As far back as 2019 customers who are in debt were making themselves heard and the message according to a McKinsey & Company report was crystal clear that “more customer calling won’t improve lenders’ contact and recovery rates”, and that something was going to have to change.
With digital channels overwhelmingly becoming the primary mechanism for customers of all ages to manage their finances, with 92% stating that they will continue to take a digital approach to banking in 2022 (Telnus International) the age of traditional debt collection has clearly come to an end.
But just like with Y2K and Quantum Computing, the hype can often overshadow the reality, but in the case of digital debt collection
, that is most definitely not the case. There are thousands of businesses up and down the country optimising their contact strategies with digital customer engagement and reaping the rewards – improving collections performance, significantly increasing recoveries, containing operation costs, and most importantly engaging with customers in the channels that get the best responses and deliver better customer experiences. Let’s face it customers want the pressure to talk with agents removed and the ability to engage in a less intrusive manner and their pace to be the norm. Anything that helps make having those difficult conversations easier is a win and that is what digital brings to the table.
So, a number of years have passed since the murmurings around engaging digitally to collect payments, and some DCAs and collection teams have embraced all that technology has to offer and have seen some fantastic results. So, how has digital debt collection and technology made an impact on collections, recoveries, and operational performance? We have taken a snapshot of the results that Webio clients are achieving:
Customer Response Rates
- 20% Response Rate vs 0% via Phone for Late-Stage Debt
- 70% response rate on outbound Covid holiday payment engagement campaigns
- 15% response rate on late payment messaging
- 20% response rate vs 6% from traditional channels
Customer Engagement Rates
- Digital messaging outperforming diallers by 3x
- 60%+ conversations completed over digital channels
- 40% of customer conversations automated within 3 months
- 72% of customer conversations automated within 6months
- Agents handling 3 times more customer conversations over webchat Agent reported feeling less pressured using conversational messaging and preferred handling conversations end-to-end
- One agent can handle up to 16 messaging conversations
- 85% accuracy rate for predicting conversation outcomes with Webio Propensity Studio
- Increase of client file sizes from 5% to 30% within 2 months.
- 85% reduction in call waiting times during Covid
These numbers are important as they highlight that digital debt collection is more than just sending out a WhatsApp or a text message. The true value for both the business and the customers comes from adding all the elements - chatbots, automation, APIs, blended agent and chatbot engagement.
But let’s be clear about what Digital Debt Collection actually is. It is not only about reaching out and connecting with customers in digital channels like messaging, webchat, email, it is much more. It is about using customer data to gain insights that allow the delivery of highly personalised engagement experiences and technology automation, chatbots, AI , APIs- to orchestrate all the elements of conversations around payments and outstanding debt in an efficient, effective and seamless manner.
As customers continue to turn to digital channels it is vital for the debt collection
process to be in sync with evolving trends. Businesses that modernise their collections capabilities to scale and become more effective and efficient in their collections processes; will streamline their collection processes and ensure they stay compliant while enhancing customer satisfaction, customer experience and significantly increasing recoveries, and containing costs.