These days consumers expect instant access to information, wherever they are. Whether on their desktop or, increasingly, on their smartphone, the answer to any query is only a Google away. This doesn’t generally stop at football scores and celebrity birthdays, the average consumer has become accustomed to having real-time access to a range of far more useful (if not as interesting) data, such as their bank balance, energy usage and remaining mobile phone minutes, all of which help them manage their day to day lives.
This doesn’t change once a consumer begins to struggle financially. Understanding, and being able to take advantage of, the technology solutions available in the debt industry provides an opportunity for debt collectors to improve performance and drive a more positive consumer outcome.
Reaching the right person when you contact them, a Right Party Contact (RPC) in industry parlance, is precious and shouldn’t be wasted. We all know that when a consumer raises a query the call can go one of two ways, and a delay in answering queries can risk losing customer engagement and damage the potential call outcome. If it takes a week to provide a copy statement you might never hear from that consumer again! On the other hand, providing the answer to their question, whether through giving the consumer easy access to the right data, having the data to hand yourself, or by being able to provide actual bills and statements in real time, can make all the difference. Studies have shown an over 10% improvement in cash collections when copy bills are instantly available, and being able to discuss the specifics of the account during the first phone call leads to greater clarity and faster resolution for the consumer.
Consumers expect the person they speak with to have the answers to their questions. Proactively providing this data to the collectors on the front-line should be the norm and be viewed as a performance driving tool, not an afterthought and an operational burden. Doing so will drive the best outcomes for both creditor and consumer.
By Patrick O’Neil, Head of Pre-Sales Consulting, TDX Group