Utilities companies are a mixed bag: Some of them are public, but there has also been a trend toward privatization. As privatization occurs, many small companies are seeing sudden increases in the number of customers they’re serving.
Whether your utilities company is big or small, public or private, the fact remains: Outsourcing accounts receivable management is a good idea—for a number of reasons.
1. Keep in Touch with Ease
Accounts receivable is a big job, no doubt about it. You can devote a lot of time to it, especially in the utilities industry, where virtually every business and every individual has a need for your services. There are many accounts, and almost every utilities company struggles with managing them all.
Things can become even more difficult if the company is growing and if growth is sudden; you might not be able to manage all of the accounts with ease. In turn, this might mean bills being sent out late and reminders being forgotten.
Outsourcing can help you manage the accounts with more ease. Invoices will be sent on time, and reminders will go out for overdue bills in a timely manner. You’ll be able to keep in touch with your customers about their accounts more quickly and easily.
2. Scalable Services
But what if your company is growing or continues to grow, even after you outsource accounts receivable? Many people worry about this reality, but the fact is it’s not usually a problem utilities companies come up against.
Why? Most third-party providers offer an almost infinite ability to scale your services. As you continue to grow, they’ll grow your services with you. Your accounts receivable management services will always be in step with the number of accounts you need to manage.
3. Using Better Technology
Are you still sending out paper bills, which tend to get lost in the mail? What about those overdue notices? If they’re arriving by mail, it’s possible they’re going to the wrong place or never being opened.
There are better ways to be in touch with your customers; many would actually prefer to use email or text to get updates about their bills (including those reminders about overdue payments). These methods of communication are more likely to get the customer’s attention.
The problem is often the cost of the infrastructure needed to support emailing or texting; it’s expensive to switch over from paper, even though it will save you time and money in the long run. Outsourcing accounts receivable management, however, could help you manage the costs and tap into an already-existing system using the latest technologies.
4. Managing Troublesome Accounts
Every company has troublesome customers: The ones on the phone complaining about their bill or asking for a reduction for some reason or another.
Worse, however, are those who simply disappear without paying their bills. A third-party service provider uses the latest technology and techniques to help you locate customers who seem to have gone into hiding, while also managing those customers who always seem to have a problem or complaint.
5. Better Customer Service and Brand Reputation
Perhaps the best reason to outsource accounts receivable management is that a third-party provider can help you deliver better customer service. Sending out reminders quickly and easily, staying in touch, and professionally managing each account will ensure every customer is satisfied with the service you provide.
And better customer service translates to a better brand reputation for your company. As satisfied customers tell their friends and family members about your company, you might see a few more accounts opening up.