Financial Institutions often accomplish customer communication with a disjointed collection of software, systems, measurement schemes, and data sources. Frequently, FIs purchase or develop these communication systems at different times and by various groups across the enterprise. Predictably, the result is a mixed bag of offerings that may do the job individually but fall short of omni-channel customer relationship goals.
What FIs need is a single plug-in that can access all their systems and provide a modern and easily navigated customer interface. The source of the documents should not matter.
In many banks and credit unions, customers may encounter branding inconsistencies or cumbersome integration as they try to locate information or access documents associated with their accounts. As customers interact with the various systems, they will notice the differences. Customer experience improvements may require heavy IT support, causing organizations to find themselves behind the times and slow to react to new products, new technology, or brand refreshes.
The customer experience is even more confusing when inconsistencies occur among communication channels. For some FIs, identical information they deliver via the web, mobile apps, or on paper may vary in appearance and functionality.
Digital Document Access
One particularly challenging area is digital document access. Customers attempting to view their transactional documents or correspondence frequently access the data via a document archiving system. While highly efficient at storing and indexing large volumes of documents, the creators of these systems don’t always optimize them for end-user operation. Customers may face retrieval roadblocks when archive systems do not generate user-oriented indexes or they restrict selection and sorting criteria. Also, archiving systems don’t always capture important communication components such as regulatory notices or marketing information companies insert into envelopes when they deliver the original documents on paper.
Third party documents just add to the ePresentment challenges. When customers must access a third party website to retrieve certain documents, the original company loses control over branding and presentation. Sending customers to another domain is risky. Customers may fail to return.
Difficulty with online document access dampens customer enthusiasm for eAdoption. Organizations have learned they must offer added functions and relevancy to wean customers away from paper documents. Hard to find PDF versions of printed pages served up by document archive software deliver little added value and so offer no incentive to turn off paper.
Plugging into All Systems
Fully featured ePresentment goes beyond the basic functionality provided by common document repositories. Whether documents are generated by a core application for billing and statements, correspondence applications, or a CRM, the customer experience should be the same. Comprehensive solutions like Lanvera’s ePresentment platform deliver these capabilities and more.
In the Lanvera ePresentment system, document retrieval and viewing methods are consistent across all devices, using a mobile-first approach. Filtering and downloading processes are easy and familiar, removing the confusion and frustration a patchwork collection of applications sometimes forces upon end-user customers. Customers may view even third party documents via the Lanvera platform, keeping the original organization in full control of the customer experience.
With built-in integration, companies can manage the ePresentment customer interface themselves, without relying on their vendors to make changes associated with branding or regulatory requirements.
Building customer communications integrated with all enterprise systems from scratch is a huge project. Electronic presentment solutions with plug-in capabilities allow companies to provide their customers with a rich customer experience without re-designing every system that generates customer-facing documents.
Let’s face it, delinquent payments are a problem for most businesses. Oftentimes, a customer will make an honest mistake and simply miss a payment. Other times, they will actively avoid you. Managing the revenue cycle can also prove difficult when you are competing with multiple other monthly bills customers receive electronically and via USPS.
While there are plenty of good strategies for collecting the money your business is owed, it doesn’t have to come to that. Here are Seven Ways to Get Paid Faster through the use of your business-critical communications:
1. Have a clear call to action (CTA): Show your customers exactly where they need to go to pay their balance. The CTA should be eye-catching so the customer not only sees it, but is compelled to read and act. When you clearly state exactly what you want your customer to do, it takes out the guess work and encourages an action on their part.
2. Use color: Adding color to marketing messages can increase engagement rates by up to 42%. And not only that, the addition of color can actually aid in improving your customers’ memory. Studies have proven that color can help people process and store images more efficiently than black and white, so by adding color to marketing, customers are far more likely to not only read, but retain your messaging and be more inclined to act upon it.
3. Make it convenient: According to a recent Federal Reserve survey, roughly one-third of consumers and three-quarters of businesses expressed willingness to pay a fee for payments that have faster availability to the payee. Offer an online invoicing process with the ability to pay online. An automated billing system will "ping" your customers until it shows the invoice has been paid. There is something to be said for having an automated process performing the follow-up for you!
4. Be polite with your language: While it may seem unimportant, adding lines such as "Thank you for your business" and "We appreciate your timely payment" positively reinforces the relationship you have with a customer. Be nice, and they just may return the favor. In fact, a recent study found that a simple "please" or "thank you" can increase your chances of getting paid by 5%.
5. Specify payment timelines: If a bill needs to be paid within 14 days, be sure to list this on the document. Also list if there will be a charge for late payment and how much the charge will be. Give your customers and clients as much information as humanly possible.
6. Utilize incentives: Beyond motivating payment with late fees, try positively incentivizing customers to pay you early. Incentives might include a 1 to 2 percent discount if payment is received within a specific “early” time frame. Consider offering future discounts, credits, gift certificates or merchandise as possible incentives. In the end, you’re saying thank you for making that payment a priority. It’s rewarding your customers for their business, increasing their loyalty, and helping you get paid.
7. Keep open lines of communication with customers: Oftentimes, when people have not paid, they do not realize it. Sending a simple automated email reminder to customers can go a long way. Part of the value of an email reminder is that it reinforces your relationship with the customer and provides an opportunity to engage. Use the email reminder to create an open dialogue with clients, providing them with a sense of security and comfort.
Interested in using your transactional documents to influence speed-to-pay? Click here to learn more or contact us for a demo.