A positive customer experience is just as important in your utilities’ collections process as it is with any other customer-facing department. Think about it: money can be a touchy subject— and rightly so. But, if you approach the subject in a timely manner, like sending payment reminders ahead of the due dates, you can continuously feed a positive experience for your customers and do it through your collections team.
The key to empowering your collections team to power a great customer experience is through accurate data. Why? Without trusted contact data—phone numbers, addresses, and emails— you risk bounce-back emails, dial tones, and return mail, making for a frustrated collections team because of the time it’s taking to find customers and collect money. On top of that, that time—which can feel like an eternity to your customer—could create friction in their experience with you.
The way you are capturing your customer information can be a huge time-saver for customers, collectors, and call center representatives. Whether you are capturing customer data on your website, on a call, or in-person with a representative, the key here is to auto-fill accurate contact information into the fields that are being completed.
Human error is the biggest culprit to inaccurate data entry. By incorporating modern real-time data solutions that minimize keystrokes and predict and auto-fill valid addresses, phone numbers, and emails on your website and internal systems, you can make sure all your data is trusted at the point of entry. This will save time for your customers and staff and create a seamless experience internally and externally.
Once you are confident that your customer’s contact information is accurate, you can set up automatic emails to notify your customers of upcoming payments due. By automating payment reminders, your customers will feel more prepared to make the payment, and this will save your team time when it comes to re-connecting with customers who are on a payment plan.
Similar to a collections team affecting customer experience, ongoing data management practices are vital when it comes to your business’s operations and gathering customer insight. A mature data management program will include data roles like a chief data officer or data analyst leading the program, trusted tools that fit your organizations culture, and standard data processes.
When you implement a data management program that best fits your organization’s wants and needs, you can make sure your collections team is getting a continuous feed of accurate, updated data on customers. This will relieve the time in the investigation phase, allowing collectors to reach customers on the first attempt, while mitigating the risk of friction between you and your customer.
Time holds a lot of weight in collections operations, and it can affect your customer’s perception of your business. With trusted data, your collections team can maximize their valuable time by connecting with customers on the first try, ultimately amplifying a positive customer experience.