Tips for Streamlining Accounts Receivable

In business, cash is king. Various factors influence an organization’s ability to collect revenue, however proper cash flow management is essential to supporting and advancing business objectives. It is understood that getting a customer to purchase your product or service is only part of what most consider a successful transaction. Getting them to pay in a timely manner, and feel satisfied, changes everything. So what can you do to facilitate timely payments and enhance customer satisfaction? Consider the following suggestions:

  1. Take advantage of available technology. Paper bills are a dying breed. Not only are they more costly, less efficient and worse for the environment, but they often get lost, take longer to process, and don’t provide much convenience for businesses or customers.

In lieu of paper bills, consider offering customers the ability to view and pay their bills online. This technique is less costly, more efficient and eco-friendly. It allows for your customers to receive billing statements immediately, and with tracking options, you can actually verify a successful receipt – down to the exact day and time. Once customers receive an electronic bill, they can log on to your website or payment link and self-enter their payment details – which reduces the errors and risk often associated with manual data entry. In fact, with the right technology you can ensure no sensitive data ever hits your servers – which greatly reduces your liability and simplifies your scope of PCI compliance. Plus, with popular features like “Auto-Pay,” your customers can schedule timely payment submissions, and essentially forget about them. Reconciliation becomes easier and less labor intensive since electronic records can be drawn and filtered daily. In sum, online bill payment promotes better cash management, lower administrative overhead, reduced postage and printing, and fewer number of delinquent accounts.

  1. Use a CRM that can accept payments. In addition to offering online bill presentment, recording all interactions with customers is a must. When an account is past due, and a payment has not been received in a reasonable period, you should contact your customer to discuss payment using a CRM that can accept payments. While this is often done by mail or email, a phone call will engage your customer the most and allow them to specify details of their situation, and possibly, even make a payment right over the phone.

Regardless of which approach you take, you should be sure to log the details of each contact so you or other departments can make informed decisions in the future. Keep notes on when follow-up communications were sent and record your customers’ responses to these follow-ups. This will allow you or your employees to schedule subsequent follow-ups more effectively, and use prior information supplied by your customer to judge an appropriate course of action. For example, if the customer was not satisfied and is planning on returning a product or if a customer promised to pay a late invoice in 3 weeks and 5 weeks have passed – you or your team can reference their prior comments in any follow-up discussions, and subsequent resolution process. With the right technology, your customer service representatives or accounts receivable department can take payment from a customer over the phone without leaving the CRM environment. Those payments can be drawn from a customer’s e-wallet on file, automatically integrated with back office systems, and processed immediately in real-time, or later, in a delayed batch. This makes it easier and more efficient to receive payments, while logging or reviewing notes of a customer’s situation. It also will make your customer feel more satisfied when dealing with a representative that has detailed knowledge of prior interactions, and who can expedite payment processing in a fast, efficient manner. For additional assistance with streamlining accounts receivable or electronic payment processing please contact Nodus Technologies or sign up for our free webinar. Call 909 – 482-4701 or email sales@nodus.com

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Posted on December 16, 2014, in electronic payment processing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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