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Is it possible to get paid faster, while also improving customer experience? When a Dutch water supplier decided to overhaul its collection process, it turned to Mi-Pay. The result: lower costs, faster payments and happier customers.
Corporate social responsibility
From food preparation to toilet flushing; there is nothing more important than access to clean (drinking) water. In fact, the Dutch use about 120 litres of water per day. However, water is not free. In the Netherlands (and in most nations), there are various organizations that take care of the purification and supply of water. These large and complex enterprises, while providing an invaluable service to society, are also increasingly trying to do business in a socially responsible manner.
Part of what social responsibility entails, is being aware of how the organization’s business practices can impact the lives of its customers. For too long, tone-deaf dunning strategies have pushed customers further into problematic debts. The truth is, there is a better way.
One Dutch water supplier is living up to its ambition of CSR compliance by changing how it deals with outstanding invoices. To achieve its goal of reducing problematic debts among its customers, this Dutch water supplier turned to Mi-Pay.
Problem: high reminder costs
In the Netherlands, consumers are tied to one specific, regional water supplier. Moreover, water is priced very low. Pair that with the absence of a profit motive, and it becomes clear that water suppliers need to make do with very little financial resources.
Considering their vital role in society, water suppliers ideally want to keep costs as low as possible when collecting any outstanding payments.
Solution: Mi-Pay Reminders
For Dutch water suppliers, efficiency is key. There’s a need for both cost savings and better collection results. The key to solving this dilemma is automation.
Mi-Pay enables water suppliers, who want to do business in a socially responsible manner, to get paid faster in such a way that it also enhances the overall customer experience.
Effect: an improved dunning process
In the optimized situation, the water supplier make use of a combined reminder strategy that includes email, SMS, voice messaging, manual calls as well as traditional letters.
Instead of initiating the dunning process with a traditional letter, it now starts with an e-mail that is sent within days after the first payment is missed. Enclosed in the email is a paylink with which customers can easily pay their invoice. This change alone reduces costs significantly. Generally, after sending out the first reminder e-mail, more than half of the invoices are paid.
The reminder e-mail is followed up by various voice and SMS reminders. If the debtor still hasn’t responded properly or paid the bill, a default letter is sent.
The next step is a personalized interactive video reminder that features self-service payment arrangements. While viewing, debtors can conveniently click and confirm a suitable payment arrangement.
Interactive video greatly increases the understanding of the situation, especially for customers with low literacy.
Lastly, the remaining debtors are called by telephone. This is the final attempt at resolving the situation. By moving the personal call later in the process, the number of people that need to be called is greatly reduced, allowing for a significant reduction in dunning costs.
Conclusion: change for the better
By implementing Mi-Pay Payment Reminders, this Dutch water supplier was able to broaden its arsenal of payment collection tools and get paid quicker, while improving the customer experience.
The more communicative approach to payment collection has also decreased the number of customers with payment problems.
In 2020, the Dutch water supplier is still a satisfied Mi-Pay partner. Mi-Pay looks forward to helping this major player resolve any and all dunning challenges and realize its future ambitions.
For over two decades, Mi-Pay has helped utility companies transform their payment collection strategies in ways that boost revenue while also increasing customer satisfaction.
For any questions regarding the case study or what Mi-Pay’s reminder solution can do for your business, get in touch with us today!