collectAI Redaktion

17. December 2020

Digital receivables management: the 8 biggest trends for 2021

Which trends will be most influential in shaping digital receivables management (RM) in 2021?

Our blog series “RM Trends for 2021” offers some answers. Once a week we’ll be posting a blog in which one of our experts discusses a trend. Today, in Part 1 of our series, we present an overview of the trends you can expect to read about in the weeks ahead.

1. Business software will become user-friendlier – at last

The more people become accustomed to iPhones and easy-to-use apps in their everyday lives, the higher their expectations are of the software they use at work. Generally speaking, business software is far more complex – nevertheless, it will need to be made more straightforward to continue to find acceptance among corporate users.

(Author: Sabine Appel, senior UX designer)

2. Closing the last remaining digital gaps on the payment journey

Payment processes need to be easier. This has long been the aim of online merchants, in particular. Since their focus has mostly been on direct payment options on their checkout pages, customers have become used to paying in just a few clicks.

In the meantime, “PayPalisation” has started to exert its grip on other areas, extending well beyond using direct payments to complete a sale. Which is where there’s a lot of catching-up to be done: from invoices with remittance slips to payment reminders sent by post. We can do more – and by more we mean: smarter, more digital, user-friendlier.

(Author: Wiebke Tschorn, product owner)

3. Personalisation will become a must-have feature

Customers have become accustomed to personalised communications and expect a similar degree of personalisation to be incorporated into payment and dunning processes. Rather than disappointing them, we should leverage the data we have about each person and extend the positive customer experience into the dunning process.

(Author: Lars Nuschke, senior manager strategic partnerships)

4. Dunning set to become a key customer touchpoint

Dunning will increasingly become a key point of customer contact, a point at which average customer satisfaction can easily be turned into above-average satisfaction (the paradox of the dunning process). After all, in uncertain times having a long-term relationship with a customer is more important than ever. It costs five times as much to acquire a new customer as it does to retain an existing one.

(Author: Thomas v. Hake, managing director)

5. Mobile messaging more important than ever

Receivables management has to compete for the customer’s attention. So, it’s all about standing out from the crowd and the mass of other messages. From personal experience, we all know that a letter or email is not always best. The solution: mobile messaging.

(Author: Lars Nuschke, senior manager strategic partnerships)

6. Disruption through data products

The digital transformation is already impacting all areas and aspects of business. Which raises the question: what comes next? The transformation won’t suddenly stop when all business processes have been digitalised and automated. As the digital transformation proceeds, large amounts of data are collected, in addition to all the data stored by the systems you’re probably already using – CRM, ERP software, website analytics, etc.

One of the next steps is to create added value by turning all the information that has been saved into smart data products. Artificial intelligence is surely the key element in the creation of such smart products, opening up exciting new opportunities for applications in receivables management, with the goal of optimising processes and improving the consumer experience.

(Author: Mirko Schuh, head of data)

7. Digital contact data quotas as a KPI

Digital contact data – an industry trend? Sounds a bit old school. Not at all: there’s plenty of catching up to be done here, too. In conversations with our customers, we have discovered that sometimes as much as 50% of data (i.e. mobile phone numbers, email addresses) is missing.

Some company objectives now even include a commitment to increasing these quotas. There are all sorts of reasons to do so: cutting process costs, protecting the environment, enhancing customer loyalty or up-selling by email rather than direct mail.

(Author: Ulf Graubohm, senior sales consultant)

8. More BUY, less MAKE

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed online merchants under even greater pressure to embrace change, especially in matters relating to customer relations. Consumers now expect more digital solutions, offerings and products than ever before. Gone are the days when companies could do it all themselves.

Since our inception, we’ve only seen one company create a state-of-the-art solution by itself. If you want to be at the cutting edge and still have your costs under control, there’s no getting around forging clever alliances – even with the competition.

(Author: Sebastian Hoop, managing director)