Many agencies offer a “Client Portal” in which clients can log in and view their accounts. Such features are often useful for both the company and the client trying to pay a bill on time. To be offered a window to your accounts is great, but in an industry as personal as collections, isn’t a door much better? But in some cases, these portals are difficult to use or pose security risks. Here are a few considerations if your company is adding a client portal, also known as an extranet:
- Does your agency offer 100 percent transparency and interaction with your accounts?
- Can you view them, see the notes, activates, call attempts, letter dates?
- Can you add your notes, place the accounts on hold and report payments?
- Can you update contact information and even send notes to the collectors on these accounts?
With any login system, there are security risks. Be sure to ask the IT people building your system as much as you can about how they manage security. You might also consider:
- Do you want to set user limits?
- Will users create their own password or receive one upon signup? (The latter is usually more secure; you avoid people putting “password.”
- How will they manage forgotten passwords?
- Is someone monitoring the portal and keeping it up to date?
- Is back end of the extranet secure so those passwords are not visible?
- Do you have a security policy in place?
- Do you have a plan in place in case you are hacked?
Making it easier for clients to pay bills is one good way to decrease your ARs. We hope these thoughts help your company if you are implementing or changing your client login system.
Note: PRC’s Portal
Of course, we want to mention that our Client Portal is a 100 percent interactive tool accessible to all of our clients, large and small. It is a secure, real-time door into the accounts you have here at PRC. If needed, our Chief Client Officer offers training on our system; most say it’s so user-friendly, training is not required!