EXUS Collections & Recovery Blog

Collections and Telecom Consolidation: 3 Pitfalls and Solutions

Posted by Giorgos Kontaxis on Wed, Jan 21, 2015 @ 10:28 AM

Telecom

Telecom consolidation is sweeping Europe. It’s causing concerns about competition and regulatory scrutiny. And there are more considerations than ever for telecoms navigating the changing landscape of collections and recovery. Within telecom companies, consolidation may strengthen business long-term, but in the here and now it can create:

  • Competing departments and priorities.
  • Overlapping efforts that cause inefficiencies.
  • Misaligned missions, goals and reporting standards.
  • Inconsistent pre-collections and collections account management. 

Collections departments at consolidating firms sometimes face obstacles that impact performance. The good news is that with specific tips, your organization can identify and overcome these challenges to improve efficiency and capture more revenue from collections operations. Below, we’ve outlined some potential pitfalls and strategies to handle each one.

1. Organizing Subscriber Information Throughout the Dunning Lifecycle

The Pitfall

Modern dunning cycles, from activation to delinquency, are complex. The lifecycle of a payment obligation produces more data and risk than ever. Customers also use more channels to engage and potentially have multiple obligations.

Consolidation only worsens the problem, as business lines merge. While keeping an eye on the bigger picture was important before, it is absolutely critical during and after consolidation. Information about customers, paperwork related to payments and risk-related insights may come from many different sources and stakeholders.

Without smart organization and centralization, consolidating telecoms risk losing key information and collections opportunities. 

How to Solve It

Centralizing all information, insights and documents is key. At the start of a customer relationship, employ an activation system (AS) with document management capabilities.

Given how complex payment origination can be, an AS tracks important information throughout the payment cycle, improving origination efficiencies and delivering insight into customer subscriptions during later stages and delinquency. 

2. Inaccurate Reporting and Delinquency Prevention

The Pitfall

Organization must be paired with accurate reporting. Consolidation introduces more stakeholders, decision-makers and influencers into business decisions and operations. These individuals need smart insights to mitigate risk and effectively drive revenue—especially in tougher market conditions and stricter regulatory environments. 

Unfortunately, too many organizations miss out on identifying pre-delinquency signs and important changes to risks because they don’t use the right tools and processes.

How to Solve It:

Deploy an early warning system (EWS). An early warning system combines internal and external data to inform decision-makers about risks. It includes both quantitative data from risk-scoring models and tools, as well as qualitative data from collections professionals.

Using this information, pre-delinquency warning signals are identified and weighted according to their severity. They’re used to create watch lists, which collections departments monitor in an effort to proactively prevent delinquencies. 

3. The Wrong Touchpoint at the Wrong Time

The Pitfall

With different company processes, priorities and collections methods competing with one another during and after consolidation, delinquent accounts may be mismanaged. Modern collections and recovery demands that the right offer be made to the right customer at the right time. Gone are the days where a series of phone calls would suffice—and it’s becoming harder to reach customers by phone.

Failing to take advantage of the various communication methods and platforms used by multi-channel customers reduces the chance of success and often damages customer relationships. Failing to apply the right pressure across delinquency stages also damages business outcomes.

How to Solve It

Modern collections has four broad delinquency phases:

  • Soft
  • Pre-Litigation
  • Litigation
  • Recovery

In the two early phases, soft and pre-litigation, companies should aim to preserve the customer relationship. This improves performance and reduces the number of cases that move to later stages. In the later two phases, litigation and recovery, the focus should change to protecting your company’s assets and minimizing losses.

The result? At any stage of the credit lifecycle, your telecom successfully overcomes these three major pitfalls—and can possibly avoid one or more altogether.

Specialized Collections Software Can Make All the Difference

EXUS Financial Suite (EFS) is collections and recovery software the covers the entire credit risk management cycle, from activation to delinquency. With EFS, telecoms are able to better manage risk, achieve business goals and capture more revenue from dunning operations. Find out more here

Image Source: Karl Baron under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Giorgos Kontaxis

Written by Giorgos Kontaxis

Topics: Collection and Recovery Operations, Telecoms