The first few months of the New Year see consumers worrying more about the pounds on their scales than the pounds in their bank accounts. British shoppers are estimated to have racked up around £5 billion in debt over the 2014 Christmas season and it seems that the start of 2016 will be a busy time for debt collection.
The high costs associated with attempting to collect payments from your customers can often outweigh the results. Staff wages, call costs and time are just some of the expenses associated, which is why understanding the needs of your customers and their activities will help to improve your collection operations and make them more personal and targeted.
90% of UK shoppers are willing to pay more for better service, and that service extends to the finance sector, even if it is self-serve. So how can you play to your customer’s needs to improve your collection rates?
Debt is a very touchy subject, not many people like to openly admit that they have debts, let alone discuss them with strangers. The thought of openly discussing debts and repayments with a stranger on the telephone can seem very alien to some customer’s. This is where 24hr Interactive Payment Solutions (IVR) can be effective when dealing with early stage repayments or even later stage collections.
55% of customers prefer automated self-service and are more likely to interact with an automated message than with a person, mainly because it seems less intrusive. The person paying their debts can find out their balances, choose to pay a specified amount or be choose to be transferred to a call centre agent.
This also opens up the opportunity to operate in extended opening hours without the need to extend your staffing budget, improving collection rates and efficiency and is one performed at a significantly lower cost than it would to employ an agent.
During the early stages of debt, customers often forget or are unaware of the debt the organisation is contacting them about. Customers may go overdrawn over Christmas, miss one payment and not know. This is where a simple automated SMS or an ‘Interactive Voice Solution” can give them instructions on how the problem can be best resolved. In addition, our SMS-Chat platform can open additional lines for communication and allow agents to hold multiple conversations maximising the agents time.
Did you know call centre agents account for 70% of the expenditure on call centres? Using automation frees up the most expensive cost of debt collection, leaving staff to deal with the more complex cases making collection rates higher.
If you are looking for solutions to improve your debt collection rates over the toughest months following Christmas, call our team on 0345 356 5758 who will be happy to discuss our range of products and services for the finance sector.