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Snap Finance Takes a Unique Approach to Collections with Webio Chatbots and Conversational Messaging

Snap Finance is stepping outside the traditional contact norms to transform how their call centre and field collections agents engage with customers.

Snap Finance, one of the UK’s fastest growing consumer credit companies is embracing the whole area of conversational messaging. They are embarking on a new chapter by doing something quite unique in the collection’s arena - that is completing the customer collections process without the need for a customer site visit. 

Joining forces with Webio, the conversational AI specialists, Snap Finance is ahead of the curve in  bringing the latest in AI conversational technology to their customers and field service collections team. Not a company to shy away from innovation, the Snap Finance team have been keen to investigate creative ways to apply conversational middleware technology to their business so they can drive customer engagement and operational efficiencies.

Moving from Phone Calls to Bot Led SMS Messaging

Phone calls are still heavily relied upon in the industry with customers implementing many tactics to avoid taking calls and talking to call centre agents about their outstanding payments. The introduction of chatbot lead SMS conversational messaging has eliminated the pressure for customers to talk to agents. The result is more customers responding with more consideration given to their responses.

Working with the Webio team, Webio chatbots were developed to manage early-stage outbound SMS messaging. This proactive outreach starts the customer conversation with a view to resolving the issue during a live messaging conversation or flagging the need for a site visit.

The addition of 'I&E' and 'Change of Circumstances' conversational forms functionality, enables agents to send out a variety of conversational forms during a live customer conversation, thus increasing responses rates, accuracy of data captured and delivering a better customer experience. These web-based forms can also be used onsite by the field agents to capture customer details faster and more effectively.

"This is a departure from how we traditionally would engage with customers and is a first in the area of field collections. We are in the middle of a pilot campaign right now and all results are excellent so far. Using chatbot driven SMS messages, the initial engagement is agent-less.  Customers have the option to discuss and set up payment plans and fill out required forms over messaging, thus reducing the need for a field agent to call", comments Snap Finance's head of field collections Jonathan Booker.

"Our field collection agents are only calling to customers they need to, and visits that are required are shorter and less costly. We have found that customers prefer interacting with us in this manner.  No more chasing them trying to get them on the phone, but rather a more subtle approach using messaging. And furthermore, using messaging we can demonstrate that we are fully compliant.

Webio and conversational messaging now play a primary role in our customer contact strategy deploying before dialler campaigns and field visits and it really works."

Exceptional Customer Response Rates

Customer responses rates have been exceptional and have been the driving force behind improvements to the customer journey. By automating earlier and easier parts of the journey agents are now being freed up to problem solve with more challenging customers and customers are engaging earlier.

  • Messaging response rates outperformed the dialler three-fold
  • 30% reduction in agent onsite customer home visits
  • 60% response rate on conversational ‘Income and Expenditure’ forms
  • Automation frees up agents to focus on problem solving with more challenging customers
  • Contact costs reduced

In addition, Webio’s conversational messaging proved to be highly effective during the Covid-19 emergency in maintaining and improving customer contact and engagement.

Graham Bragg, head of business development added, "the Webio Conversational AI platform, is primarily used in the call centre scenario. Working with the Snap Finance team, we just got creative and thought how we could use conversational messaging in other ways.  So, this innovative application of our technology in the field is fantastic.  We love it and are delighted with the results so far."

The next phase of the project will be to review the addition of machine learning and NLP and see what additional improvements can be made.

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