The landscape for collections is evolving with a growing influx of new debt, digitally aware customers, more stringent laws, and latest technologies. To realize and meet new customer expectations, technology can enable a more comprehensive understanding of the end-user.
Customer interaction and engagement is imperative for the collections industry but the communication with them is random and ineffective today. Studies show that 60% of people prefer brands that interact across multiple platforms. By 2022, people physically going to the bank is expected to drop by 36% with mobile transactions eventually composing 88% of all banking transactions. The trend here is leaning towards convenience and speed. Becoming aware of customer behaviour can help make interaction easier, resolutions faster, and more convenient all around. Consumer behavior recognition can completely transform contact strategy for collections industry. It can enable an omnichannel engagement, improving customer experience drastically and boosting amount collected at the same time.
But an omnichannel experience isn’t just having a digital presence across different channels; it should allow for an integrated view of the customer. The end user should be able to engage and reach resolutions whether at a physical store, through an app or site or social media. They must be able to switch channels seamlessly with complete record keeping at all levels. Let’s see how omnichannel engagement can be enabled for collections.
A new customer journey
The customer is central to collections. Communicating through technology and platforms that are familiar and comfortable for them can eliminate many barriers. It is not just about collecting the debt but retaining the customer in future. Understanding the process is mandatory, as is displaying tact and sensitivity in interactions.
With easier loans, consumers defaulting on their debts are common today and many of them are first-time defaulters. Consumer behavior identification based on risk and resolution can allow prioritization. This, coupled with guided scripts and training your team to respond and engage with customers, will highly increase efficiency and the amount of recovered debt. This kind of consumer behavior identification is being done by Dasceq’s 2iTM platform for a personalized approach. Understanding customer preference helps build and maintain a good relationship leading to increased revenue.
Collecting verified data and leveraging that allows a nuanced understanding of the customer, through their preferences and history, and using that to interact with them. This gives more control to the customer because the engagement is on a platform of their preference.
For the creditor and collector, leveraging information offers a 360-degree view of your customers across all channels including in-store, mobile, and online. Interactions are more comfortable, prompt, and pertinent, when on a platform of their choice.
Faster, easier communication at reduced costs
Changing consumer habits should also change your customer touchpoints. US smartphone users send and receive five times more texts than they make and receive calls. Cost involved for snail mail or voice agents can be cut down drastically by simply engaging on preferred channels.
Platforms that drive self-service such as AI chatbots, for instance, makes things much easier and shaves time, effort and money. Simple, frequent queries and interactions can be handled via the chatbot with an agent coming online only for more subjective enquiries. Reduced agent handle time means time for working on other things. After implementing our AI-driven platform, we have observed at least 30 percent improvement in productivity.
With a complete customer profile, it’s easier to track information regardless of whether their previous touchpoint was with a bot or an agent. This allows notes for subsequent calls leading to faster resolutions as time spent on tracking information and putting clients on hold can be now used to engage. Studies show that there is a reduction of 5-7% in charge-off upon optimising the agent and self service approach together. Moreover, this makes the communication much easier for customers and the frustration of having to repeat the same information over and over is eliminated.
Secure and complaint collections
Frequently calling clients or sending several mails relegates the collector to the spam folder at best or with charges for harassment at worst. While the law might have been ambiguous before, it is being revised for clarity on legal statutes and what constitutes harassment and privacy breach.
Digital collection can be made secure by conducting them within a PCI-encrypted, closed-loop system. Payment links can be sent over via text messages or email or through a chatbot. Automated agents can easily maintain compliance. Compliance workflows can be built into the platform so that collection agents can follow an established process. Also, AI-driven contact and treatment strategy can drive efficient communication, reducing the need to contact frequently.
How to engage
An omnichannel engagement doesn’t mean bombarding your customers across platforms. An omnichannel presence is primarily to make follow through easy and not to let the customer choose his preferred channel. Creditors and collectors must start with their data. Knowing their preferences and behaviour allows sending personalized communication that is guaranteed to draw a response instead of a flood of unopened mails.
Keeping careful records of each call aids in reminding them of promises and brings in collections faster. The idea here is to make each communication tailored to the customer to elicit a response to begin a conversation. It is imperative to invest in a robust system that helps improve contact, payment, and treatment strategy leveraging the collections data with technologies such as AI/ML and Big Data.
At Dasceq, we have built a next-gen SaaS 2iTM platform that optimizes collection efforts with data-driven insights to improve customer experience and boost amount collected. We believe in engaging with customers on their terms, with tact and technology. Please feel free to get in touch with us for a quick product demo or if you have any questions.