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.
According to NFCC’s Financial Literacy Survey, roughly 1 in 4 U.S. adults do not always pay their bills on time. Depending on where your business falls on the priority scale of all the monthly bills your customers receive, it is inevitable that many of your customers will make late payments, or even skip payments altogether. Here are four steps to better billing that will encourage your customers to pay you on time, or even early:
1. Offer convenience. A recent Pew survey reported that nearly three in ten adults say the most common way to they take care of their regular monthly bills is by an online or electronic payment. Furthermore, the Federal Reserve has found that roughly one-third of consumers and three-quarters of businesses express willingness to pay a fee for payments that have faster availability to the payee. The best way to cater to this need is to implement an online invoicing and payment process. An automated billing system not only gives your customers easy access to their bills and the ability to pay, but can also be set to send your customers friendly email and SMS reminders.
2. Communicate a clear and colorful call to action (CTA). Adding color to messages can increase engagement rates by up to 42%. Additionally, color can aid in improving your customers’ memory. Studies have proven that color can help people process and store images more efficiently than black and white. By adding color to your CTA, customers are far more likely to engage and pay their bills. Try orange or another bright color! According to QuickSprout, orange CTAs boost conversion rates by about 32.5%, and red CTAs boost conversion rates by about 21%.
The CTA should be eye-catching so your customers are compelled to read it and act. When you clearly state exactly what you want your customer to do, it eliminates guesswork and encourages action.
3. Be consistent. Consistency is key to your customers knowing exactly where to find their balance each time they receive their bills. Online and printed bills should be identical, making it easy for your customer to quickly scan their bill to find how much they owe and when they need to make their next payment.
4. Utilize Incentives. Try positively incentivizing customers to pay you early. Incentives might include a 1 to 2 percent discount if payment is received within a specific timeframe. Early payment rewards work particularly well for companies you are billing that have a separate accounts payable department. In fact, they tend to cut checks first when they see incentives for early payments.
To learn more about how to optimize your billing and increase the amount of on-time and early customer payments, contact Lanvera today.
Spotify’s multicontinental out-of-home (OOH) advertising campaign rollout this week is both hilarious and creative. The worldwide music services conglomerate utilized aggregate and individual listener data from 2016 to create personalized and segmented messages for display in high traffic areas across the world. Here are a couple of messages that made us laugh:
“Dear 3,949 people who streamed ‘It’s the End of the World as We Know it’ the day of the Brexit vote, hang in there.”
“Dear person who played ‘Sorry’ 42 times on Valentine’s Day, What did you do?”
“To the person in NoLIta who started listening to holiday music way back in June, you really jingle all the way, huh?”
According to an interview between Creativity-online.com and Spotify CMO Seth Farbman, the idea for the data-driven campaign originated with 2015’s end-of-the-year “Year in Music” campaign, which revealed that data from listeners in different geographical areas reflected culture through listener behavior.
“There has been some debate about whether big data is muting creativity in marketing, but we have turned that on its head,” Farbman said. “For us, data inspires and gives an insight into the emotion that people are expressing.”
While many OOH advertising campaigns are successful in driving new business, they can be pricey. The good news is that you can take a page out of Spotify’s book and combine it with outreach efforts to your current customer base without breaking the bank. The end result? Deeper customer relationships and higher margins.
Enter statement advertising. Customers receive print and/or electronic statements each month, which gives you the chance to connect with them on a whole new level. Based on what we have seen with the quick success of Spotify’s campaign and our own statement advertising expertise, here are a couple of tips to help you effectively advertise on monthly customer statements:
1. Put customer data to use. Sixty-four percent of marketing executives “strongly agree” that data-driven marketing is crucial to success in a hypercompetitive global economy. Spotify did an excellent job of using both aggregate and individual data to create their campaign. Not all customers are created equal, and data will reflect that. You have a much better chance of standing apart from all of the usual communications your customer receives on a daily basis by presenting them with messaging that is targeted specifically to their needs.
2. Be creative. You’ve gotten a customer’s attention- now it’s time to keep it. Spotify combined quick, witty text with colorful billboards. Simple, yet extremely effective. In a statement advertisement, the use of color combined with the right words and a strong call to action can do wonders.
3. Connect with your customers on an emotional level. Spotify definitely hit the nail on the head and mainly focused on humor in their campaign. From a psychological perspective, when humans feel something, they think, “What can I make of this, what can I do about this?” Those responses have dominance and lead us to a certain behavior – like clicking through to a mortgage application or sharing low auto loan rates on social media.
