It’s time to wake up and realize that your customer has changed. They want online service and communication, multiple ways to resolve debt obligations, and the ability to settle debts on their own terms, 24/7.
That means your collections department needs to change with them. Here’s how.
Collections Customers Don’t Care About Your Phone Calls
Most organizations understand that the internet has changed the game. They need a website, blog, online store and other digital properties for consumers glued to smartphones and screens.
But the changes go far deeper than giving consumers online options. The way consumers evaluate and purchase products, and relate to companies, has been fundamentally altered as a consequence of 24/7 access to digital information.
Customers use more information sources than ever to make self-directed decisions along nonlinear purchase and engagement paths. And they demand experiences that mimic those provided by Apple, Google and Amazon.
Think about this: How did you personally behave the last time you needed to research or buy a product, pay a bill or find a solution to a problem? You turned to the internet, contacting a company only as a last resort when you were well and truly stuck.
It’s no different in collections. Customers demand the ability to research and resolve debt or payment obligations on their own, on their own time—without your interference.
No, they don’t want your phone call in the middle of the day or late at night. They want to resolve obligations on their terms.
The Solution to Changing Customer Behavior
Think about how collections used to (or still does) work. You called a customer with an outstanding obligation whenever you thought it convenient. Most of those interactions resulted in hang-ups. Sometimes, you reached a human being. Few times, you reached them at the right time and in the right place to negotiate a settlement.
Fail to collect, hang-up, repeat.
This results in low collections rates, massive amounts of wasted effort and serious customer frustration. There’s a much better way.
Self-service collections systems are designed specifically for the changing behavior of modern online consumers. The best self-service systems give customers the ability to resolve debt obligations any time on a smartphone, tablet, PC or feature phone. These systems propose alternative debt settlement obligations, all while taking the work off your shoulders—substantially improving collections results by giving customers a resolution option that they actually want to use.
Implement A Self-Service Solution
Creating a self-service solution from scratch is extremely difficult and costly. Thankfully, you don’t have to. Learn more about how to evaluate, purchase and deploy a collections and recovery software system with self-service capabilities in this free guide.
Photo Credit: dawnfu
About the Author
Nikos Lambrou is a graduate of Polytechnic School of Patras in the faculty of Computer Engineering and Informatics Department, and holds a Master’s Degree (MSc Management of Information Systems) from Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB). Nikos has over 18 year experience in the field of Information Technology and currently holds the position of the Head of Sales Operations at EXUS.