Industry Insights: Disaster-Proof your Customer Communications and Payments

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It’s been a challenging few months, with more unknowns ahead even as we all incorporate new ways of doing business. In sorting through the best ways to move forward, there are three important strategies that offer a clear blueprint for disaster-proofing communications and payments today and in the coming years.

1. Digital

It’s time to pick up the pace on digital transformation of communications and payments. Moving from manual, disconnected processes for customer communications management and payments to digital processes that automate, integrate and add new capabilities delivers big operational benefits. They include higher productivity and accuracy and less rework and reconciliation.

Digital also opens up new omnichannel services that companies can offer their customers to improve convenience, ease of use and overall experience.

Companies that offered e-statements and other mobile and online communications provided a much-needed alternative, so consumers continued to receive and handle their bills and other documents on time. Consumers also have been migrating to digital payments, as we explain in more detail our Expresso Product Showcase article, “Take Advantage of Rising Consumer Demand for Digital Payments.”

2. Cloud

The pandemic has underscored the advantages of cloud-based software that can safely and securely be accessed from any location—by employees and customers. Certainly, we’ve seen it with our own clients and their use of Expresso® and ExpressoPay®.

Cloud platforms enable virtual collaboration, make workflows more efficient—including content changes, reviews and approvals for communications—and protect companies from disruptions due to natural disasters or other issues at their own locations. Customers also can access these secure platforms to view statements, manage accounts, set up payment plans, change their delivery channel preferences, or make payments—all from the convenience of whatever mobile or digital device they want, when they want.

Security and other concerns have held back some organizations, especially in healthcare, from capitalizing on the cost savings, operational flexibility and new capabilities they can obtain with cloud solutions. That’s a mistake. With the right due diligence, you can find many high-quality cloud storage and cloud application providers that follow stringent security and business continuity measures.

3. Partnerships

The right business partners can help you keep your business running during and after disasters and realize strategic goals, including digital transformation, faster and better than going it alone.

Take CCM and payments. Many of you are not in the business of producing bills and collecting payments. While essential, those activities support your main purpose, which is providing medical care, maintaining vacation properties, or otherwise servicing your customers.

Teaming up with experts like Nordis to help you innovate and cater to your needs can be a recipe for success. This is the principle of specialization at work: Rather than grow crops, raise animals, can vegetables, bake bread and do what your ancestors did to put food on the table, you shop at a grocery store and use all the time and effort for other pursuits.

Even when managing billing and payments is your business, such as our clients servicing auto loans and mortgages and managing healthcare revenue cycles, the smart move often is buying advanced, cost-effective technology or services that would be more expensive, difficult or time-consuming to develop, maintain and innovate yourself.

Just as with cloud providers, you need to vet other business partners carefully. If you’re going to trust them with important business functions, especially customer-facing ones, you need to look at more than products and cost. Cultural fit, business continuity plans, product roadmaps, and ongoing company viability are all important considerations, too.

In light of the lessons from the pandemic, it’s critical to structure your customer communications and payments to be resilient and agile. Going digital, moving to the cloud and partnering with experts are proven strategies to accomplish those goals.

For more information, please contact us.