Data-driven communications are the future of advertising and marketing. Like Spotify, if you utilize data to personalize, be creative and connect emotionally, you will forge stronger customer relationships, increase retention rates and improve margins.
It is no secret that self-service is today’s preferred method of problem solving. In fact, Fast Company reports that 70% of consumers expect a company website to include a self-service tool.
While self-service applications are expected on all consumer-facing digital platforms, they are equally as necessary for your business’ use. Third party vendors with self-service portals can help you streamline routine tasks by giving you more control and drastically decreasing interaction with a representative.
A self-service customer communications portal will provide you with the opportunity to personalize marketing, reduce costs, increase efficiency, and be prepared for emergencies.
Gone are the days of mass marketing! According to a recent report from Accenture, 75% of consumers are more likely to buy from a company that recognizes them by name, recommends options based on past purchases and/or knows their purchase history.
An intuitive self-service customer communications portal allows you the flexibility to utilize customer data for personalized and dynamic one-to-one marketing messages. As a result, you will increase customer buy-in on relevant additional products and services.
Reduce Costs and Increase Efficiency
With 24/7 remote access, you can make changes to your customer communications at any time and on your own timeline. Additionally, the ability to make turnkey changes on your own without all the red tape of having to communicate back and forth with your vendor (submitting a ticket, clarify necessary changes, etc.) will save you headaches, time and extra expenses.
Be Prepared for Emergencies
Unfortunately, we do not usually know ahead of time when an emergency will occur such as a natural disaster or power outage. A user friendly, self-service portal will give you remote access to quickly and easily upload and import customer files and messages to your digital platforms in order to keep customer communications intact.
A self-service customer communications portal can change your communications strategy from reactive to proactive by providing you the ability to change messaging at any time, on your own timeline and from anywhere.
Contact us today to learn more about how Lanvera’s self-service customer communications portal can help you streamline efficiencies.
Fiscal budgeting is upon us, and it's time to look into 2019 to plan new projects. For most, customer engagement and experience is top of mind, and a huge player in that space is around communications and specifically targeting clients via the medium they choose.
While there may be some uncertainty on what 2019 holds for regulations and market behavior, one thing remains the same- you still have to communicate with customers, whether in the form of a statement, letter or marketing campaign. That said, here are some communications trends and predictions to keep in mind while looking for ways to utilize and leverage business-critical data delivery to drive incremental revenue and strengthen customer relationships:
1. Social messaging is taking over
Sixty-two percent of millennials are more loyal to brands that engage them via Over-the-Top (OTT) and SMS messaging. Millennials, as well as other generations, want and expect the personal touch and collaboration that one-on-one communication allows.
Many businesses are already placing ads on social media networks and other websites, allowing users to click and instantaneously be directed to a chat window with the brand. Using business-critical communications, such as statements, notices and letters, you can implement a few strategies to capitalize on this movement, such as live chat features between customers and your organization, as well as providing direct links to popular social media platforms to enable quick sharing of information.
2. Mobile functionality is required
Mobile functionality is no longer optional in today’s world as consumers use smartphones for shopping and online research. This means mobile responsive websites and communications are necessary in order to meet consumer expectations.
Leading organizations have already implemented location-based offers and sales messaging through mobile devices. Take advantage of this trend by targeting specific offers based on credit, via printed documents or through your ePresentment platform. If your customer communications vendor is up-to-date on the latest technology, they can help you implement these important location-based offers and sales messaging to your customer base.
3. Customization and personalization are expected
Seventy-three percent of consumers prefer to do business with brands that use personal information to make their experiences more relevant, according to Digital Trends. When done correctly, using personalized marketing in digital and print business-critical documents can help you effectively reach your customers and yield a high ROI. In addition to revenue opportunities, personalized document marketing can help create a better customer experience by delivering content unique to an individual’s specific needs. The best part? There are no additional costs because your customer documents are already being delivered.
4. Self-service is necessary
Organizations should ensure that customers are able to find answers to their questions using an assortment of self-service options, as fifty percent of customers think it is important to solve product or service issues themselves and 70% expect a company’s website to include a self-service application. Make the most of your customer communications by adding self-service website links to both print and electronic customer facing documents. This will not remove the need for a call center, but it will reduce call volumes AND help to create a more self-service customer experience.
Interested in learning more about how to maximize your business-critical communications in 2019? Click here to contact us.
