A UKCCC 2022 Panel Discussion with:
Helen Gill, Director (Engage Comms)
Mark Oppermann, Co-founder and Head of Sales and Marketing (Webio)
Simon Gregory, Sales Director (Data on Demand)
In this discussion, the panelists looked at why customers can be distrustful of the credit and collections industry and how we can change this negative perception.
The collections industry's primary role is communication, not financial services, and in the last few years, the industry has been working hard at improving customer relations. In general, there was a huge shift in how creditors interacted with their customers, but then the Covid pandemic hit, followed swiftly by the current cost-of-living crisis.
The financial stress these events caused led to more people finding themselves in debt, which is an emotionally charged place to be in. Feelings of anger, shame and fear dominate. In light of this, collections companies need to be sensitive to each customer's situation when contacting them. There has also been a cultural shift in how people view debt and when they feel obliged to pay.
Nowadays, there are powerful debt collection tools available, including conversational AI, which automate conversations around debt collection. The panel looked at how critical language choice is when interacting with customers and how it is important to recognise vulnerability and connect on a relational level first before jumping in and asking for money. We cannot afford to lose the human touch.
For an insightful look into how to use technology like conversational AI to build trust and deliver positive outcomes, listen to the podcast.