As far as payment collection services are concerned, call centers and in-house staff can’t perform as well as an answering service. While they may be able to answer calls more frequently and consistently than employees with other duties, call centers and in-house receptionists are not commonly used for payment collection.
Call centers are notoriously restricted from processing payments on behalf of companies that hire them. If a call center is allowed to process payments, they often fail to do so in a manner that prioritizes your teams’ time and your clients’ satisfaction. Call centers often take much longer to process payments than answering services do and they are often not equipped to integrate with popular payment software, leaving clients eager to pay off their bills understandably annoyed.
Answering services like Smith.ai offer thoughtful accommodations, like payment software integration. By paying attention to the details, Smith.ai’s answering service can relieve your busy team of payment collection pressures, provide your clients with outstanding customer service, and help your business thrive. Hiring a call center or an in-house staff rather than outsourcing payment collection services to an answering service may risk your reputation, your productivity, and your customer satisfaction.
If you’re a small business, this rings especially true for you. With many customers preferring to pay their bills over the phone with a real agent, call center agents and in-house staff can sound rehearsed, impersonal, and unsettling. This can destroy any initial impression a caller may have and erode any trust they may have in your business, which is critical to establish in the initial conversation with a caller.
It’s well known that call centers customarily:
- Fail to demonstrate expertise in your company’s payment policies or processes
- Have trouble integrating with payment software
- Fail to create a positive, friendly environment for clients
Call centers are notoriously unreliable in regards to payment collection. If they are able to reach clients, call center agents can frequently leave clients with a bad taste in their mouth. You never know if a client is simply forgetful or is currently facing financial hardships, however, forcing them to interact with a robotic and careless call center agent can result in clients feeling mistreated and unlikely to continue a business relationship with your company.
In-house staff also regularly:
- Have limited availability to call customers with outstanding balances
- Have little to no ability to track down customers
- Cost companies more than they bring in
Hiring an in-house staff to collect payment is arguably counterintuitive to your business’s success. A full-time in-house receptionist is unlikely to be helpful as far as collecting payments goes. If clients aren’t going to pick up calls, it’s a waste of your time and money to hire in-house staff whose main job it is to man the phone lines. Your team is still going to be stuck chasing down clients to collect on past-due bills.
All of these common issues with call centers and in-house staff can lead to clients ending a business relationship or refusing to answer the phone again, resulting in your company losing out on payments, customer loyalty, and time. Outsourcing payment collection to an answering service, like Smith.ai, instead can be more effective and affordable. Your team can avoid losing out on clients by having a knowledgeable and friendly representative available at all times to answer clients’ pricing questions, provide sympathy to clients with difficult circumstances, and collect payments quickly and painlessly.
If that isn’t enough, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that on average, answering services cost only about 20% of what an in-house staff or call center costs despite offering more features and better quality services.
As a matter of fact, Smith.ai’s virtual receptionists can:
- Collect payment on your behalf
- Integrate with your preferred payment software
- Call clients who have due or overdue payments
- Facilitate credit card transactions
Outsourcing payment collection services to an answering service like Smith.ai instead of a call center or in-house staff can save your business from overextended budgets, embarrassing client interactions, missed payments, and frustrating workplace complications. Rather than risk your revenue and client relationships on inexperienced or ineffective call center agents or in-house staff, trust Smith.ai’s reliable service to collect payment, call clients with overdue charges, and take the pressure off of your busy staff.
Don’t just take our word for it. Check out some of our clients’ reviews to see why so many businesses trust Smith.ai to handle their payment collections.