According to “Understanding Customers” by Ruby Newell-Legner, it can cost approximately 6 times more to attract a new member than to keep an existing one. Furthermore, Bain & Company reports that a 5% increase in member retention can increase profits up to 125%. These numbers alone reveal the necessity of a strong member retention program. Focusing on member retention will provide you with the engagement rates you desire, as well as a more favorable bottom line. Here are some tips to help you get started on increasing member engagement through cross-selling and upselling:
1. Utilize dynamic messaging to align communications with each member’s behaviors, needs and wants.
Dynamic messaging allows you to present strategic, real-time messages to specific target groups within your member base. From there, member-facing marketing space on digital and print statements, letters, notices, etc. is optimized to target account holders with products and services that best fit their needs. There are many ways to incorporate dynamic communications on specific customer criteria, including account balance, zip code, gender, or marital status, to name a few. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel in compiling data because you already have it, so why not not use it to increase member retention rates and your bottom line?
2. Paint a picture that emphasizes benefits rather than features.
Consider this: You are planning a trip to a tropical destination and looking for airline travel. Would you rather see messaging about the seat you will be sitting in, the seatbelt and the fact that you can recline during the flight? Or would you rather see messaging about being transported comfortably and safely to your tropical destination where you will be sitting on the beach and soaking up the sun with a beverage in your hand? I’ll take the latter with the benefits, please!
While this is Sales 101, I see credit unions (and other businesses, for that matter) get caught up in the functionality of their products and services rather than painting a picture that communicates the actual benefits to members. When formulating messaging, keep this quote in mind: “People don’t want to buy a quarter inch drill. They want a quarter inch hole,” -Theodore Levitt. Features do have a place in the sales cycle, but need to only be mentioned as differentiators once a member shows interest in a product or service.
For more tips on cross-selling and upselling, call our team at (972) 488-6400 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
According to the MBA’s 1st quarterly National Delinquency Survey, foreclosure starts and delinquency rates are at the lowest since Q2 of 2000. "The delinquency rate of 4.77 percent has returned to typical pre-recession levels and is lower than the historical average of 5.4 percent for the time period from 1979 to the first quarter of 2016,”said Marina Walsh, MBA'S Vice President of Industry Analysis.
As the market changes to reflect the decrease in delinquencies and foreclosures, there are a couple of different strategies servicers are using to shift focus in order to maintain profits:
1.Focus on Performing Loans
Some servicers are transitioning to more of a performing loan focus, thereby expanding their portfolios. As departments are thinning, servicers are given the choice of either downsizing or moving employees into different job roles. This is a viable option, requiring servicers to identify adaptable personnel to cross-train them for other positions within the organization.
However, the challenge still lies in the extra costs accrued through increased compliance operations, which, in turn, negatively impact loan margins.
2.Identify New Sources of Revenue
One strong option to the market changes is to identify new ways to generate more profit per loan on existing portfolios. If successful in maintaining or even increasing margins, servicers can place themselves in a better position to keep personnel and cross-train them rather than eliminate jobs. This is where identifying new sources of revenue through transactional document communications such as mortgage statements and letters is the answer. Servicers have the opportunity to utilize transactional documents to cross-sell and upsell services to performing loans, as well as utilize affiliate advertising to create new revenue streams.
To learn more about how transactional document communications can help you net more profit per loan, click here.
Loan servicing professionals are perpetually experiencing regulatory changes while trying to balance portfolios. The “do more with less” mentality in the industry has sent loan servicers on the search for ways to increase their profit per loan.
Here are two ways to expand the value of your portfolio this year:
1. SEGMENT MARKETING
In segment marketing, a borrower base is divided into groups of individuals that are similar in specific ways relevant to customer attributes such as age, gender, interests, spending habits, etc. According to MailChimp, segmented email campaigns receive 14.72% more opens and 62.84% more clicks than non-segmented campaigns. What does this mean for your portfolio? Borrowers are more receptive to information that is specific to them.
Lanvera helps increase revenues by providing the ability for our clients to sell affiliate marketing space to businesses that offer services similar to borrowers’ needs. Segment affiliate marketing in borrower-critical document delivery can be applied multiple ways:
The benefits of personalized marketing are enormous to both borrowers and servicers and can impact profit per loan significantly. As a partner, Lanvera helps to maximize borrower communications through segment marketing, resulting in improved ROI and higher eAdoption rates.
