Tax season is fast approaching. Historically, about a third of taxpayers use their refund to pay off debt, however this season may hold a few unwelcome surprises. Concerns about smaller refunds, longer processing times, delayed funding, the loss of COVID-related deductions, increased spending and rumors of a recession may affect customers’ financial plans, and their ability to pay off their debt. Now is a good time to get your communication and collections strategy in place so you are positioned to collect on past-due accounts.
As you prepare your 2023 tax season collections strategy, here are three text messaging tips to help you build a strategy that increases on-time payments, while strengthening customer trust, and maximizing efficiency.
1. Schedule messages to increase efficiency and on-time payments.
Is your team slammed with chasing down payments and contacting clients via telephone?
Texting is convenient (90% of consumers agree) for your clients and your systems.¹ Provide the ultimate personalized experience with scheduled text messages. Deliver messages at the client’s most optimal engagement time, triggered when they are most likely to act.
Scheduling your text messages in advance is one of the easiest ways to increase engagement and on-time payments while making your agents’ lives easier. Plan your customer outreach for alerts, account changes, reminders, and bill-pay reminders.
Text messaging allows the client to communicate all the details regarding payment, making you more likely to get paid. And it optimizes your team’s workflow by increasing their ability to help large quantities of clients and decrease call times.
2. Leverage two-way texting to provide real-time support and settlement plans.
2022 headlines shared tales of delayed refunds² with no answers in sight. The IRS was still processing individual returns filed earlier in the year, as of the last quarter of 2022. And they caution that taxpayers will see delays again this year.
“The IRS cautions taxpayers not to rely on receiving a 2022 federal tax refund by a certain date, especially when making major purchases or paying bills. Some returns may require additional review and may take longer.” - IRS³
This type of news can set taxpayers who are banking on a refund to pay down debt or meet other 2023 financial goals on edge before the season has officially started. Lenders can help mitigate these frustrations by creating personalized settlement offers that take unavoidable delays into account.
What is the best way to share those offerings? Two-Way Texting. This highly personalized client experience allows lenders to think outside the one-size-fits-all box, build tailor-made solutions for the individual, and provide competent support. Integrating two-way texting into your tax season collection strategy leads to greater customer satisfaction, return business and referrals.
3. Make payments easy with Text Pay.
Paying off debt continues to be one of the most popular uses for tax refunds.⁴ No surprise, it’s the best opportunity to collect on past due accounts⁵ and initiate a plan for continued payments. To maximize collections this tax season, the payment process needs to be simplified and user-friendly.
Provide a link to your payment portal with your payment reminder to make it easy to access your payment system. This puts everything your client needs to initiate a payment in one easy-to-use location that happens to be the most preferred channel by consumers for business communication.
Here are a couple of sample templates to get you started:
Company- Debt Collector: Put more of your tax refund back in your pocket! Pay $XXXX by XX/XX/XX to settle in full. Call 888-888-8888 or tap sclk.me/xxxxx to pay now. To optout reply STOP
Company- Debt Collector: TAX SEASON INCENTIVE! Pay $XXXX by XX/XX/XX to settle in full. Call 888-888-8888 or tap sclk.me/xxxxx to pay now. To optout reply STOP
Maximize your collections this tax season by optimizing your workflow and creating hassle-free experiences for your clients with text messaging. Despite rumors of smaller refunds and delays, tax season is still the best time for lenders to encourage debt repayment and provide solutions for reaching 2023 financial goals.