What makes digital debt collection more effective

Mitigate compliance risk

Compliance is a key priority for organisations and one where relying solely on a traditional approach to debt collection presents challenges. This is because when you rely on call centre staff, the scope for human error means mistakes are more likely to be made. Unfortunately, these oversights can have significant legal consequences.

InDebted’s intelligent debt collection product, Collect, limits this potential for human error. Collect is built from the ground up, with compliance standards coded in. This means collections activity is only carried out in a manner that’s compliant with where a customer is located, using the channels they prefer. Removing the manual elements like traditional dialler campaigns reduces the potential for any compliance errors, and long-term effects on a business’s reputation. To maintain compliance, when legislative changes are introduced into any jurisdiction, these are updated to Collect in real-time.

InDebted CEO and Founder Josh Foreman says, “The right infrastructure and the right way of incentivising people is what really minimises risk. Compliance is an essential benchmark for organisations when selecting a debt collection agency.”

Motivate staff on customer experience, not dollars collected

Many traditional debt collectors are still motivated and compensated based on how much of a debt they recover, and this can lead to outbound calls that become abrasive or harassing.

Rather than being commission-based, we incentivise our Customer Service team members based on how they deal with customers and the reviews they receive. Foreman says, “We have a Customer Service team rather than ‘collectors’. Our team lead with empathy and focus on creating a positive experience for those in debt, by empowering customers to regain control of their finances and get back on track.”

Our approach to customer service not only benefits customers by helping them to resolve their accounts, but also benefits the organisation who refer overdue accounts. We know that customers who feel they are being looked after and heard are more likely to resolve their account and stay loyal to the organisation they do business with, rather than take their business elsewhere.

However, if a customer is feeling harassed by a collector’s call centre, they’re not only less likely to settle their account but are highly likely to leave a negative review online or lodge a complaint to the regulator.

Personalised communications to improve recoveries

While Collect provides speed, accuracy and simplicity – especially with enabling customers to self-serve – it offers businesses much more, including the ability to leverage the data it collects. Through the technology we’ve built into our product, we can learn how customers interact with us in real time, and then using this knowledge, build machine learning models that help the platform create a personalised collections journey that motivates an individual customer to take action.

Gaining a greater understanding of customers is almost impossible for a traditional agency as they have no insights into when customers will respond to a phone call or open a physical letter. They also don’t provide a way for them to easily resolve or manage their account.

Tim Collins, InDebted’s Chief Compliance Officer, says as customers, we all want the personal touch. “Basic human behaviour tells us customers want to be talked to respectfully, professionally and they want to be heard,” he says. “Why would this be any different for collections? Personalised collections mean giving customers more than just the ability to pay when they want. It means providing tailored options for each individual that fits with their financial abilities on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.”

Being treated well is beneficial not only for the customer but also for the organisation owed the money, as a positive customer experience results in greater amounts collected. The customer is also more likely to feel favourably towards the organisation and will continue to carry on doing business with them. Looking after customers in this way requires an omnichannel approach that incorporates all the benefits of a digital process, complemented by the best of the traditional.

Covering your current and future collection needs

Arguably, the greatest advantage of intelligent debt collection is the never-ending product developments and technical advancements. InDebted’s digital product is constantly improved with updates made within the code of the software, in real-time. Unlike traditional agencies where the most common improvements are a new call script, or email campaign, digital debt collection unlocks new developments like enhanced personalisation.

In 2022 alone, there were 122 new platform builds on InDebted’s product every week, and 55 new product features were added. Enhancements to the products are identified and potential solutions are tested, before the best performing solution is deployed to the platform. A recent product development was a message scheduler model, which identified the optimal time to send communications, personalised to each customer. This model alone resulted in a 20% uplift in email payment conversions.

In the long-term, this means that a partnership with a collections agency will provide ongoing benefits; benefits that are evidence-based, driven by data, and yield increased recoveries. As the world moves beyond outbound calling and letters in the mail, setting your business on course for future-proof success means choosing a partner that can meet your collections needs both now and five years from now - that’s intelligent debt collection.

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