Implementing automated, compliant texting services can drastically decrease your reliance on call center staff, allowing you to maintain your focus on your customers, especially ones who are struggling financially.
Customer consideration and compliant texting services go hand-in-hand to improve collections and will establish a new, text-based rapport that will ensure the customer conversation is a two-way street.