Dunning management software: the management of outstanding debt collection is a complex activity that today is increasingly organized thanks to the use of modern technologies. Dunning management software, together with adequate infrastructure and advanced communication, allow companies, public bodies, and private citizens to optimize the time and costs of research and collection. The complete recovery cycle, from the archiving of customer data to the automation of payments can be managed and administered thanks to innovative methods for managing business insolvencies.
In this post, we will look at some of the most effective methods and tools to support them.
Integrated platforms at the heart of the reminder strategy
The activities undertaken for recovering revenue that is likely to be lost as a result of lack of payment is referred to as “dunning”.
The management of reminders is fundamental for a company that has to make recurring invoices. If some companies continue to implement the usual methods of communication and collection, today the approach that best manages to value technological evolution is one focused on the customer, which enables a full set of tools within a complete strategy of reminder.
In recent years, more organizations are deciding to act strategically, and to achieve this, they are choosing an integrated platform. To design and implement ad hoc applications, the first step they have to face is to establish a shrewd system of data management. Only starting from a careful analysis of needs, habits, and patterns of action identifiable for specific categories of consumers, they will be able to develop a data culture that is both data-driven and insight-driven, which ensures accessibility to the necessary information on which management can base their decisions.
An evolved platform must redesign credit management processes according to the needs of the organization. To do so, it must offer:
- complete coverage of the different business functions in order to optimize the collaborative routines between actors in the process;
- a flexible workflow that can be updated in real time for real process governance;
- real-time monitoring tools, set to improve consumer service levels;
- an automated and highly responsive communication system available to the paying customer.
Among the most advanced tools for helping companies enhance their digital transformation with essential features of interactivity and personalization are those developed by Doxee for the Public Administration. Doxee Pvideo® and Doxee Pweb®, which we will talk about later in this post, proceed far beyond the simple conversion of a paper document into a computer document by exploiting the full potential of dematerialization in order to manage the company’s outstanding debts in an innovative and effective way.
Dunning management software can optimize credit management activities
There are two main components that credit management must deal with in a strategic and structured way:
- Reduce unsuccessful payment attempts
- Improve communication with the customer
Optimizing tactics to produce the best results on each of these operational dimensions is essential to improve customer relationships, extend the life cycle of the product or service, and reduce the drop-out rate. The use of platforms designed to manage and recover credit is part of a change of pace that shifts the focus of investment to the user experience, rather than on collection activities.
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1. Optimize the management of reminders with automatic payment attempts
The management of the reminder is, first of all, the act of repeatedly attempting to collect the outstanding payment.
Electronic payments: where are we in Italy?
With the spread of new technologies, electronic payment and invoicing (EBPP, Electronic Bill Payment & Presentment) has rapidly established itself through the internet, direct access, or ATMs. Today, they are a key component in many financial institutions (online banking) and in many other sectors, including insurance, telecommunications, utilities, and energy.
There are two types of EBPPs.
- Biller-direct, which are created and distributed directly by the organization issuing the invoices. Put another way, the company that provides the goods also offers:
- the service of electronic invoicing;
- a system for paying bills directly on the website or on micro websites that function as integrated platforms;
- one or more privileged channels of communication through which reminders and service information are distributed. The customer can access various digital touchpoints made available by the company via a secure connection, review billing information, and enter the amount of payment.
- The bank-aggregator or “consolidator” model allows customers to pay invoices to a number of different companies through a single portal.
Italy has always been characterized by a certain resistance to the adoption of digital payment methods, a delay that seems to have been reduced in recent months. The relatively recent news of a leap forward (11 percentage points) of the use of electronic money in the buying habits of Italians has been due largely to the forced closure of physical stores due to the pandemic. In the period of lockdown, according to ilsole24ore.com: “the use of electronic money by Italians has made a leap forward compared to the period of 2011 to 2019. During the highest points of the health emergency, the percentage of expenditure paid with credit cards, debit cards, or loyalty points has gone from 57% of the average figure of 2019 to 68% and the number of transactions made with credit cards has risen from 42 to 48%.”
Reasons for non-payment
It may happen that an automatic payment is not successful, and there could be different reasons for this. This could include the customer’s financial situation, problems with the means of payment (e.g. credit card), non-timely reminders, or requests for payment that are perceived as lacking transparency, or as aggressive or disrespectful.
If payment is not made successfully, subscription management and billing platforms automatically try again, at predetermined intervals. A good rule of thumb in such cases is to always give the customer a few days before trying to contact them again, to allow them to resolve any problems with the means of payment or to intervene on the critical issues that may have arisen in bank transactions.
The advantages of automated payment
In general, if included within a structured plan, automated debt collection can lead to two concrete advantages:
- more efficient collection, potentially freeing up resources to focus on more value-added, productive tasks,
- operational continuity, since the service is never interrupted, thus avoiding situations of stalemate or uncertainty that could push the customer to look for another supplier.
The functionality of the dunning management software make a fluid, recurring, and continuous management system possible, one that is not limited to pure collection but concerns the entire customer life cycle.
