For any collection agency executive who wonders whether their company’s website is user friendly, April Wilson from RevSpring has a little test.
Take out your smartphone, navigate to your company website and see if you can make a payment while only using one hand. If you are unable to pay a bill or at least start the payment process with one hand, you may need to make your site more mobile friendly, said Wilson, the director of analytics, during a webinar hosted last week by RevSpring.
That helpful little tip was one of many shared during the webinar, which looked at the trends to watch heading into 2017.
The importance of having a website that is designed responsively so that it adapts to the type of device – tablet, smartphone, computer, etc. – it is being accessed on, was one of the tips shared, as more consumers make payments online. People, especially those who live below the poverty line, are more likely to have a smartphone than a computer, so collection agency websites should be built to look the same no matter what device is being used, Wilson said. Consumers are twice as likely to make a payment on a website built with responsive design than they are without one, Wilson said.
At Stellar Recovery, a collection agency based in Jacksonville, Fla., online payment rates increased 800% when they updated their payment portal, said Kendra Vallarelli, the company’s chief analytics officer, during the webinar.
“Consumers want to go paperless,” Vallarelli said. “Eight hundred percent speaks for itself.”
At Stellar, the changes came about in small increments, which were closely monitored and measured, and then tweaked before moving forward with the next phase, Vallarelli said.
“We took a step back and listened to what consumers were asking for,” Vallarelli said. “They were giving us all the answers we were looking for. When you try to get ahead, it can be tough to get your clients with you. If you measure and have data and analytics to support you [clients] are quicker to jump on. If we took our client base step by step, they were more free in allowing us to do certain things like email.”
Electronic communications will continue to receive a lot of attention in 2017, especially email and text messages.
“We receive daily requests from our clients about their interest in texting,” said Mike McDonnell, the vice president of sales for the Eastern Region at RevSpring, adding that research indicates consumers check their smartphones as much as 150 times per day. “They want to giving consumers the ability to get text reminders to make payments or if a new bill has been posted to their account.”
For those who wish to download a copy of the webinar recording, please click here.