2. DYNAMIC MESSAGING
Dynamic Messaging allows you to present strategic messaging to all borrowers or a specific target group and use consumer-facing marketing space by targeting account holders with products and services that best fit their needs. There are many ways to incorporate dynamic communications on specific borrower criteria, including account balance, zip code, gender, or marital status, to name a few. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel in compiling data because you already have it. Why not use it to increase your bottom line?
Here are some tips on harnessing the power of dynamic messaging on borrower-facing digital and print communications:
Your loan profit margins are under constant pressure from borrowers, competition, regulation, inflation, and the economy. However, there are ways to offset these costs through strategically composed borrower communications. Here are five ways you can use borrower communications to increase loan profit margins:
1. Add Color. We don’t just mean a colored logo! A well-placed call-to-action in bright colors can do wonders in capturing your borrowers’ attention and influencing them to make their loan payments a top priority.
A good color scheme will have a significant impact on your digital and print document marketing response rates. This is proven to be true by a recent study conducted by the secretariat of the Seoul International Color Expo, which determined that 92.6% of those surveyed stressed the importance of color visuals. If you want to increase speed-to-pay, make sure your documents are full color.
2. Go Digital. According to ACI Universal Payments, Americans pay more than half of their bills online. Create a unique and memorable borrower experience by providing applications that allow for easy online and mobile payments, as well as offering opt-in push notifications and SMS alerts. Offering these applications provides borrowers with multiple ways to make payments.
3. Segment Your Audience. Not all borrowers are the same, which means standard marketing will not produce the same response rate as segmented marketing. Incorporate targeted and personalized messaging in your documents by using business rules and workflows, and you will significantly improve your marketing ROI.
4. Utilize Dynamic Messaging. Dynamic messaging allows you to present strategic, real-time messaging to specific borrower groups by using your document ‘white space’ to market products and services that align best with each borrower’s needs. There are many ways to incorporate dynamic communications on specific borrower criteria, including zip code, gender and marital status, to name a few.
5. Implement Affiliate Marketing. Form partnerships with outside businesses to utilize advertising space on your borrower documents. This is an appealing opportunity to prospective advertisers because personalized borrower communications tend to have much higher open, view and read rates than other print and electronic communications.
The Bottom Line
Strategic borrower communications can be used to improve your loan profit margins. By adding color, going digital, segmenting your audiences, utilizing dynamic messaging, and implementing affiliate advertising, you can put more money in your pocket.
Learn more about how Lanvera’s solutions can help you increase profit margins by clicking here to contact us.
Business-critical documents are an important component of your customer communications.
As face-to-face customer interactions decline, documents such as statements and bills are quickly becoming the primary line of communication between your business and your customers. If designed and delivered properly, they have the ability to influence customer behavior, drive sales efforts and increase brand loyalty. That said, here are three common problems that may be hindering your business-critical documents:
Problem: Poor Document Design
Delivering poorly designed documents can damage your bottom line. Some examples of this damage include unnecessary customer service calls, low electronic adoption rates, customer frustration, lost marketing opportunities and poor corporate image.
Solution: Optimize for Readability and Production
By designing documents that are optimized for readability and print production, you remedy many of these issues, create easier to understand documents, and increase customer satisfaction. Formatting with tables, summaries and bolded headers makes documents easier to read and understand; and utilizing duplex printing, eliminating white space and consolidating numerous documents into a single envelope will lower production costs.
Problem: Codes and Jargon
Including codes, jargon and information that is confusing for the general public is a common customer communications mistake. When documents are optimized for the average person, as opposed to a processing machine or insurance company, document readability and customer satisfaction will significantly increase.
Solution: Simplify and Eliminate
Try using simple sentences and common words, while eliminating codes and industry jargon. A good way to benchmark if your statement has been simplified is to ask if the information serves a purpose, helps a customer reach a conclusion, or requires a direct action. Everything else can be eliminated.
Problem: Black and White
According to CCICOLOR - Institute for Color Research, the average person makes a subconscious judgement about a product, another person, or the environment within 90 seconds. Between 62% and 90% of that judgement is based on color alone. Based on those statistics, it’s fair to say color is a key factor in marketing. However, there are many organizations that still do not leverage color in all branded materials- namely business-critical documents.
Solution: Full Color Print
A consistent set of colors expresses thoughts without words and influences audiences. If you want to up the ante on your brand’s document marketing and watch your ROI increase, start incorporating more color into your documents.
For more information on how you can improve your business-critical documents by incorporating optimized document design, click here to contact us.