Supporting vulnerable customers AND maintaining a healthy digital-first business during the Covid19 crisis

Topic: Finance & DCAs, Local Government, Utilities

COVID-19 has many different views from thought leaders on its impact, but there is one common theme – businesses are failing to implement an effective communication and continuity strategy to ensure they can keep trading, reassure their customer base and maintain a presence in what is a vast sea of advice.

Specific sectors always have their own needs – this includes things like honouring payment arrangements and plans, taking payments on new and innovative channels and opening up communication channels so you’re available to your customers when they need you the most.

Emails from CEOs talking at length about how they are keeping the lights on for customers are not unwelcome, but they are blurring into one because of the sheer volume of them! By opening up additional channels to end users during this pandemic, which are quite distinct from one-way, faceless emails, you’ll maintain and even increase customer engagement.

Be human. Put yourself in that end user’s position who has had to fight to be furloughed and not laid off, and then has to Google what furloughed means and what they need to do to support their family – does your communication strategy cater for this? Empathy is key.

 The businesses that emerge from the current situation in the best stead, will be the ones that don’t just reach out to you to tell you how well they’re coping, and how they’re continuing to trade etc. They’ll be the ones that take the time to figure out how they can genuinely help their customers, finding out how they’re coping and being first to stand up and offer support.

Demonstrating empathy in one of the hardest actions… Collecting payments

Mobile Collections is a new way to collect payments which focuses on discretion, convenience and sensitivity – and by doing so, increases the likelihood of the debtor receiving payment.

Customers receive an invitation to the Mobile Collections environment through any text-based digital channel – SMS, RCS, WhatsApp, email – allowing them to respond at their convenience rather than receiving a call when they’re trying to manage home schooling and handle Zoom conferences simultaneously.

After selecting the personalised, embedded link, the customer is taken to a fully branded environment (noting that if RCS is used, they don’t need to leave the messaging app at all to access this content).

Upon completing an identity verification stage, customers can then choose to either make a payment, set up a repayment plan, make a payment promise, or chat with an agent, again through a communication channel of their choice.

Payments can be made using a magnitude of channels like ApplePay, GooglePay, AmazonPay, Paypal etc. (the channels your end-users actually use daily,) as well as other payment-related actions like setting up DDs, CPA, arrangements, IE checks etc.  – all via the one device that lives on your body – the humble yet incredible mobile phone.

Finally, confirmation of the payment is sent via the channel of choice for the end-user, allowing them to sync reminders to their phone and not rely on you reaching out to them 12 times a year. A cost-saving to you AND the customer’s native phone settings do the work for you, ensuring your future messaging is impactful and not “another message”.

What are the benefits to customers?

  •     Full relationship management, including managing payments – all on the customer’s  terms, with payment amounts and periods defined by them
  •     Completely self-serve, with no need to wait on hold to speak with an agent
  •     Convenient to use. Can be used at any time or place 24/7 automated
  •     Non-intrusive. As prompts can be delivered to customer’s mobile devices in a more discreet way
  •     Every message sent is customised specifically for that unique customer.

What are the benefits to businesses?

  •     Businesses are promoting a TCF (treating customers fairly) approach to payment collection
  •     Massively reduces cost to serve, with intuitive self-cure channels
  •     Can be implemented quickly and easily
  •     PCI Level 1 and UKAS ISO27001 environment with UK and cloud data centres
  •     The Mobile Collections platform makes it easy to up/downscale campaigns on-demand – insert and customise strategies as you see fit
  •     Fully branded to maintain the look and feel of your other environments/websites
  •     Completely traceable meaning that businesses know how each customer has interacted.

What are the next steps?

To make sure that we find the best approach for you and your customers, we treat every business collecting payments as an individual, with bespoke solutions designed for your needs.

With this in mind, we’d love to speak to you to better understand your problem and how we think Mobile Collections could help. To find out more, please get in contact today by calling 0345 356 5758 or email sales@esendex.com to find out more

Author Avatar
Jattinder Singh

Hi, I'm JT, a specialist in corporate account management and client relationships within the Financial Services sector (DCA, Debt Purchasing, Car Finance, Insurance, Banking and Collections). I'm responsible for implementing change and Project Management, and delivery of service lines from conception to go-live.