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Chris Smith | 21 February, 2023

How technology fuels customer-centric collections

The increasing number of buy-now-pay-later payment plans has resulted in growing accounts with distressed debt. Collections organizations are facing increasing strain from this growth, and require solutions that optimize the collections process while guiding customers through their individual circumstances.

Technology serves as a way for collections teams to accommodate all customers, regardless of their communication preferences. These are aimed directly at businesses that are ill-equipped to effectively serve their customers through their digital channels. The resulting personalization empowers the customer experience and the efficacy of the collections process itself, improving performance and goals related to ROI.

How can technology empower customer-centric collections?

Providing a customer-centric experience requires a collections organization to collate and analyze individual customer data to determine suitable treatment paths that will lead to debt resolution; a person who falls into delinquency for the first time may require a face-to-face conversation for suitable guidance. Subversly, one that has already experienced the collections process will likely prefer the personalization capabilities of digital platforms without the need of ongoing guidance.

In order to efficiently provide customer-centric collections, businesses need to distinguish these customers from another, sustain reliable channels of communication and automate processes via workflows to optimize performance. Technology helps them achieve each of these goals via specialized tools that seek to bring human-first and digital-first approaches into one holistic process.

What specific technologies are used to achieve this?

Omnichannel communications

Customer personalization has become an expected part of modern customer service, with communication preference being a vital element; traditional methods of phone calls and letters have been overtaken in use by SMS, emails, chatbots, and more. Omnichannel communications enable the support of each form of contact to suit the specific needs of the individual.

In collections, omnichannel communications can be utilized to adapt the channel of contact based on the situation of the customer. Small amounts of debt can be resolved with an SMS message or email, whereas late-stage delinquency of a significant balance will require a direct phone call with a dedicated agent. Omnichannel communications provide a customer-centric choice to customers while enhancing the collections process as a whole.

Data-driven segmentation

The quantity of customers that a collections department manages can result in a multitude of data to analyze. Payment history, account length and payment risk are all statistics that inform businesses of the best treatment paths for individual customers. Data-driven segmentation separates customers to treatment groups based on these statistics and the risk of delinquency; one group may require a simple SMS message, whereas another will need a negotiation with an agent. This optimizes the analysis process for collections teams while providing a customer-centric service that offers data-based solutions.

Automated treatment paths

By utilizing the information provided by data-driven segmentation, collections teams are better equipped to provide their customers with the correct treatment paths. But when dealing with a wide mixture of segmented groups, it can become complex and arduous to apply these treatment paths efficiently.

Automated treatment paths and workflows act symbiotically with segmentation technology to optimize the treatment process. They automatically assign customers to pre-determined treatment paths via workflows that act on the delinquency risk produced by segmentation. The result is a holistic and efficient process that resolves the customers’ situation faster, allowing businesses to help more customers and drive performance.

Empower your human-first approach with a digital-first technique

Technology in collections is based around automating the simple processes so the complicated cases can be dealt with quickly, efficiently and effectively. By utilizing omnichannel communications, data-driven segmentation and automated treatment paths, businesses can hit their ROI/targets faster and more efficiently while maintaining a more humanized approach.

At C&R, human-first and digital-first mean the same thing; using technology to improve the experience of customers and businesses. Debt Manager gives businesses the ability to introduce their own analytics and workflows to be fully automated into the system, and allows full omnichannel capabilities to accommodate customer preference. The result is better collection performance, improved customer experience, and a better overall process. To learn how Debt Manager can help you hit your ROIs and targets, contact us today.

 Chris Smith
About the author

Chris Smith

Having spent his entire career in the credit and collections space, Chris Smith started out building and implementing collection strategies before leading product teams. Now the Vice President of Product at C&R Software, he supports organizations in a variety of countries and industries achieve their ROI goals. Chris is an analytically-driven product leader, specializing in defining and executing product strategy and positioning to drive business growth.

A guide maximizing customer experience during debt collection
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A guide to maximizing customer experience during debt collection

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