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Carol Byrne | 20 July, 2023

How technology is changing the mindset of collections

The landscape of collections is evolving. Customers were, until quite recently, considered debtors and fell into one of two categories: can’t pay or won’t pay. The industry has come a long way, and now customer service has become a priority to provide a consistent and beneficial experience.

Why? Because it benefits both parties involved. Customers are engaged and supported through their collections experience, and businesses see enhanced performance and customer retention.

Technology is the foundation of the evolution to customer-centric collections. To truly harness a customer-first approach, you need the appropriate platform features that provide support, guidance and direction at each stage of collections.

In this article, we explore the technologies that are changing the landscape of collections from a podcast conversation between Christina Fisher (Manager, Growth Marketing) and Chris Hopkins (Senior Director of Product Management) of C&R Software.

5 technologies that are evolving the landscape of collections

1. Connected customer experience 

Phone calls, letters and even emails can be used to greater impact in the modern collections landscape by utilizing connected customer experiences. With the increasing numbers of accounts entering collections from the cost of living crisis and Buy-Now-Pay-Later (BNPL) payment plans, a more intuitive communications approach becomes even more vital.

Omnichannel capabilities provide customers with freedom and flexibility to use their preferential channel of communication when interacting with you. This not only streamlines the journey to be more comfortable for customers, but equips you with layers of customer contact opportunities to provide suitable guidance at different stages.

2. Machine learning

Understanding the customer and their behavior is a key principle of transitioning to a service-focused collections process. Machine learning (ML) is a transformative technology model that utilizes analytical models based on historical data to make predictions on customer behavior.

By interpreting historical data and comparing it to the characteristics of your customers, you can have a strong base of understanding of how they will act and behave. But a model is only as good as the decisions made based on it, so you need to utilize workflows that are data-driven to make better decisions and treat customers in a supportive way. 

3. Chat bots and self-service opportunities

Customers often have an understandable level of reluctance to engage in the collections process. It can be stressful, embarrassing and arduous, especially for customers entering collections for the first time. Self-service capability provides a layer of comfort for these customers to reach financial health in a personalized manner.

AI-powered chatbots have full language interpretation capabilities to guide and advise customers, and even present payment offers and plans based on their characteristics and analytics from ML models. Customers can then self-cure without the need of direct contact, leaving your team with more time to help the customers that require a human touch to reach a solution.

4. Audio analytics

The traditional phone call that collections and recovery has relied upon for decades can also be evolved with the use of transformative technology. Audio analytics refers to the use of AI to interpret calls both in real-time and afterwards to gain additional insights.

You can use sentiment analysis to detect the vulnerability of customers on a call in real-time to a surprising level of accuracy. AI systems can then inform your team on the appropriate guidance to effectively support the customer. Additionally, audio analytics can help train your team to refine their customer support skills to provide a high level of customer centricity. 

5. Cloud technologies/Single Source of Truth

Accurate and representative data is a foundational element of a functional and customer-driven collections approach. Single Source of Truth (SSoT) describes a platform that brings important data together in one place to enrich customer reports and make it simple and effective to support them.

Cloud technologies act as a form of SSoT, and can enhance the usage of the above technologies into one seamless platform. It allows scalability, resilience and security features as well as an ability to leverage data in the vital decision making processes that make up the lifeblood of customer-oriented collections.

Take advantage of advanced technology with a holistic collections platform

Technology is driving transformation in collections and recovery, providing tools to better support customers and reach financial health. In order to harness these tools, you need a single platform that can seamlessly integrate with your existing systems and modern features.

C&R Software’s industry leading Debt Manager supports all of the above technologies to give you the supportive potential to guide your customers through the collections process. By comfortably reaching resolutions via these technologies, you can enhance your performance and efficiently hit KPIs.

To find out more details about the conversation between Christina and Chris, listen to the podcast here. To discover how Debt Manager can enhance your customer support throughout the collections process, contact a member of our team today.

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