Sure, you hope all your outstanding invoices are paid on time. But you constantly get reality checks, proving the opposite. As you know, cash flow is king. So, you probably have methods to remind late payers by using old traditional tools and processes, which are both time and money consuming. But there’s a way out. Ready to discover how?
How most companies are chasing unpaid invoices
All your competitors are facing the same challenges as you. But they are using old legacy ways of informing their clients about an outstanding invoice. They hire accounting administrators to send e-mails, letters, or to call their customers. That’s costly. Not to talk of the fact that their efforts are ineffective. As a result, they also pay a considerable amount of legal costs, just to get their money. But you can be a lot way smarter, right? With SMS reminders, you can have a true competitive advantage, while reducing costs and improving cash flow. Too good to be true? Not really.
“Hi, your invoice is overdue”
One of the simplest ways to send out payment reminders is by SMS. With automatic, personalised SMS messages, you make sure your customers are informed when their bill is overdue. Because SMS has a 97% open rate and a high remembrance rate, your customers are more likely to act upon your request: paying their bill immediately. That’s what we implemented for VOO, for example.
“Hi, do you want to get ahead of your outstanding invoices?”
A pro-active way of improving your cash flow is to contact your customers about their bill early. You could for example send out an automatic SMS to your customers as soon as your invoice leaves the door. In that way, you will improve the speed of payment, which will boost your cash flow. You could also offer your customers an incentive – like a small refund – when they pay early. That’s probably the most effective way to make sure your customers pay their bills immediately.
“Hi, do you want to save money?”
Unpaid invoices always come with extra costs. Not only for you as a company, but also for your clients. They might have to pay extra administration fees and other costs, to compensate for their negligence. But that puts the relationship between you and your customers at stake. There is a thing called a direct debit order. In that way, your customers don’t have to think about paying their bills, as the money they owe you are directly debited from their bank account. You could use SMS to inform your customers about it and to engage them to take the necessary steps. It’s a win-win situation. As you can see, there are many solutions for recovering unpaid invoices. The most important is to analyse which method will save time and reduce the number of unpaid invoices for your company. Not sure which tool to start with? Ask our team of experts, they will analyse your needs and propose an adapted solution!
Use SMS marketing and create the best campaign to boost your sales. Interact with your target audiences in a personalised, immediate and automated way thanks to SMS. A lot of businesses use SMS and its close to 100% opening rate to create an original campaign. This blog post reveals some best practices of SMS marketing for all types of companies.
If you analyse your competitors, you will observe that they are diversifying in the tools they use for their campaigns. Whether it is for Summer Sales, Black Friday, Christmas and New Year’s Eve or other reasons, an SMS marketing campaign can have a very significant impact. SMS is becoming one of the best tools for communicating with your target audiences and is both cost-effective and efficient. Let’s dive into the advantages you might not have heard about.
Is an SMS Marketing Campaign Effective?
Of course, it is. Did you know that SMS has an open rate of 97% within the first 3 minutes? If we say ‘huge’, we mean it. Compare that with the average open rate of e-mail (about 20-30%), and you know we’re right.
Moreover, SMS marketing is more adopted then e-mail. About 96% of people worldwide have a mobile subscription. On the other hand, only 35% of people worldwide are e-mail users. Of course, you can imagine a different situation here in Belgium. Most people have an e-mail account, but as e-mail marketing has become more popular, it means that commercial e-mails are overpopulating people’s inboxes, and are often interpreted as spam. That’s why using new channels for your marketingcampaigns like SMS is a solution. If you want some SMS marketing campaign examples, download our Black Friday SMS Templates.
How do you do SMS Marketing?
Make it extremely personal
A mobile device is in everyone’s pocket. It’s a gateway to people’s personal lives. When you engage with your target audience via a text marketing campaign, you need to respect that. Understand who your target audience is, and find out what people expect from your messages. A lack of a strategic approach is asking for trouble.
Analyse the best time to send
As with e-mail marketing, there are some optimal times to send text messages to your audiences:
It’s most effective during business hours, between 10 am and 7 pm
Mondays have the lowest response rates
The worst time to send is during rush hours when people can’t engage with your messages.
However, the best time to send out your SMS marketing campaign depends on the characteristics of your audiences. Testing, analysing and constantly improving is the best way to work.
