Why Leverage Digital Capabilities to Boost Recoveries

Digital communication channels are being successfully incorporated into collections service strategy to improve recov...

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Digital communication channels are being successfully incorporated into collections service strategy to improve recovery and the customer experience. Though the traditional collection strategies of printed letters and agent phone calls are still an effective method of recovering outstanding balance, the downside of this legacy approach is the high operational costs (i.e. printing notices, administration, handling, and postage). The higher costs of traditional collections make contingency based pricing less competitive than it could be with a comprehensive digital solution. Aside from cost, the challenge of reaching a consumer by phone in the era of caller ID and call blocking remains a chief obstacle, along with mail notices arriving with a barrage of junk mail. With a majority of financial institutions providing statements and billing arrangements via email, paper notifications have become almost obsolete. The analog approach to collections is proving to be costly and not as effective as it once was, and agencies must embrace digital channels to compete.

Over time, consumer demographics continue to lean more heavily towards computer savvy practices – how today’s consumers choose to communicate and remit will favor the faster, more convenient, and more secure digital tools. As consumers trend towards more point and click transactions, it is important for agencies to incorporate omni-channel communication options into the collection approach to ensure it meets the needs of today’s consumer.

We all get inundated by people vying for our attention, time, and money. These messages come in every form of communication channel. With a plethora of junk mail disguised as “official business” it is easy for a printed collections notice to be treated the same way. Collection agencies must be more tactical to reach consumers in a compliant, strategic and diplomatic way. With a digital solution that is in full compliance with ever-shifting regulations, the consumer can set their communication channel preference, and connect via text, chat, or email. A digital solution also provides greater assurance that your company’s debt recovery communication will be received, heard and responded to.

Self-service in preferred time

Why invest in additional agents to make multiple contacts with consumers? In most cases, consumers prefer to work around their schedule with online self-service access to their accounts, and manage resolution when it is convenient for them. An omni-channel communication platform that includes voice, text, chat, email, and self-service portal, allows the consumer to choose how they want to navigate the debt recovery process.

A unified, omni-channel experience delivers customer satisfaction

A fully-integrated collection strategy starts with the communication medium. Inbound/outbound calling campaigns and printed letters have long been the standard delivery model in collections. More recently, online payment portals, email, text, and chat functions have become necessary components in consumer communication. Market leading agencies are now trying to solve for more complex mediums like social media, mobile apps, and targeted messaging. Today, most agencies only utilize a multi-channel solution to engage the consumer across a couple of these channels.

Channel preference is also key in allowing a consumer the ability to designate approval of contact as well as deny consent. Delivering channel preference to the consumer is important, it is also important to know which channel to use, when to use it, and what message to send.

A true, omni-channel experience is an integrated approach to serving consumers in a way that creates a cohesive experience no matter how or where they try to connect. Delivering channel preference across all digital communication platforms, whether via email, text, chat or phone is key to a comprehensive solution. In the ideal approach, agents are aware of ongoing issues, preferences and previous communications with the consumer through all channels engaged. As each interaction is stored, the agency can measure the literacy of each channel, usage volume, and engagement to develop a robust data set. Machine learning, can be used to develop optimal account treatment.

The benefit of machine learning and incorporating behavioral economics is to illustrate all potential routes the consumer may follow on the way from encountering the key message to making the decision. It would be naïve to think of the journey as linear. Rather, the consumer has several possibilities for entry, several possible scenarios of what happens next, and several possible exits. Machine Learning captures these data sets, to determine consumer preference and applies that logic to the contact approach and effort.

In choosing an agency that places digital communications at the forefront of a debt recovery strategy, your company will improve the customer experience, increase dollars recovered in less time, and lower your overall operational costs. Leveraging a digital strategy provides the following benefits:

  • Fast track distribution of debt recovery notifications to consumers by three to five days over traditional printed mail
  • ·Maximize self-service payments by over 50% by leveraging interactive self-service portals for consumers who prefer to remit online
  • Connect with consumers via text who tend to pay on average 36 hours faster

Are you looking for a preview on how the digital approach to collections will boost your recovery rate? Click here to learn more.