Power to the people: debt collection in 2017Topic: Finance & DCAs
If you’re in the debt purchasing and debt collection world, it can be hard to keep up with the cultural, technological and legislative changes that determine how you interact with customers.
As part of the Esendex financial services team, I’ve seen huge changes in the last few years: from restricting what can (and can’t) be said, controlling and enforcing voice solutions, and even enforcing how Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) policies are installed and implemented.
So, what’s in store for debt collection in 2017?
Demonstrating how we are treating customers fairly has never been more prominent.
How do you know if someone is in a debt management programme? How can you ensure the customer isn’t vulnerable before you send them a reminder?
In an ideal world, your agents shouldn’t have to worry about this, and the effect on how your overall collections strategy is implemented and enforced should be minimal.
Surprisingly the solution is relatively simple – give customers a means of engaging with you in a fair, reasonable and efficient manner.
The first (and golden) rule is: if you are going to send outbound communication to your customer – MAKE IT COUNT!
Each SMS, email or voice call should have routes to self-serve and manage accounts (ideally multiple routes) – without direct involvement from yourself or your staff.
Empower your client base, give them the means of interacting with you at a time, and on a channel, that works for them.
As a simple guide to getting the most from your investments, ensure that:
- Your dialler is compliant
- Your emails are mobile friendly and easy to interact with
- Replies to your SMS messages go straight to agents on standby
- Customers can access a mobile optimised payment page so they can make payments from their smartphone at their convenience.
Every DCA seeks to reduce internal business costs, deliver an exceptional customer experience, and build a great reputation.
With the impact of challenger banks over the last six to 12 months, improving your customer engagement cycle through the intelligent application of technology isn’t a nice-to-have. It’s essential.
The end goal?
Get your client re-engaging with the market place, transacting, and out of the position they were in – by interacting and engaging with you.
How are you making it easier to do business with yourself?
- Do you offer free-to-reply SMS services?
- Interactive mobile-optimised emails?
- Local rate voice calls that go straight to the department in question rather than five minutes of navigating through painful menu systems?
Whatever it may be, don’t get left behind. This topic is highlighted for a reason – it is firmly on the FCA’s agenda for 2017 (source).
If you’re looking for expert help, get in touch.
Whether your challenge is how mobile technology can help in the collections cycle, or how 24/7 self-serve channels can help you manage internal resources for peak inbound periods – we can help. Learn more or contact the financial services team on 0345 356 5758.