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Mailbox vs. Inbox – How not to ruin your customer’s day

Strategically Speaking
Nov 7, 2012

Kathy wheeler 50x50 Author: Kathy Wheeler,

I live in beautiful Colorado Springs where the sun shines 220 days of the year.  One of the things I enjoy on a daily basis is walking to the neighborhood mail commune.  It’s a nice break from the day and an opportunity to get a little fresh air and enjoy our amazing mountain views. 

Most trips to the mail commune are pretty uneventful.  I usually get to say hello to the neighbors who are out and about and sometimes, if he’s being a good boy, I even take my dog along for the walk.  I empty our mailbox and as I am walking home I go through what is normally 99% junk mail.  Upon returning to the house I usually dump the junk in the trash and then merrily go about my day.

However, on occasion I stumble across a strange-looking envelope that I rarely see these days.  Much to my surprise it resembles an invoice.  Suddenly dark clouds cover the mountain peaks and my happy outlook on life has now become plagued with doom and gloom. 

What is this foreign mail parcel?  A bill not delivered to my email?  How could that be?  With great haste I rip open the envelope forgoing the….what are those things called…oh, yes, letter openers.  Carefully I unfold the alien object and discover that yes, this is a bill.  Seriously, now what do I do?

I scan the document, but I am not scanning for what you are thinking I am scanning it for.  More important than the amount of the bill is the mechanism to which I can pay it. 

Wait a minute, are you kidding me?  No website address for payments?  Mail my check to where?  What? This is so ten years ago!

Once my blood pressure returns to normal, I set the bill aside.  In three weeks when I login to reconcile my household accounts I’ll take the time to set this merchant up in my bill pay solution and let my provider mail a check to satisfy my debt.

Paper invoices and old-school payment mechanisms are painful to consumers and to the businesses that provide services.  The benefits of electronic bill presentment and online payment options keep your clients happy and your business moving forward. 

What are the benefits of electronic bill presentment and online payments to a business?

  • Growth opportunity
    • Accepting online payments expands the reach of your business
    • Online payments leaves your business open 24/7
    • Competitive edge
  • Operational cost reduction
    • Eliminates costly paper handling
    • Eliminates labor intensive inbound process and reconciliation
  • Go Green
  • Account management
    • Greater visibility to the big picture
  • Immediate payment
    • Increased cash flow
    • Cash management efficiencies
  • Data security
  • Greater customer satisfaction and retention

What are the benefits of electronic bill presentment and online payments to a consumer?

  • Convenience
    • Ease of use
    • Shop from home
  • The gift of time
    • Saves time vs. writing a check and preparing an envelope to mail
  • Flexibility/Choice
    • Allows consumer to choose payment mechanism (i.e.  ACH, eCheck, credit card)
  • Peace of mind
    • Personal information is secure

So, the moral of this blog comes down to this.  If you want to avoid ruining your customer’s day, all while growing your business and improving operational efficiencies, position your business with the automation and conveniences  brought by a digital mailbox with online payment capabilities or electronic bill presentment combined with online payment capabilities.

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