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Automated Debt Collection is the Obvious Choice. Here's Why

Rob Johnson

Not having your debt collection activities automated comes with a cost. We see companies bemoaning the high resource costs, high agent turnover and the far too many human errors of older collection methods. From the customer side, they avoid their creditors as best they can, which gives poor response rates and even poorer collection rates.  

Trying to do debt collection via telephone with diallers simply does not bring in the returns you need. Today, your customers are moving to mobile messaging as their primary means of communicating and it therefore makes sense to switch from diallers to conversational messaging when you contact them. 

What do you automate in the collections process? In this article, we’re looking specifically at automating customer engagement, with the intention of a securing a promise-to-pay or payment. 

To better understand why automated debt collection delivers on all fronts, here are 11 benefits. 

Better agent performance 

  • You can do more with fewer agents. 
  • Make better use of your agents’ time. Agents focus on the high-value conversations while the time-consuming, simpler tasks are dealt with by the bots. 
  • Agents are more empowered with real-time data. 
  • Each agent can handle multiple conversations at the same time: 50-70 daily closed conversations without automation; 380-420 with blended chatbot/agent approach 

Better customer response rates 

For example, Snap Finance in the UK testify that their response rate for outbound conversational text messaging outperforms their diallers by three-fold, and delivers a 60% increase in response rates for the completion of Income & Expenditure forms. 

More debt recovery 

As the number of positive customer engagements increases, so too does the debt recovery, especially if you provide a way to pay from within the conversation itself. A leading UK retailer has seen a 52% increase in payments since adopting conversational SMS. 

Automation using AI chatbots 

Companies that use conversational AI can typically have over 70% of customer engagements taken care of by collections chatbots. With Machine Learning, a chatbot can quickly deliver 40% automation within three months and reach 70%-80% as the ML increases. 

Fewer field agent visits 

Even when an agent needs to visit a customer in person, they can sort the basic steps, such as ID and Verification, beforehand using mobile messaging. During the Covid pandemic, agents could not conduct in-person visits and companies soon realised the power of messaging via digital channels. 

Allows for self-service 

Customers choose self-service above other methods when it comes to simple tasks. It is efficient and convenient for the user and saves time and resources for the companies themselves. 

customer self-serviceSource: Customer Connections Report: The new conversations rules in credit, collections and payments 

Visibility and control of conversations 

When using multichannel messaging, all the conversations from all the channels are visible from one central dashboard. This gives agents better conversation management and allows them to track the progress of a client interaction. 

Excellent customer experience 

Customers prefer digital conversational messaging as: 

  • It’s easy to use. 
  • It’s convenient. 
  • They feel in control. 
  • They can self-serve. 

Integration into other solutions 

The very nature of automated debt collection, i.e., it is digital and cloud-based, allows for real-time integration with other solutions and databases, like payment gateways, which makes the whole system more powerful. 

Compliance and a clear audit trail 

All compliance regulations can be encoded into the workflow design, and each action and conversation is recorded, which gives you a solid audit trail that is electronically secured. 

Advanced reporting and analytics capabilities 

Specialist reporting tools can be integrated with the debt collection platform to give multi-level insights into all collections activities. 

This graphic visually sums up what automated debt collection is all about.

automated debt collection and payments

Conclusion 

The tide is turning and it’s becoming the norm to use mobile messaging for to reach your customers. Today, people feel at home on their mobiles and texting is a native language, so it is no surprise that conversational customer engagement is thriving on digital messaging channels. Once an organisation starts using automated debt collection, the use of technology such as diallers gets dropped to 25% or less. 

Contact us if you’re looking to do more with fewer resources in a shorter time. 

How to Automate Debt Collection in Three Easy Steps

 

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METRICS WE’VE ACHIEVED

52%
Uplift in Payment Arrangements
42%
Increase in Agent Productivity
57%
Decrease in Operational Costs
48%
Increase in Customer Engagement

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