Monday, November 24, 2014
Study after study has revealed text messaging to be one of the most effective forms of communication there is. More than 9 out of 10 people around the world has access to a cell phone, and SMS has an open-and-read rate of at least 90%. If you’re trying to reach people with crucial information like a bill reminder, there is simply no more reliable method of getting in touch.
Automating your collections process with text message alerts will minimize the amount of man hours and budget you allocate to it and, ultimately, boost your ROI.
Just ask Brandon Sebald, owner of four Planet Fitness gyms. Until recently he used traditional correspondence to issue bills and payment reminders. Letters, phone calls and emails are fairly effective when combined, but expensive in the long run. Once Sebald discovered the potential, he started using CallFire’s SMS text messaging solution not only to manage staffing but also to streamline his collections process.
Sebald’s business stretches from Miami to northwest Arkansas, catering to tens of thousands of members. Managing so many accounts is quite the challenge. Even if just a few slip through the cracks it could have a major impact on Sebald’s bottom line. Says he:
“90-95% of what we use it for [are] delinquent fees that we’re trying to collect,” says Sebald. “[We also use it] for some special promotions or refer a friend and get a free month membership.”

According to Sebald, around one in ten clients are late with their payment every month. That’s simply too many to rely on collecting payment solely through phone calls and snail mail. Since switching to mobile payments, Sebald has described his ROI as ‘incredible’, with just a 10% payment rate required to make the investment worthwhile.

Mobile payments aren’t just good for future revenues, they provide instant peace of mind as well. Most customers respond immediately to a text message, which allows guys like Sebald to consider certain payments ‘safe’ long before he could do so using traditional forms of communication. Extra staff can be taken on during the immediate aftermath of a text blast, allowing companies like Planet Fitness to hire more resources only when they need them.