Investing in appropriate technology can have a huge impact on your collections department. It can help you collate information, automate manual tasks, and even provide insight into customer behavior. Helping your team prepare better and work smarter.
Intelligent data handling
Who could have imagined, 20 years ago, the sheer amount of data available to collections professionals? With the advent of social media, smart phones, cloud storage and contactless payment, we have access to more information than ever before, as well as plenty more options for communicating with customers.
With easier access to customer information, however, it’s important to remember that regulations around data collection and security have also evolved. Data regulation has become stricter and with that comes greater urgency to handle data responsibly, as well as to use it effectively.
Automated data handling can help you do just that. In years gone by collectors would have to cross-reference new client information with existing records, systematically searching credit agencies and reports for evidence. Now, automated systems can scour digital records for bankruptcies, corporate viability, and relevant phone records.
With this information to hand, you can assess the likelihood of collection based on the client’s credit score and social media activity. Ensuring you focus resources on those cases where you are most likely to succeed.
Utilize social media
Social media offers up a wealth of information that was simply unavailable 20 years ago. Debtors today engage in a digital world where they constantly leave traces that are hard to conceal. So, just as colleges and employers compare candidates’ social media accounts against their resume, debtors will understand that their social profile reveals information about their financial situation.
By incorporating social media research into your scoring system, you can evaluate new clients more effectively. Helping your collections team prioritize cases and rate the probability of successful negotiation.
Smart time management
Despite advances in data transparency, successful collections still depend on person-to-person negotiation and your collections team will likely spend most of their day calling clients.
To ensure time ‘working the phones’ is well spent, consider using Artificial Intelligence to sort and optimize your call lists. This smart software analyzes previous attempts to contact clients, matching it with demographic data, to create a customized daily contact list, scheduled to ensure the highest possible pick-up rate.
This can be particularly useful with younger debtors whose lives are more mobile-oriented than previous generations. Cold calls, letters, and emails may not have the same effect with younger clients, but thanks to AI, you can schedule contact at the best times, and via the best channels, to synchronize with their habits.
Advances in call recording
Have negotiators listen to an audio recording of their calls to understand how their tone of voice and volume come across. Speech analysis software can also help you coach collectors to adjust and improve the tone, volume, and clarity of their interactions.
We also ask our negotiators to concentrate on their body language while they are communicating over the phone. This keeps our folks sharp and allows them to pick up on verbal cues that will paint a picture for what is going on behind the spoken words.
Automate the admin
Alongside AI and smart software solutions, one of the biggest advances in time-saving technology is automated email scheduling. Use an automated email platform to send out confirmation, warning, or receipt emails based on a pre-arranged trigger. For example, when a client sends payment, these systems can automatically send out a receipt email without taking up office time or resources.
By harnessing the power of technology, you can significantly reduce the administrative burden facing your collections team. Combine this with streamlined call scheduling, sophisticated training tools, and smart data collection and it’s easy to see how technology can improve your collections performance – helping your team to prepare better, work smarter and add value through intelligent negotiation.