It’s a common issue – the delinquent payer. Sometimes they just don’t have the funds. Other times, bills are accidentally overlooked amid work and family obligations. As a result, billers spend additional time and resources following up on late or missed payments. The scenario also reduces an organization’s cash flow. For the debtor, it’s frustrating as well. In our multi-tasking world, it’s hard to keep pace with due dates. Life shouldn’t, and doesn’t have to, be that complicated.
With proactive notifications, customers no longer have to rely on memory to pay a bill. Your organization can get paid on time and often well before the due date. A survey of our utility clients last October supports the power of the reminder notification.
Our utility clients that employ our automated payment reminder call system saw an average 48% decrease in non-payment delinquencies. Even more astounding, those same clients reduced their days sales outstanding (DSO) by 16.4%. It’s true – payment reminder calls prompt customers to pay sooner.
A Robust Combination
Here’s how proactive notifications work: Once the Paymentus bill-pay solution is implemented, you can opt to integrate automatic reminder notifications. Your customers have the option of choosing a courtesy phone call, an email or a text message. The reminder includes their amount owed, due date and payment options. It’s as easy as that – for you and your customer.
Many organizations find that combining their outbound call system with an inbound IVR solution creates an even more potent tool. The customer receiving a proactive notification call can then interact directly with the bill-pay database or can opt to be rerouted to a live agent for more complex issues or questions.
We’ve found this robust combination to be highly effective for utility companies. They can send out automated reminder calls to all accounts with balances more than 20 days past due. Utilities can also reduce shut off service significantly by sending notifications to those customers several days prior to the action – giving them time to get their accounts paid up. Not only does it aid the customer in preserving their utility usage and avoiding late fees but reduces labor, time and money spent sending workers out to shut off utilities or staff making calls and mailing past due notices. You also see an increase in payments – which is good for every organization’s bottom line.
Paper Mailings: A Thing of the Past
Automated phone reminders effectively address all of these issues in one fell swoop. After reducing their “ lock list” by more than half, a Texas utility commented that, “a simple automated phone call has been very effective in saving us time and money”. They were able to keep staffing at current level rather than increase it. Another success story can be found at a utility in the Northeast that noted they were able to eliminate one full day of locks based on the customer response to late reminder calls.
These automated call systems have an added benefit of helping utilities eliminate paper mailings. One Florida utility we worked with was able to eliminate their paper late mailings altogether, thus advancing their “go green” initiatives. At 47 cents per mailing, the savings added up very quickly.
A well-crafted outbound notification program serves the best interests of both company and customer.
Click here to learn about the Paymentus bill payment services that will help your organization become more proactive and decrease delinquencies.