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Martin Germanis | 27 July, 2023

Consumer service: how Consumer Duty changes customer engagement during a collection

The benefit-focused outcomes outlined by the UK’s Consumer Duty sets a precedent for financial firms to provide a consistent and high-quality level of customer service. This highlights the growing importance of supporting your customers through the collections process, leading to improved collections performance and more accounts reaching good financial health.

In order to adapt to the requirements of Consumer Duty, you need to integrate systems that give customers incentives to interact with you and your operations. A key way in achieving this is by incorporating a configurable platform that improves the overall customer journey, and provides support and guidance when and where it is needed. 

What is the consumer service requirement of Consumer Duty?

The Consumer Duty of the UK sets out a number of standards for financial services to follow, each contributing towards benefit-focused outcomes for customers. One of these standards focuses on customer service; firms must provide a consistent and equivalent high level of service at each stage of collections with complete transparency. This requirement serves to strengthen the businesses customer relationship by providing customers with greater control over their collections journey. For firms, it creates a greater incentive for customers to engage with them, creating a win-win scenario for both parties involved.

How can businesses adapt their customer engagement?

Choice and means of engagement

The first step of building a strong customer service model is to encourage engagement at different stages of the collections process. This is achieved through offering your customers choice of engagement, whether it be through contact preference (SMS, email, call), chat bots or dedicated portals.

You need to make all options openly available to customers and with a consistent quality of engagement for each; customers’ queries need to be replied to quickly and informatively on every channel. An additional aspect of engagement choice is making it as easy as possible for customers to choose a payment option or leave if they wish. With this baseline of engagement, you will have the foundation to provide a positive and benefit-focused customer experience.

Centralized data for engagement

Managing the layers of engagement choice for each customer can become complicated, especially as the number of accounts grows to high numbers. Many customers will use multiple channels to engage with you, and you need to respond through the same channels to maintain a high level of service.

By utilizing a configurable collections platform, you can have a Single Source of Truth (SSoT) that centralizes all customer data to be easily accessible. The platform can provide you with all of the contact information and history of each account when needed, informing your team of which channels to use for each individual customer. Additionally, AI-tools can interpret this data, and workflows can then suggest which channels to use based on the form of contact; if it is a simple payment offer an SMS message may suffice, but if it is more urgent a phone call might be needed. Not only does this provide a high-level of service, but brings additional efficiency opportunities for your team. 

Improved micro-journeys and self-service

A vital component of the overarching collections experience is the micro-journeys involved for each customer; which portals are they being directed to? How often are they contacting your team? What payment plan were they offered most recently. To ensure Consumer Duty compliance and customer satisfaction, you need to ensure each of these micro-journeys are orientated to be positive and supportive.

By adopting a configurable platform, you can provide customers with a range of self-service opportunities to define their own micro-journeys and overarching collections experience. Over time, the platform will record each micro-interaction to build a strong foundation of data for individual accounts. From there, your team can access this data and assign treatment paths that are likely to lead to a resolution. An additional benefit of this is that your team has more time to help accounts that require human interaction, improving the customer service experience across the board.

Enhance your customer service experience with a configurable debt collections platform

By providing your customers with choice of engagement, and utilizing a centralized platform to create data-driven micro-journeys, you can provide a holistic level of support for each of your customers. A configurable collections platform acts as the main orchestrator for these systems, providing your team with the data, context and ability to guide customers to financial health.

C&R Software’s industry leading Debt Manager seamlessly integrates with communication channels, workflows and customer management systems to provide data-based solutions to individual accounts. It runs rules and studies customer data and characteristics to determine the right action and payment plan that is applicable for each of your customers. This leaves your team with the time and ability to support customers in a humanized way, rather than manually sifting through piles of data.

To find out more about Debt Manager’s capabilities to improve your level of customer service contact a member of our team today.

 Martin Germanis
About the author

Martin Germanis

Martin Germanis has been a leader in the collections and recovery software space for nearly 40 years. He led the original team responsible for the creating of Debt Manager, C&R Software’s flagship tool. Martin is an experienced global sales leader and implementation strategist.

A guide maximizing customer experience during debt collection
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