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Millennials (closely followed by Generation X) are delinquent on more payments than any other generation. These younger customers also become more important for businesses to interact with each year, as they make up a large piece of the consumer ‘pie.’ Increasing payments from millennials can happen by hiring a third party to collect late payments.
There are tactics, though, that boost on-time and pre-collection stage payments within your company’s accounts receivable department. Adopt customer-centric procedures like user-friendly workflows, better customer service, and use of preferred communication channels–such as text message invoicing–to improve your bottom line.
Using New Communication Channels
Millennials are the first generation to grow up with the internet and mobile phones. For this group of consumers, digital communication tools are part of life. Businesses should take advantage of this natural inclination toward technology. For millennials, receiving bills and making payments through text is:
- Accessible - Nearly every smartphone owner carries their phone at all times. Accounts receivable departments can take advantage, reaching consumers instantly while your business is fresh in their minds.
- Fast - Most text messages are read and replied to within minutes. Paperless software options replace traditional paperwork tactics like snail mail, drastically decreasing time spent waiting on documents or signatures to be returned.
- Preferred - Consumers vastly prefer receiving text messages to phone calls. Changing from a payment reminder phone call to a text message system will show your customers you understand them. You’re also much more likely to receive a prompt response.
Using workflow management software maximizes convenience (both for staff and customers). Offering the easiest way to navigate a transaction will guide more customers through the entire cycle on the first attempt, and re-engage more who may have stopped responding to paper letters or phone calls during pre-collection.
Incorporate texting into accounts receivable processes by:
- Sending contracts to be signed and returned digitally
- Sending invoices with payment links directly to mobile devices
- Scheduling reminder texts for due or overdue payments
- Sending payment links or documents while on the phone with a consumer, to give instant access (receiving signature or payment while it’s top of mind)
Every interaction with a customer can now become an online review. And millennials are more likely than any other generation to rate their customer service experiences. Add text message notifications and payment links to your first party process. Doing so gives these younger consumers the positive experiences that foster positive reviews.
- Faster processes - Customers will appreciate a simple billing and payment process. The faster an unpaid bill can be resolved, the more satisfied they will be.
- Convenience - Convenience is always a top concern for customer service. Resolving debts the way consumers prefer is an easy way to meet their needs.
- Shows you care - Providing a preferred digital communication method like text messaging shows you understand your customers. Providing millennials with the tools they like to use will show you care.
First party collections happen across every industry. While processes may change, any accounts receivable department can benefit from updated software that streamlines workflows.
Collecting late payments in the medical industry is changing. High deductible healthcare plans are causing a larger portion of bills to be paid by the consumer, not an insurance company. Millennials, now getting older and beginning to have families, are beginning to use health insurance more than in the past.
A text message software system can be incorporated all throughout the revenue cycle to improve the patient financial experience. Requesting a photo upload of a patient’s insurance card, and sending intake forms to be filled pre-visit can speed up check-in time. For those who take copays, this software can even provide a payment link in the text message request to collect payments digitally.
Businesses that offer service before collecting payment are often subject to late payments–or no payment at all for–for work that’s already been completed. In addition, some may lose out on business before a contract is even signed. If your office requires paper contracts to either be signed in person or mailed back, your process will not attract millennials. Younger generations of consumers are less likely to choose a company that deals in traditional paperwork and snail mail to function.
Offering to send contracts through text message, along with the option to pay down payments at the same time, will capture the millennial consumers that would otherwise shop elsewhere.
Using software with text messaging capabilities reaches the millennial generation in an easy, preferred digital communication method. The benefits extend from the first interaction with your younger consumers, all the way through to collecting on delinquent payments.
To learn more about the benefits of using a digital document, invoicing and payment system to increase payments, download the comparison chart: