The Future of the Collections Industry Post COVID-19

Despite misconceptions about the collections industry, the goal of major organizations, like the ACA, is to educate and provide products/ services to members at price points they probably could NOT get on their own. Businesses, especially essential ones like hospitals, will continue to need collection services to survive and thrive in the future.

The Role of Collections in Society

The role of legitimate collection agencies is to offer online services and provide financial guidance for the customer. In addition, they also act as an intermediary between a business and a person indebted to said business.

This is crucial to society because these agencies help maintain a balance between that business’s operations and the individual’s credit score. Sometimes people have to accrue debt, whether for student loans, to finance a car, a home, etc. People need these expenses, and businesses need to make money.

The misconception is that people mistake legitimate collections agencies for fraudulent or predatory businesses. The reality is that most agencies offer guidance, advocate for better terms for the customer, and adhere to strict governmental laws when it comes to the process in general. These regulations also favor the customer when it comes to major life events like loss of income and illness.

What Collections Looked Like Before

With the advisory role that most collections professionals serve, research suggests that customer service has a more integral part to play in payment collections. This may come as a surprise to many organizations, as the collection space hasn’t necessarily been seen as synonymous with customer service in its history. Still, the simple facts can’t be ignored. Evidence has shown that the breakdown of human interaction in modern business is causing many of today’s revenue difficulties across a wide range of companies and industries.

Moving Forward 

In the past, people communicated face-to-face. However, technology has eliminated the need for some in-person interactions. The COVID-19 crisis has been an eye-opener for many businesses that have fallen technologically behind.

Therefore, the future of collections rests within the ability to adapt new technology to help improve the customer experience. One half of that will be in the ability of agencies to effectively communicate with their customers remotely. The other half is through a simple, easy to navigate payment experience, with online portals and various channels in which to pay. Fortunately, that’s what BillingTree does best.

The Avoidance of Customer Contact

At one time, not so long ago, customer contact was the goal of organizations. Offering a more personal level of service was the key to success. Today, personalization is still essential in business. However, AI and other technological developments manage to achieve this more conveniently. The goal moving forward will be to maximize these technologies to deliver a simpler way of getting the same level of customer service as face-to-face without physically being in the room.

But how do companies go about making this transition?

Improving the Digital Customer Experience

Businesses will need to communicate with customers at all stages of their experience to build a better relationship. It means staying on top of any financial issues affecting customers. It means raising concerns as soon as they occur to resolve them.

BillingTree offers cutting-edge solutions to the collection of accounts receivable. By integrating all aspects of accounts management into a single, convenient platform, BillingTree simplifies the process of receiving payments.

Web portals represent one simple ARM solution. This makes it easy for consumers to make payments in the method and at the time of their choosing. When consumers have this flexibility in their options, they are more likely to pay on time and in full. BillingTree’s solutions are all fully secure and compliant for peace of mind. They are also simple to use to facilitate speedy payment.

Other solutions include Interactive Voice Response systems (IVR), allowing customers to make payments 24/7 over the phone and SMS text payments. With SMS, payment reminders can be sent via text, and customers can pay with a simple reply.

Takeaways

Although personal contact is vital in the early stages of collections, online solutions are also a critical customer service tool. Today’s consumers value automation and online convenience. Offering them an Internet solution for making payments has its advantages. Customers want to know that their needs and preferences are being met. Through the right combination of human contact and online collection of accounts receivable solutions, a company can increase its customers’ satisfaction. Together, today’s modern solutions can increase revenue while improving the customer experience all around.