How Long Do You Spend Managing Your Direct Debits?
If someone asked how long you spend managing your Direct Debits, could you answer honestly? Most businesses wouldn’t be able to say, or will probably underestimate the overall time and effort spent nurturing this crucial revenue channel.
Managing the sheer volume of Direct Debits within your organisation can take up more time and money than you may realise.
For every customer, you have to set up the Direct Debit, chase for any failed payments and consolidate their accounts on a monthly basis. Amplify that process across your entire customer base, and it becomes a mammoth task, requiring the time and cost of a full time member of staff (or even a dedicated billing team) to maintain it.
When Was the Last Time You Evaluated the Process?
Direct Debits are used by nine in ten UK consumers to pay some, or all of their regular bills, with over 4.5 billion payments made using this method in 2019 alone. It’s one of the most popular payment methods there is, so is there a way of making the process as smooth and cost-effective as it can be? (Source UK Finance)
It takes time to map out each step and see if there can be automated measures introduced at key stages, but one small process change here and there, could potentially save valuable time for your team and reduce costs for your organisation.
Managing Direct Debits aren’t fun or enriching work either. Not only will automating steps bring a potentially huge efficiency boost to logistics, but you can drastically improve morale by reducing the tedious admin work that your team undertake.
Super-charging Your Direct Debit Process With an Automated Payments Platform
By combining your Direct Debit system with additional channels such as telephone IVR, an online webpage and SMS or email services, you can encourage customers to self-service the majority of Direct Debit hiccups.
Everything is done securely and you’ll be saving your organisation valuable time and money that can be better served elsewhere.
Instead of having a team of people reconciling Direct Debit accounts on behalf of your customers, let customers manage it for themselves with self-service options. You’d still have access to live reporting, but any account set up, reconciliation or amendments are all done by the customer, either by using a telephone IVR or branded web portal, without the need to dial a contact centre.
Integrate with your Systems
Take it further by integrating with your back-office systems to seamlessly update Direct Debit records in the customer billing platform, combined with some clever workflows to handle all the customer communications on your behalf. The system will listen for certain “triggers” you can define, that will take the relevant action.
Automated Email Reminders
For example, if a customer has missed a Direct Debit payment due to Bank Account changes, the system notices this and can automatically send an email prompting the customer that they need to click a link and provide new details. It will update your back office systems instantly and attempt the Direct Debit again, prompting the customer that a successful payment has been taken.
24/7 Telephone IVR
Are your staff taking Bank Account details over the phone to setup Direct Debits? Save time with an automated telephone IVR line that the Agent can transfer the customer onto. Alternatively, the number can be available on your customer comms, giving them the ability to setup, modify or reconcile their accounts themselves.
What Are the Cost Savings?
By combining Direct Debit with Key IVR’s automated secure payments platform, each process will be quicker, and equate to thousands of pounds saved per month for your organisation. Reducing the amount of tedious tasks for your team, means more time and resources available to focus on other areas of the business.
For example, staffing the administration of Direct Debits will cost at least £20,000 a year, in salaries and other overheads. That’s approximately £400 a week to log, amend or reconcile Direct Debits on behalf of customers. With Key IVR, an average platform configuration and deployment will return an ROI in the first year.
Additionally, as operations scale up, your customer base expands and the number of Direct Debits increase. Relieve that pressure of hiring and expanding the team to meet with the demand and other future business challenges.