Congratulations, you’ve made the decision to automate your accounts receivable process and get started with an AR automation solution!
Implementing Automated Collections is simple, but before you open your Salesforce org, clearly defined policies for your automated collections processes are essential to your long-term success.
Watch this video, or keep reading, to learn more about how to optimize your automated collections processes to achieve your accounts receivable goals.
#1: Define Your Business Goals
Before you flip the switch on Automated Collections, it is important to define how you will measure success. What goals are you looking to achieve with Automated Collections?
Your business goals might include:
- Collecting missed or late payments faster and more consistently
- Reducing the amount of time-consuming manual work involved in collecting payments
- Making it easy for your customers to bring their accounts into good standing
- Lowering DSO (Days Sales Outstanding) to improve cash flow
It’s easy to track key metrics with the Automated Collections dashboard, but first, you must establish which metrics matter.
#2: Know Your Business Policies
Carefully think through any policies, formal or informal, that impact your current collections process.
For example, do you offer a grace period for late payments? If you’d like to maintain that grace period for customer payments, you could configure Automated Collections to trigger on Day 6, using our Collect Any Payment feature. Or kick off a collections process immediately, but not attempt an automatic payment retry or send an email to your customer until Day 6.
Reviewing your existing AR processes is an important step in planning for your Automated Collections implementation.
#3: Consider Your Customer Segmentation
Another important aspect of automating your dunning process is to tailor it to each customer segment. The more you know about your customers, the more you can customize your collections based on customer data, the product or service offered, or other factors.
It’s important to define this segmentation as part of your Automated Collections planning, and to configure each process with this in mind. You can take advantage of the flexibility of AR automation benefits, including the ability to:
- Control the scheduling and cadence of each stage, giving you complete control over the timing of email messages and payment retries
- Tailor email messaging and Payment Request pages for each configuration
- Display payment titles and descriptions
- Customize sender email addresses
You’ll provide a better customer experience and enjoy a more successful collections process.
#4: Plan B (and C, and D)
So you’ve laid the groundwork for your collections process, with clearly defined goals, business policies, and customer segmentation, and you’re ready to configure your Automated Collections processes accordingly… but what happens when your best-laid plans go awry?
Determining next steps for when Automated Collections runs through all its stages and doesn’t collect a payment needs to be a part of your planning as well. Using native Salesforce tools, you can escalate these issues.
Those next steps might include:
- Generating a report of these accounts
- Kicking off an email to the appropriate AR team member or queue
- Switching the account status on another object for that customer
When we talk about automated accounts receivable management, it doesn’t mean eliminating manual processes entirely – it means reserving those interventions for your most challenging cases.
#5: Analyze and Refine
Like all tools, your automated collections processes will work best when you review and refine them on an ongoing basis.
Automated Collections includes out-of-the-box analytics that provide meaningful insights into exactly what Automated Collections is achieving. Customizable reports and dashboards give you a real-time view into how much is being collected, how well each individual configuration is performing, and which stages are most successful. Use these insights to continuously refine and improve your collections processes.
To learn more about how we started sipping our own champagne, and turned on Automated Collections in less than a day, read Chargent’s customer success story.
Still in the planning stages and want to see the numbers for your organization? Our ROI Calculator can help you figure out exactly how much time and money you’ll save by implementing Automated Collections.
And if you’d like some hands-on help in planning your collections strategy, contact us today. Our team is always here to help.