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What are Outbound Campaigns for Billing Organizations?

By Yaroslav Melnyk

The key to maintaining relationships with your customers isn’t too different from how to maintain the other relationships in your life: clear communication. Without accessible channels to communicate, most relationships cannot flourish and succeed. 

From a business perspective? That lack of communication could spell organizational trouble. 

Say, for instance, that a customer’s bill was overdue. To complete that collection, you might notify the delinquent payer through a few different channels; your organization may send an email, leave an automated voicemail, mail a paper notification, or all of the above. You may even send bill payment reminders before the due date, to avoid customers missing a payment at all. 

These communications aren’t just critical for ensuring smooth, consistent collections. They greatly improve your customer’s experience and, therefore, boost your customer satisfaction rates and online adoption rates. 

But payments aren’t the only area where clear communication is necessary – that’s where outbound campaigns come into play. Let’s dive into what outbound campaigns are, why they’re such an important feature, and the benefits that outbound campaigns can have for your organization.

What are outbound campaigns? 

Outbound campaigns are messages that your organization can send to customers, notifying them of events that go beyond bill reminders and late payment notices. These campaigns allow billers to keep payers informed of things like shut off notices, updated COVID-19 hours, or emergency communications. 

Invoice Cloud’s new outbound campaign functionality allows these messages to be sent by email, text, phone call, or all in combination. With outbound campaigns your organization can leverage existing information about your customers (their geographical location, preferred communication channels, the services they receive, etc.) to provide targeted reminders and messages. 

Why are outbound campaigns important? 

For one, outbound campaigns create a more immediate line of communication between biller and payer, and they serve important functions for both parties. 

Outbound campaigns keep payers updated on important, relevant, personalized information as they need it. This engages payers in a more impactful way, improving the customer experience and helping to maintain positive customer satisfaction levels. 

Maintaining customer satisfaction levels are clearly important on the biller side of things, but outbound campaigns are important for your organization in other ways as well. 

If your utility services are going to be interrupted for a day and your organization is unable to communicate that service interruption to customers, you can imagine the chaos that would ensue. The rise in call volume and field service requests would be unmanageable for your staff, potentially taking their attention away from higher priority projects. 

Outbound campaigns establish a consistent, understandable channel through which you can communicate with your customers. That means these campaigns are critical to avoid interrupted collections, spikes in call volumes and service visits, and decreased rates of customer satisfaction. 

What benefits do these communications offer? 

No matter the industry, it’s in every organization’s best interest to invest in reliable channels of communication. Online platforms with outbound campaign functionalities deliver just that. 

Here are a few benefits that outbound campaigns can offer billing and payments organizations: 

1. Digital channels drive action 

The purpose of outbound campaigns is to deliver messages to customers. Your organization needs customers to receive and act on this information just as much as your customers need these updates. Outbound campaigns are the quickest and most direct way to effectively drive customers to whatever action you need them to take. 

Many outbound campaigns – Invoice Cloud’s outbound campaign function, for one – go a step further with digital methods of communication. Rather than sending time-dependent notifications through the mail, important updates are delivered immediately through email, text, or IVR messages. 

2. Cut printing and mailing costs 

Digital campaigns don’t just allow customers to stay updated in real-time, they also reduce costs associated with printing and mailing paper notices. This means your organization is saving resources and staff time, all while getting important information to customers quickly. 

3. Reduce service call volume 

Staying ahead of customer communications with outbound campaigns is the best way to reduce call volumes for your staff. By informing customers of any imminent, need-to-know changes to their services, you’re saving your staff from an influx of calls and unnecessary field visits. This saves your team valuable time that can then be reallocated to high-priority projects. 

4. Improve customer satisfaction 

Outbound campaigns provide a lever for improving the customer experience. These communications make your payers feel catered to while eliminating the hassle and stress of unexpected service events. This may appear minor but personalizing and improving the customer experience with outbound campaigns should make a big impact on customer satisfaction levels. Higher customer satisfaction translates to fewer support calls, smooth collections, and higher rates of online payment adoption. 

To learn more about outbound campaigns and to see Invoice Cloud’s outbound campaign feature in action, you can learn more here.

Tags: ebpp, customer experience, self-service, customer satisfaction, customer engagement, online payments

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