Enhancing accounts receivable applications with SMS, Voice and Email notifications.
Invoice-to-cash, collections, invoice chasing – just a couple of terms used to describe a relatively new, but fast-growing SaaS Accounts Receivable Applications category.
Invoicing customers, whilst a routine part of every business operation, is just the start of an often-challenging cash flow and account receivable process. “There is no small business or large one, that does not have issues with the order-to-cash process!” The headache of non-payment is an additional burden that many could do without. Consequently, this often-neglected process has seen the emergence of a number of solutions. By helping to automate and better manage the collections process not only improves customer relations but has been seen to boost revenue by up to 3%.
Alerting Hub delivers the value-added
Automated notifications and reminders play an essential part of accounts receivable SaaS applications. Many rely purely on email, to service this aspect. However, the integration of other notification channels, such as SMS and Voice, is a natural next step.
Alerting Hub, with its unique event-centric approach, has wrapped all the essentials into a flexible, programmable platform.
The impact of a poor order-to-cash process
As highlighted in the “Automated debt recovery application note”, in 2018 the UK SME late payment debt rose to a staggering £23.4 billion. Research also revealed that delayed payment causes problems for 50% of SMEs, with 33% of these saying it made cash flow difficult to manage. It is no surprise that this is an area receiving a great deal of attention.
The challenge of automating payment requests and reminders
Most accounts receivable solutions include the essential ability to automatically notify customers when a payment is due or overdue, based on the terms of the invoice raised. Alerting Hub can help providers take this to another level – from having a greater choice of notification channel, tracking delivery and responses and finally enhancing the escalation process.
A notification type to match the collections process stage
Alerting Hub supports a range of notification channels – SMS, Voice, Email. Each channel has qualities that can enhance the collections process. A typical workflow may see invoices initially sent out via email, with links to payment landing pages. In many cases, a resulting non-payment maybe a mistake or oversight. In these instances, a gentle reminder can boost timely payments. SMS is ideal, offering a very effective and discrete way of grabbing attention and prompting action. In fact SMS has an impressive open rate of 98%, compared to just 20% of all emails. Voice notifications add an element of urgency, but also provide the opportunity for clients to be connected to an agent, with whom they can discuss payment options or difficulties.
Tracking delivery status and responses
Understanding the delivery status of messages in ‘real time’ is critical – has the message been sent, has it been delivered? A system administrator can then take the most appropriate follow-up action, from simply sending again to trying an alternative channel. Alerting Hub simplifies the whole process of collating delivery responses against a single alert-id regardless of the communication channel or whether one recipient has one or multiple invoices due. For a solution provider being able to easily pull all the delivery results together, for a particular notification event or campaign, enables a far slicker operation and means of tracking, monitoring and reporting.
Alerting Hub also takes notification delivery reporting a step further. Whether you send a reminder via email, voice or SMS you have the ability to track who and how they have responded. For voice this is achieved through the use of an IVR system and call transfer facility. For SMS and email a unique trackable URL can be inserted into every communication, reporting back who clicked on the links.
A key advantage of being able to trigger notifications through various channels is having the ability to implement an escalation process – if email alert is ignored switch to SMS, then to voice.
Get started with Alerting Hub
Everything you need to get started is available through our API guide. Here not only will you find information on the APIs but also how to set-up an account, obtain and key and find sample code.
For inspiration, please feel free to browse through a handful of json examples we have created.