Today’s consumer wants to do business virtually. According to a Gartner study, by 2020, consumers will manage 85 percent of their relationship with a company without interacting with a human. The receivables management industry is seeing similar trends.
Consumers demand digital communications—email, electronic signatures and texting —simple and when they want, how they want and where they want, including:
• 24/7/365 access
• Email and text notices that provide a link to conveniently make an online payment
• Email communications reminding of payments, account balances, post-dated checks and late notices
• Electronic signature program that allows completion of documents in real-time, and even while on the phone with an agent
• Text messaging for payment reminders and late notices
An estimated 91 percent of consumers check email at least once a day on their smartphones. Besides calling and texting, checking emails is one of the most popular uses for smartphones.
In fact, consumers spend 5.4 hours each weekday in email. And by the end of 2019, worldwide email users are expected to total more than 2.9 billion, according to a Radicati Group study.
In addition to speed and convenience, email offers other benefits, such as:
• Tracking and analytics that allow an organization to know which documents have been opened, ignored or bounced
• Reduced costs in postage and materials
• Data hygiene processes and dynamic business rules can be applied to email communications that are used with paper-based communications
• Link directly from email document to payment portal
Traditional paper and mailing procedures to collect consumer information and signatures on documents costs time, and potentially money. It can be delayed waiting for the consumer to sign and return the materials. And, when the package finally makes it back, the information may not be valid due to a variety of errors, such as a missing digit in the social security number or a missing signature.
An electronic signature option allows agents to send secure documents requiring signatures even while on the phone with consumers. Consumers are prompted to the correct areas of the documents to complete and sign, which can be done from any device, and in real-time. An electronic signature option reduces document completion time to less than two minutes and improves return rates.
A RevSpring case study discovered that only 5 to 10 percent of consumers returned paper documents, but with an electronic signature option, two of every three documents—about 66 percent—were returned.
Electronic signatures are legally binding and secure, and allow for a comprehensive audit that includes the collected signature and the means in which that signature was obtained, as well as the facts behind that process, such as the IP address from which the document was signed.
In addition, once documents are completed, data and information from those digital documents can be easily transferred to other documents where needed.
Texting is an effective way to communicate with people in this digitally connected world and has become a critical means of reaching consumers anytime and anywhere. Opt-in text messaging can be used for payment reminders, late notices, receipts and post-dated check reminders. Texting also allows companies to Include a link to a payment portal to encourage convenient, self-service mobile payments, while the consumer is already engaged.
According to the 2016 Remind Me Generation Report, about 42 percent of consumers said they wanted companies to communicate with them by text, up from 16 percent the year before.
Engaging today’s consumers requires digital communications options. RevSpring shares industry information and best practices in a webinar focusing on offering solutions to improve account resolution in this virtual age. Click here to watch the Webinar.