Keep it short & simple
If you’re able to send short text messages, which are to the point and have a clear call to action, you will be able to maximize your impact on your audiences. However, if you make your messages too long, you’re missing the point. As SMS stands for ‘Short Message Service’, you need to keep it short. Keep your SMS marketing campaigns short and straight to the point.
Don’t overwhelm users
Don’t confuse mobile marketing with e-mail marketing. It’s perfectly suitable to send 5 e-mails per week, but it’s a clear no-no in SMS marketing. Even 4 or 5 (marketing) text messages per month are considered excessive. The best way to create clear expectations is to inform your customers in advance about the frequency of messages they can expect.
What is the best text message marketing service?
To send marketing campaigns by SMS in a fast and efficient way, RingRing is the best service. Our platform is easy to use and support is available 24/7. Most SMEs and larger companies are already using our services to send out their SMS marketing campaigns. If you want to test the product by yourself, test our platform for free right now!
What are the means of debt collection to deal with unpaid invoices? There are plenty available on the market. But think twice before choosing one. What is your goal? Recovering your money? Isn’t it possible to do so more efficiently?To help you find the best way to handle unpaid invoices, read this analysis we did.
We compared 4 strategies to deal with unpaid invoices:
1. Ask a debt-collection agency
How does it work? To deal with unpaid invoices, you can call a debt-collection agency. They’re specialised in covering unpaid invoices. They will persuade your debtors to pay your invoices.
How long does it take? A few weeks on average.
How much does it cost? A percentage of the amount of the invoice, from 1 to 15%.
How is your relationship with your customer impacted? Neutral.
2. Use a Lawyer
How does it work? Using a lawyer to deal with unpaid invoices can be an option. You call on a lawyer when you want to start a legal procedure. You will do this only if your customer is dishonest or if he contests you invoice.
How long does it take? From a few weeks to several months.
How much does it cost? A (high) hourly rate.
How is your relationship with your customer impacted? Negative
3. Calling in a bailiff
How does it work? You can ask a bailiff to handle your unpaid invoices. The bailiff will officially bring a document to the attention of a specific person. The bailiff can go so far as to summon someone in court.
How long does it take? A few weeks on average.
How much does it cost? On average 30 euro per letter.
How is your relationship with your customer impacted? Negative.
4. Automated communication
How does it work? Dealing with unpaid invoices with automation is an innovative method. An SMS or an automated phone call can persuade your customer to pay his invoice.
How long does it take? A few days on average.
How much does it cost? Almost nothing.
How is your relationship with your customer impacted? Neutral.
Try automation to handle unpaid invoices
Automated communication seems to be an interesting method to handle unpaid invoices. It gives results quite quickly, is affordable and preserves your relationship with your customer. So, which of these communication channels – SMS or IVR – is the most appropriate? Taking your company, but especially your customers, into account?
SMS or IVR to remind an unpaid invoice?
Both channels have advantages. You have to determine which is most suitable to your relationship with each customer. You know your customer best. Which channel would convince him to pay your invoice – and in the most suitable way? Also, if you doubt on managing those channels, be reassured. All of them are easy to manage. The implementation is quick and easy. You simply need to determine the content of the message, the moment you want to send it and the channel you want to use. That is it.
Since it was popularised in 2003, the Net Promoter Score (NPS) has become a widely used measure. Both for measuring customer and employee satisfaction. Many companies use eNPS or Employee Net Promoter Score to measure employee satisfaction. In addition, choose the channel that suits you and your employees the best.
What is eNPS?
First of all, let’s start from the source : the Net Promoter Score®. The NPS is a typical benchmark measure for evaluating the fidelity of a company’s relationship with its customers. Basically, the NPS measures the likelihood of your customers recommending your company to a friend.
The difference between NPS and eNPS
As you might have understood, eNPS is the same system as the net promoter score but dedicated to employees. It allows you to find out about the general satisfaction of employees and their loyalty to the company. The eNPS measures the likelihood that staff members will recommend their company as a place to work. The eNPS asks employees how likely they are to “promote” their company on a scale of 0 to 10.
