6 Ways to Improve Collections and Payment of Dues

 
paying-the-bills

Customers are like children. They get distracted by shiny things, are curious about new stuff, and expect to be taken care of all the time. Children also forget their chores when they are playing or sleeping. Customers are also quite similar. They forget about bills, tasks, loans and credit card payments. They need reminders to make timely payments. Sometimes, they even need handholding for these tasks.

So if customers are forgetful, imagine what it must be like for a collections agent. How can one agent remember the details and deadlines of hundreds of customers? Do they keep a track on their calendars for each client? Well, if you are a smart collection agent/organization, you realize that the whole process can be made simpler. Prioritizing the customers to be contacted first and implementing timely collections steps can dramatically minimize write-offs. Here are six ways in which collection agencies can improve their collections:

  1. Segment customers: Collections includes debt recovery of secured and non-secured debts in financial or non-financial domains such as automobiles, hospitality, entertainment, or telecom. In a typical collections center, segmenting the treatment of customers is critically important. Different approaches should be followed for customers having good payment records and those having a delayed/irrecoverable payment history.

  2. Install a robust solution: Since collections calls are all outbound, having an intelligent dialer as part of the contact center software maximizes customer outreach. You can feed in algorithms for dialing out and the system will intelligently register responses, payments made, and other updates to the customers data.

  3. Choice of various payment options: Every customer is different and each prefers different methods of payment which are convenient to their time and needs. Collection centers can offer various even customized payment modes. This will help expedite collections and allow customers to make payments based on their convenience and most importantly, on time.

  4. Tracking each client: Having an efficient tracking system is the key to successful collections operation. Agents can take actions quickly when they see unpaid or paid notifications on the system. The software will display the details of the customer, their last date of payment, and the next payment date.

  5. Discounts to avoid late payments: Incentives drive customers to buy, and they may well apply to collections as well. One way to ensure your collections on time and without hassles is to offer discounts to drive your customers for faster payment. However, ensure that you have not extended the payment periods as it may prove detrimental to the business.

  6. Use multiple reminder channels: With a robust solution, you can employ various ways to remind your customers. Use a broadcast dialer for early stage collections and this can be coupled with SMS and e-mail capabilities. Exploit additional collections capabilities like Assign to field, Update silo, One-click reminder, and e-mail and SMS templates. Use customized CRM with relevant key fields and shortcuts for quick issue resolution.

Collections made easy

credit-score-factors1For customers and agents both, the goal is to maximize collections and reduce customer frustration. This can be done by refining the strategies that do not work and deploying quick and innovative methods. A robust software solution ensures automation, complex algorithms customized to your processes, and an easy-to-use interface. After all, collections are half done by maintaining and updating correct records, timelines, and reminders. The rest is the human connection which helps customers be proactive and diligent. So, has your collections center employed a robust solution yet?