DIGITAL COLLECTIONS:  It’s No Longer a Concept. It’s Reality and It’s NOW. 

July 24, 2019

Multi-Channel Communications Options as Your Digital Strategy

Customers Want Digital, and You’re Going to Need It

Advancements in digital technologies have created a shift in customer behavior and communication preferences. Consider this:

  • 79% of consumers have made a purchase using a mobile device in the last six months. (Outer Box Design) 
  • 66% of consumers have used three or more communications channels to contact a brand’s customer service. (Microsoft)
  • More than 60% of Americans prefer solving basic customer service issues through a self-service website or app(American Express)


Dialer Strategies Become Obsolete in the Tech Revolution 

For years the collections industry has talked about changing contact strategies and the diminishing effectiveness of the dialer. A strategy focused solely on outbound call volume is no longer successful in delinquency/loss mitigation. Outbound calls aren’t being answered and customers are increasing their use of mobile and online communications.

It’s time to take a new approach to collections. Without phone conversations, ‘Collection’ strategies must transform to ‘Assistance’ strategies, aimed at gathering and exchanging information across products and channels to provide payment solutions.

In addition to changes in customer behavior, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently issued its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to update the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This NPRM would impose limitations on collection calls to consumers, which will increase the need for digital technologies for debt collections.

The primary goal of collections organizations must be to transition from the dialer age into the digital age. Sound digital strategies leverage trusted data sources to find the best ways to connect with customers. They help collectors reach out through customers’ preferred channels—whether phone, email, text, mobile or online—and empower the customer to finish the journey in their channel of choice.

Communications Platform and Analytics Drive Digital Enablement

Two components of digital collections strategy are critical for success—the communication platform and supporting analytics.

  1. Communication Platforms Provide Seamless Back-End and Front-End Experience 

Legacy collection platforms are tailored to a single product, designed around calling strategies, and rarely share customer preferences and behaviors across departments. Introducing digital collections channels will complicate this scenario, requiring a leading-edge communication platform solution.

Core Capabilities of a Communication Platform:

  • Interaction through digital and traditional channels to accommodate customers who prefer a phone conversation
  • Seamless transitions among channels as customers’ behaviors and preferences change
  • Capture and storage of express consent and opt-out for emails and text messages
  • Effective execution and management of contact attempts intra-day across multiple channels
  • Compliance with federal and state laws
  • Flexibility to implement new applications and technology for cutting edge functionality and multi-channel protection against data breaches>
  1. Analytics Unlock the Data for Digital Success  

There is enormous potential for increased recovery if organizations can understand customer communication preferences, response triggers, and online activity patterns prior to accounts becoming delinquent. They also need to adjust as customer behaviors change.

Critical Data Points to Successfully Leverage Digital Channels

  • Customer digital activity by channel and across products pre- and post-delinquency
  • Digital outreach attempts and contact rates by channel and product 
  • Opt-out and opt-in results
  • Results from digital interactions specific to each customer, product, and channel
  • Identification of specific content that triggers responses
  • Customer preferred payment methods and channels
  • Risk indicators to inform proactive hardship plans through digital channels

Looking for help as you progress your digital collections strategy? Bridgeforce’s Collections Team has helped organizations throughout the US and the UK improve their clients’ collections operations. 

We bridge the gap between your operations and the digital capabilities you seek. Our team can assist with end-to-end reviews of your collection strategies, operations, and technology; with designing a future state target operating model; or with identification and deployment of specific tools, models or technologies.