Depending on the answers, several classifications exist (on a scale of 10):
The « Promoters » (from 9 to 10);
The « Passives » (from 7 to 8);
The « Detractors » (from 0 to 6).
The Employee Net Promoter Score is calculated by taking the percentage of detractors and subtracting it from the percentage of promoters. Then the eNPS score from 0 to 100 is obtained.
Why using the Employee Net Promoter Score
This score can be very useful to you for several reasons. It allows you to analyse employees’ responses to improve company life. The eNPS allows you to collect the reactions of all employees on various types of channels.
Whether it is via SMS, mail or even automated voice, it is possible to adapt the channel according to the habits of the employees and the company. eNPS provides a clear and precise overview of the results. It allows the application of employee feedback into concrete results.
Why is eNPS important?
Indeed, the eNPS score is important because it allows, in addition to other metrics, to analyse the company’s performance and productivity. It gives the possibility to analyse the employer brand and gives importance to the employee.
Taking an interest in the opinion of employees is morally and humanly very important. Employees feel listened to and involved through this type of questionnaire. Provided, of course, that all the data that have been analysed through eNPS are implemented!
How to make a good eNPS?
First of all, involve as many employees as possible. The more answers you get, the more correct the data will be. You will have a 360-degree view. Reward the employees who answer the eNPS or find some kind of motivation.
Which channel to choose?
The chosen channel often depends on the target audience. A practical way can be e-mail. However, the response rate may be lower. So don’t hesitate to send a reminder via SMS to your employees to tell them to go to their mailboxes. The most effective way (with a high response rate) is still SMS. Send the NPS directly via SMS and employees will respond instantly. Everyone has their phone close by!
It is also possible to use automated voice. The combination of voice and SMS already works very well in the field of customer experience. The principle is simple: after a customer service call, ask the respondent to rate his or her satisfaction. An SMS follows and the person gives a score from 1 to 10. This system can be applied to employees of medium to very large companies. This increases the response rate compared to one message among a mountain of other mails in your inbox!
Communication is a very wide field. Besides promotional or transactional messages, you may also have to send out an urgent communication. When this is the case, overall efficiency is a key factor in the choice of your communication platform.Discover several reasons to use a crisis communication center for urgent communications.
What is an urgent communication?
The nature of the message you send can determine the tool you will use. So, what makes urgent communication urgent? The promptitude with which you need the message to be read. To determine if your message can qualify as “urgent”, you need to ask yourself one question: what will be the consequences if my message is not read within 3 minutes? Answering that will allow you to evaluate how the message importance qualifies.
There are a lot of examples of urgent communication. You can use it to warn about a starting fire in a building, breakdowns, sanitary rules, and so on. Some companies use our Crisis Communication Center in an original way. To organise efficient product recalls or to manage a security team schedule, for example. You can also use it to manage contact lists that often change, as will be explained below.
Why choose a crisis communication center?
Reasons to use a crisis communication center are numerous. If you are reading this, it means that you have determined that your message is urgent. But why not send it through a classic platform? There are multiple reasons for that. We listed the 5 most important ones so that you can understand a dedicated platform’s purpose.
1 – The need for a multi-channel platform
First of all, when you send out an urgent communication, you need to make sure that the message is received. Choosing a tool that supports multiple communication channels is crucial. Imagine that your recipient is on the field. Calling him is probably the best way to reach out to him. If he’s in an important meeting, he will most probably have his phone turned off. So you will have better chances by sending him an e-mail.
When it comes to urgent communication, it is important to know if your recipient received the message. But, it is much more important to know if he has read or heard it. Imagine that you are sending out an SMS alert to warn your employees about the breakdown of a crucial element in your factory. By knowing who read the message, you can determine who worked on it and estimate when the intervention started. This way, you can be sure that the issue is resolved as quickly as possible.
To be able to know who read the message, the recipient needs to answer to the message. If you send out your urgent communication by SMS, he can simply text back « OK ». So, you’ll know exactly who got the message. With an automated call, the recipient will have the possibility to press a number to let you know he’s aware of the situation. E-mails will contain buttons to confirm the message was read. In the RingRing Crisis Communication Center, this information is gathered in an easy-to-read report. There you can see who received the message and through which channels but also who has answered to it.
