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Success Story

Direct Communications perfects paperless billing with a 70% take rate

The MACC Team loves to pass on examples of companies using our products and services to reduce costs, boost profits, and make the work day easier. One outstanding example is Direct Communications’ paperless billing adoption rate. The Rockland, Idaho-based company has a paperless billing take rate of more than 70 percent!

How did Direct Communications get so many accounts to convert to paperless billing? To find out, we asked the company’s Network Design Manager, Marjorie Clifford, what tactics were used, the benefits it’s seen, and what she would tell other telecoms looking to boost their use of paperless billing.

What steps did you take to get such a high paperless billing adoption rate?
When we decided to implement paperless billing we immediately made email the primary choice for new accounts. If customers want a paper bill, they have to request it. We also made a point to ask customers with every contact if they would like to switch to paperless billing, and then finally, called out to customers who remained with paper bills to ask if they wanted to switch in case they had not been contacted yet.

When did this process start?
I believe we started switching as soon as the Customer Master release for paperless billing became available in 2012.

What tactic was the most effective?
Because we have a young bedroom community located next to a larger metropolitan area, our most effective tactic was changing the billing to paperless with all new installations. The second most effective tactic was asking customers at every contact if they wanted to switch.

How do most customers pay?
A large majority of our customers have autopay set up through our online system. If it is not recurring payments in our system, then they have it set up through their bank, or they are making one-time, online payments. The number of paper checks we receive has decreased even though our customer base has had a huge amount of growth.

What have been the most important benefits of the high paperless adoption rate?
We have definitely seen our cost for billing and postage decrease as well as the amount of check processing in our office. As a secondary benefit, we have asked so many of our customers for their email addresses, we can use this information for other types of notifications and contacts.

Does anyone ever want to switch back, and if so, what’s the policy?
Very few of our customers ever request to switch to paper billing. If they do, the usual reason for switching has something to do with their employer requiring a paper bill. If they ask, we will let them switch and do not enforce any penalties because it happens so rarely.

What advice would you give to other MACC clients who are looking to improve their paperless adoption rates?
In our market we have found the majority of customers didn’t want a paper bill in the first place and were trying to cut out as much clutter as they could. Most people just don’t think about it unless they get asked and you make the switch easy to do. For these reasons, I would say asking with every contact would be my biggest piece of advice.

Ready for less paper and reduced billing expense?
If you’d like help boosting your company’s paperless billing adoption rates, please reach out to your MACC Representative. MACC has an entire “tool box” at your disposal to cut costs through paperless billing.

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