Any business that can’t adapt with the times is going to suffer. Technology has revolutionized how consumers and companies communicate and conduct business. The old standard of phone calls and paper bills has become a relic of the past. It’s time to get current and streamline your operations as well as increasing customer satisfaction. Using email to communicate and collect payment is a win-win that empowers consumers as well as increasing collection revenue and positive outcomes.
Before examining how to employ the best practices for email collection, let’s take a look at why this model is better and more efficient for all parties. The biggest and most obvious advantage when choosing email over traditional mail is speed. Both signature authorizations and payment requests can reach your customers in a matter of minutes instead of days. No more wasted time spent waiting for items to be delivered and returned. This shortens the revenue cycle and prompts more expedient payments from consumers. Besides speed, the most important advantage the email payment model offers is the flexibility that more and more customers prefer and are beginning to expect. This tendency has been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s been trending upward for years. Customers prefer options like digital payment portals, email notifications, and other forms of digital engagement such as applications. Aside from being faster and the increasingly preferred method by customers, it’s also something that will save your business not only time but money. Using email instead of traditional methods will cut mailing costs since email delivery does not require letter vendors. There’s also a better real-time “paper trail” when using digital communication. For example, employees can track the digital engagement of email communications, such as whether emails have been received, opened, and clicked upon and more. Email is also beneficial for consumers and companies because it makes the sharing of information quick, simple, and secure, all of which help bolster trust and lead to positive outcomes.
Now that you may be considering making the digital switch there’s some important information to know and be aware of when using this model to communicate with customers. After deciding which workflows to send by email, make sure all contact is compliant with Regulation F or any other relevant regulations. Therefore, be mindful of what time a day emails are sent, the quantity and frequency of emails. If you’re not restricted by the number of follow-ups you have with a customer, create your own specifications for each workflow. Among these limitations one of the most crucial is the timing of how the emails are spaced. If the emails are spaced too close together, the customer may feel annoyed or harassed, which can lead to avoidance behavior rather than recouping payments. Be sure to proofread all emails to avoid any spelling and grammar mistakes. These sorts of errors can make a consumer doubt the credibility of the sender since many scams are poorly written. Be consistent with your company’s branding and mission so as to avoid any confusion from the consumer. Do not use any language that indicates false urgency or severe consequences if payment is not received. Above all, be aware of a customer’s preferences. They may initially opt-in for email notifications, but if they opt-out, make sure your practices match their preferences.
Companies will reap the benefits when they follow this consumer-centric model that puts customers in control. It may be hard to leave the ways of the past but consider at least adding email workflows as an enhancement to your existing methods. Start enjoying greater flexibility, efficiency, cost-cutting, stronger trust, and increased payment collection.
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