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Customer Mobility and Accounts Receivable Management, Part 3

Account Receivable Management Article

July 30, 2013

Customer Mobility and Accounts Receivable Management, Part 3

By Art Rosenberg


Part 1 of this series introduced the of the new mobile paradigm in AR management, and part 2 delved further into the topic. Now it’s time to wrap things up.

Security and Compliance Issues

Customer access to secure Web portals, where identity authentication is required, ensures that any online self-service access to information or transaction will be secure. This will require the user to have appropriate “mobile app” links for such services in general, but will also be most useful in payment services.

An alternative security measure may be to switch from online access via a Web portal, to a “click-for-assistance” voice connection with a live agent for making secure payment. That capability will be facilitated with new WebRTC capabilities in browsers.

Contact Center Payment Management Assistance

All self-service applications will need simple and direct access to knowledgeable agents who can offer assistance with the payment function or can negotiate a payment schedule. Mobile smartphones can support such capabilities more easily because they are multi-modal. With the new prospect of WebRTC technology that enables simpler voice and video connections through Web-based applications, the opportunities to provide such “click-for-assistance” options to smartphone users of “mobile apps” will increase significantly. What will also be needed, however, is integration of such connections with contact center inbound and outbound contact management routing.

Of particular importance for any business or service organization, however, is the ability to enable authorized and personalized automated outbound notifications from a business process application to specific customer recipients. Under the label of “Communications Enabled Business Processing” (CEBP), such capabilities are only now becoming practical because of increased flexible accessibility to recipients through their mobile smartphones. This will not only be more efficient and effective for making timely contact with customers, but will also significantly reduce traditional notification costs through mail or live outbound call attempts.

While mobile notifications can most effectively utilize various modes of asynchronous messaging (email, SMS texting), they can also exploit UC-enabled real-time connections, when authorized, including text chat and voice/video connections. 

Any responses to outbound notifications that need to go to live assistance can also be directed to the same type of integrated live assistance access used for self-service applications discussed above. There may also be different “contextual” routing and priority queuing controls, since the contact was initiated by an automated business process, not the customer.

It will also be important to move any new contact center functionality for mobile customers to a cloud-based platform, rather than to a legacy, premise-based system. This trend is already rapidly being adopted for traditional contact center functions in order to facilitate rapid, cost-efficient implementations, third-party management and support, and, most importantly, implementation and integration of new mobile customer service apps.


While existing laws and regulations governing collections are very stringent and tightly constrain accessing consumers via their mobile devices, the rapid and broad-based adoption of these devices will eventually force those regulations to change. Your contact center must, therefore, start supporting mobile, multi-modal customers differently and more flexibly. The increased use of automated, self-services, and controls for mobile customers provides the required functionality for interacting more efficiently with customers, while minimizing any activity that would be viewed as harassment. On the other hand, such automated facilities significantly reduce operational costs while expanding productivity and customer satisfaction.

For debt collection organizations, new contact center technologies are also available, although their relationship with debtors are not tradtional “customer” relationships. See more information about what Interactive Intelligence’s (News - Alert) Latitude Debt Collection software offers.

Because vast adoption of mobile communications technologies is inevitable, now is the time to start changing the old telephony ground rules that were initially designed to protect consumers from telemarketers. It’s time to start envisioning the benefits to both the customer and the product/service provider when customers and business organizations are both more accessible via mobile contacts. For this reason, business management in the ARM (News - Alert) industry should continue supporting and educating lobbyists on the long list of reasons to remove unnecessary obstacles for supporting mobile customer services.

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