Defining and automating the patterns with which collection attempts must be made, first of all sending the reminder, is now essential and not only on the company side. On the customer side, as a result of a transparent and more complete communication, the seamless, smooth process will support a more satisfying user experience. Such a system will also enable access to useful information whenever needed and provide a system of planned reminders, as well as timely updates on the customer’s debt situation.
2. Proactively communicate with the customer in case of non-payment
Decisions regarding communication guidelines, it should be stressed, are essential for creating a positive user experience. In an ecosystem characterized by recurring payments (and crowded with taxes, bills, and invoices) customers expect an even stronger line of communication with the company. For communication to be positive and productive in both directions, there are some rules for behavior that may seem obvious and yet, unfortunately, are not. Here are some communication tips to remember:
- the tone-of-voice of a reminder must always be kind and friendly;
- simplicity first of all: it is necessary to explain the problem to the customer before proceeding with an invitation to action. It’s a good idea to always provide contact information and include an immediately clickable link to use to update personal information, learn about complex or difficult to understand issues, and proceed with payment;
- clarity means specifying by choosing the most suitable words, avoiding the use of technicalities or complicated language;
- punctuality when it comes to credit management is very important for reminding customers, with reasonable advance notice, of the due dates of payments.
Innovative methods for managing company insolvencies: Doxee Pvideo® and Doxee Pweb®
We have seen how the use of new technologies and digitalization can be exceptional success factors in any sector related to the provision of ongoing services, such as utilities, telecommunications, banking, and insurance. Dunning management software, thanks to the latest generation tools, allow companies to increase and differentiate the points of contact with customers compared to traditional ones.
Today, there are innovative methods that companies can use to ensure that bills, renewals and other payments, if poorly managed or confined to the paper form of a pdf, go unpaid. There are new approaches capable of creating opportunities for contact on which to have conversation with the customer. To successfully tackle a complicated and sensitive issue such as debt collection, it is necessary to focus on the consumer and choose solutions that are capable of:
- capturing their attention and interest,
- making proper use of mobile devices,
- facilitating the connection with the website and online payment mechanisms.
Solutions such as those developed by Doxee aim to build a truly unique Digital Customer Experience.
Doxee Pvideo®: create and distribute personalized and interactive videos
Doxee Pvideo® allows the creation of videos in which each scene can be built incorporating the data of each individual recipient, making the visual text personalized and interactive: profiled text and banners, custom images, ad hoc choice of voice overs thanks to the text-to-speech and audio library, in-depth pop-ups, and User-Directed-Storytelling (UDS) functionality with which to transform each recipient of the video into a director of their own digital experience, allowing them to actively participate in the choice of navigation path. Enabling multi-level narration, Doxee Pvideo® is a true bi-directional and multi-channel communication tool.
Doxee Pweb®: produce and distribute customized micro-sites
Doxee Pweb® is the tool that allows companies to produce and make available to their customers interactive and highly personalized web content that supports the multi-channel journey. Doxee Pweb® combines the flexibility and interactivity of a webpage with the engaging capabilities of personalized content. Bills and balance sheets become web experiences that facilitate exploration and understanding of the information heritage, thanks to interactive graphics, expandable tables, filters, and sorting. Interactive functions such as calls-to-action, form, and chatbot integration also transform a channel typically devoted to transaction or reporting into a two-way communication tool and a new commercial channel for up-selling and cross-selling strategies.
Doxee and the Public Administration
Among the organizations that, having been called to redesign their tax collection strategies in often more difficult contexts, have decided to exploit the full potential of digital tools, are local and central Public Administrations. In these cases, it is not only a question of a change dictated by the urgency of facing digital disruption, but also the consequence of a reflection on the usefulness of improving the Digital Customer Experience. In fact, an effective and engaging experience triggers a virtuous circle that has an impact on communication processes aimed at citizens because it makes them efficient and measurable.
Doxee has offered its expertise on numerous projects within the Public Administration, developing effective tools to design and manage a plurality of digital touchpoints along the entire customer journey of citizens: from offering personalized information on services related to the city in which they live, to the simplicity of tax payment, to the real-time request of documents.
The Campania Region chooses personalized videos for tax collection
The personalized and interactive video that Doxee made for the Campania Region served as an informal way to communicate information to taxpayers in a precise and engaging way. Among the objectives of the video, in addition to resolving the debt situation in a quick and relatively simple way, was also to immediately lower the rate of conflict with taxpayers.
The Campania region needed to establish a personal relationship with the taxpayer and combat tax evasion more effectively.
To achieve these goals, the video was designed to:
- communicate all the information on the use of the taxes collected, on payment methods, and information useful for the fulfillment;
- distribute the reminder in a friendly way (the reminder was also sent in paper form);
- allow the citizens to make the payment immediately, through a personalized and interactive video published online, which citizens could also see by scanning the QR code in the paper notification.
In the video, the citizen received all the necessary information about his outstanding payment to the Region and all the detailed information regarding payment methods. In the final part, he was then invited to perform actions directly in the video, through a special call-to-action.
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