Debt Collection Automation
The dialer has long been the stalwart of the contact centre industry. From auto and power to predictive dialers they have been supporting contact managers in optimising agent performance since 1942 when the first semi-automatic dialer was offered on the commercial market.
They were at their best when trawling through large amounts of data, dialling thousands of numbers, filtering out unproductive calls like voicemail and no answers, all with the goal to make the daily working life of agents more productive through connecting agents to customers.
But that is where the dialer input ends – with the connection.
Conversationa AI - the new kid on the block is making waves
And for years dialers have been successful in removing some of the friction from the customer contact processes. But now there is a new kid on the block that is proving to be a worthy opponent - messaging. Not just any messaging- conversational AI messaging. The one-to-one test-based conversations that take place in any messaging channel between customers and businesses, with a little bit of AI and automation thrown in.
Conversational messaging is proving to be a powerful opportunity to engage with customers in a more productive manner in contact centres across the world – from customer service, support, and sales. But for this discussion, the focus is going to be on the area of debt collections, an area that has been somewhat slower or more cautious than most industries to embrace messaging and is still reliant on traditional contact methods.
But that tide is turning, or should I say has turned. The realisation is that messaging is, and if not, one of the most effective ways to have those really difficult conversations with customers. If you need to be convinced, let’s look at some real live metrics.
The title of this post refers to messaging outperforming the dialer, so let’s start with that.
Snap Finance, one of the UK’s fastest-growing consumer credit companies, has introduced conversational messaging to their contact strategy. Since then, messaging response rates outperformed the dialer three-fold. So successful was automation in connecting agents with customers, Snap Finance has hard-wired messaging into their daily outbound campaigns to deploy before any dialer campaigns.
With a 60% increase in response rates for the completion of ‘Income & Expenditure’ forms and a 30% reduction in field agent site visits, these results have had a significant impact on agent productivity and costs.
Did customers approve of this new way of contacting them? The answer is a resounding yes.
Conversational messaging is going to outperform the dialer every-time. Because fundamentally they do two very different jobs; one is to connect an agent with a customer to have a conversation that customers don’t want have. They don't want to talk to agents about their outstanding payments.
The other starts a conversation that can have many stages, in a channel that gives the customer a little more comfort and control, and agents the ability to manage more conversations at one time.