In some situation, a few seconds can change everything. You need to make sure that the message you send out is not stuck in a waiting line to be delivered on its turn. You need to know that it will have priority over marketing communications, for example. At RingRing, we prioritise outbound messages by importance. All messages sent out through our Crisis Communication Center have a priority 1 and are sent before any other type of messages.
4 – A quick and simple way to send out your alert
In order to be efficient at the moment you send out your urgent communication, you need to be able to pre-configure the alerts and who will receive them. The RingRing Crisis Communication Center allows you to manage multiple lists of recipients that can constantly be updated. You can also specify schedules per person to contact only people on duty when you send out an alert.
For example, let’s say you use a crisis communication center in a school. You need to inform parents that the daycare center will be closed. Just write a message in several languages, in which you can use placeholders and save it as an alert. Select a pre-uploaded list of parents excluding those who do not use the daycare center of the school with the schedule functionality.
5 – Extend the platform to the entire organisation
Once you have chosen your communication platform, it is important for the entire company to use the same tool. In this way, recipients learn to work with the same tools. Several departments may need to send out alerts. The IT department in case of breakdowns, the management in case of external issues, the HR department in case of absence, etc. Using the RingRing platform, all these departments can have their own sub-account. That’s means they can manage their own contact lists and alerts.
To conclude, don’t risk your urgent communication not being read. No matter the reasons why you use a crisis communication center, with one simple click on a button you can send an alert. Inform the right people, through the right channel and in high priority while having them confirm they read your message. It is better to be safe than sorry!
Do you really rely on your customers for the payment of your invoices? Of course, you cannot pay outstanding debt for them. Nevertheless, you can impact them more than you think. How? It is a matter of empathy and using adapted tools. These 5 steps will allow you to follow the right strategy to have efficient payment reminders.
Choose the right channel for your payment reminders
The way you send out payment reminders has to match with the relationship you have with your customer. The channel that you use – e-mail, SMS or IVR – has to be the one that the customer knows as a customer. For instance, in a B2B environment, it is much more appropriate to send payment reminders per e-mail, whereas in a B2C context you will obtain more results using SMS. If you address a large range of target groups, a mix of channels may be the good option. Although, the SMS is becoming more and more important. In the B2B field it is starting to be used frequently as well as automated outbound calls. The key is to adapt the message to your target.
Adopt the right tone
Be careful not to be too aggressive or intrusive. An invasive SMS will dissuade your customer instead of motivating him. A not so engaging message will not make him react. The right tone for your message will make efficient payment reminders. Be very careful not to make any mistakes (e.g., in the amount) or miscommunication. Send a clear but polite message. If you are struggling to write good payment reminders, don’t hesitate to download our late payment reminder templates!
Choose the right procedure
Think in terms ofproceduresinstead of individual actions. The right flow – a sequence of well-timed actions – can do miracles. For example, you can start with an SMS when your payment deadline is almost expired, followed by an automated call a week after the due date. The automated call allows various options to be offered to the payer. For example “type 1 if you have already paid, 2 if you want to pay now“. In the second case, the customer receives an SMS with an integrated payment link. This one allows him to make an instant payment of the correct amount and the right communication. Simple and efficient for both parties!
Combine and experiment payment reminders
All options are open. When you are well prepared, meaning when you have chosen your channels and the tone that suit your customer, you will quickly have results. But nothing prevents you from doing better. Do an A/B test to see what can be improved. Divide your users into two groups. Each group will receive a different message and you will see which message works best. You can use this to test new channels, new wording of your message or a new flow. Chances are that you will discover things that you can improve to get more efficient payment reminders.
Measure and evaluate them
What does the use of payment reminders imply for your business? You can easily find it out. Analyze the average late payments of your customers after a few months and calculate the return on investment of your efforts. For example: you observe that every day of late payment costs you 10 euro per invoice. You have 1.000 customers per month that pay on average with 5 days delay. This costs you 5 000 euro. After the implementation of automated payment reminders, the delay drops to 3 days on average. Your win? 2.000 euro per month. It’s that easy.
Turn your payment reminders into success
Now, you have the tools you need to make effective payment reminders. There’s no secret, you have to test it again and again, analyze the results and most importantly, do multi-channel.
Discover now how reminders work by automated SMSor call.
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