Go Green with eBilling: Five Tips to Make It Happen
Guest post by Mitch Rose, Vice President of Marketing, Billtrust
A recent Pew Internet survey found that 85% of adults in the US are on the web, and it has completely changed the way we communicate with each other, access entertainment and conduct business. Unfortunately, for the environment (and businesses), there remain transactional processes that are still mired in paper.
Most businesses recognize the benefits of migrating their customers to electronic billing. The benefits in costs, cash flow and customer satisfaction are demonstrable. However, businesses are still struggling to change their processes and effectively implement programs to drive electronic adoption among their customers.
The first step for a company is to put in place electronic channels for payment, such as direct online billing (commonly known as EBPP or EIPP), mobile, eBanking and IVR. Once these channels are in place, the next key step is convincing their customers to join them – persuading them to process and pay the bills they receive electronically to complete the green billing circle. Here are tips to help you make it happen:
Put someone in charge. The good news is that driving customers toward eBilling adoption isn’t a major effort. However, it does take a “champion” within an organization. This person will set eBilling adoption goals and help coordinate eAdoption activities. Making this person accountable for coordinating activities across multidisciplinary teams is key.
Offer choices. Your customers should have choices that work for them. Let them transact with your business in the way they desire. Some will want to pay through their bank, others through your website and others through a mobile device. Make sure you offer them a secure, user-friendly way to do business with you on their terms. We often refer to this as achieving “customer centric billing.”
Motivate customers. Provide your customers with a range of messaging. You will find that by rotating your message, you will slowly but surely build your eBilling rate. Some customers will be motivated by convenience, others by helping the environment and others by an incentive. Try them all!
Get your marketing team involved. Use your marketing communications channels to drive support for eBilling, including bill inserts, customer service messaging and sales. Make eBilling adoption an ongoing campaign.
Set campaign milestones. To move the needle on green billing practices, it helps to set measurable goals. Create a target, such as a 20% growth in an adoption rate within 12 months. Monitor customer conversions and create reports to inform the team of progress toward the goal.
Making the move to electronic billing is a strategic advantage for your company: It can virtually eliminate postage, paper and printing costs in the billing process, allow you to deliver invoices and receive payments instantly, enhance data capture and customer communication – all while significantly reducing the environmental impact of billing.
It’s a win for your customers too, but getting customers on board takes time and a bit of focus. If you put the right people in charge of driving the effort, offer customers options and effectively communicate the benefits of electronic billing, you can make a real difference – not only for your business, but for the planet.
MITCH ROSE is Vice President of Marketing at Billtrust, a premier provider of outsourced, cloud-based billing solutions that increase productivity, improve cash flow, and seamlessly migrate to electronic delivery.
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