Automation of the credit and collections process is driven by the rules you set to program the automated activities. The rules should be based on experience with your customer base and proven, effective best practices.
Automation rules can always be adjusted. If a rule doesn’t give you the desired result, reset it and see if the new rule works better.
Here are top automation rules for the credit and collections process.
One of the most important rules for successful automation of your credit and collection process is to have a dynamic and thorough onboarding process. If you receive onboarding documents with correct and up-to-date customer master data back from customers, or it is entered in your system via a self-service portal, you will be able to take full advantage of your automated credit and collections processes.
Without correct customer master data, your AR team will be tied up trying to identify and correct the information causing errors and reducing the benefits your automated processes. Correct department email addresses at customers (e.g. AP@XYZco.com ), valid Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TINs), and other correct customer master data also reduce operational errors, customer disputes, unauthorized deductions and chargebacks.
Reminders are a core part of the collections process. Without timely and effective reminders, cash flow will slow down, and past due amounts will increase. The rules for follow-up reminders should include:
- Mix of automated emails and collection calls – Well-crafted and appropriately spaced automated emails are an essential element in the collections process, but they should also be supplemented by collection calls as needed. Emails get lost in spam or end up at the bottom of the line in a full inbox. Reminder collection calls placed at the right time can help to get action on your emails sooner. Sometimes it just takes a friendly nudge from a live call to spark a response.
- Minimum of 4 touches to the customer – The mix of automated emails and collection calls that you decide to use should result in touching the customer a minimum of 4 times. People are busier than ever in the new normal. You need to be persistent if you want to get the attention needed to prompt action. One or two sporadic contacts are not usually enough to get the job done.
- First outreach should at the earliest occur after the invoice is 14 days old – If you are too quick in follow up, it may too early to expect action, resulting in a waste of time and an annoyed customer.
Automation rules are key to an efficient and effective credit and collections process. With an automated credit and collections solution you can increase productivity and accelerate cash flow.
Lockstep Collect, a leader in cloud-based credit and collection platforms, can help you collect cash in 4 ways:
- Cloud-based solutions
- Automated customer communications
- Customer self-service
- Collections Activity Management
Lockstep Collect is an experienced software partner that can help you maximize your collections and cash flow in the new normal.
If you would like to learn more about how you can benefit from automated credit and collection solutions, please contact Lockstep Collect at www.anytimecollect.com.