INDUSTRIES

Debt Collection

Reach debtors and improve collection rates with AI voice and chat and omnichannel contact centre technology. 

A host of legal, technological, and social changes over the last decade - and now in 2020 coronavirus – have brought ever-increasing levels of disruption, challenge, and necessity to adapt, to the debt recovery.
 

 Multi-Channel Communication

We now live in a world with fundamentally changed and more disparate communication channels. 

•According to Statista, in the United Kingdom, while phone remains the choice of 31% of people for customer service, another 26% prefer live chat and 26% email. This proliferation extends to devices as many consumers prefer or, often, can only be contacted on mobile devices. 

Another key insight: PEW research reveals that the indebted population segment relies more heavily on mobile devices than higher-income households. 

 Customer Service Expectations

 In addition to multi-channel, the rise of SaaS solutions, social networks, notifications, easy form fills, and photo scanning among many other functions has left customers expecting an instant response, at any time of the day, that can easily be handled from one screen quickly, and they expect an agent to know about them no matter how they have contacted them before. If a debtor has no easy way to real-time update information about their financial situation, or has to go away to find a fax machine, or cannot complete the process that they are involved in in one call – It is more likely to result in a breakdown in communication between debtor and collector and the likelihood that the debtor doesn’t stick to repayment plans or the collector doesn’t have sufficient information to give them a realistic repayment plan. 

And, if a debtor who has cleared debt continues to receive calls from the debt collection agency, they are more likely to make a complaint – as they would if any company recontacted them for no reason – which is bad for the company’s standing and ultimately incredibly inefficient, as your agent’s time should be spent on real cases. 

Legal

As you will know the debt collection industry has faced increasingly stricter Ofcom regulations, targeting the number of times an agent can call a debtor and the tactics they can use to secure collection, among others. In addition, GDPR laws with fines are up to €20 million or 4% of a company's global annual turnover, are a particular concern as the collections industry holds very sensitive financial data on its customers. 

Economic and Public Health

Debt in the UK has been forecast to rise now for a while now with household defaults set to hit 3.8 million by 2022, personal insolvencies to 105,000 and mortgage possession rates to 17% above their 2017 level. The impact of COVID-19, despite government help, is likely to push these numbers skyward. The collections industry is therefore left with the headache of trying to maximise repayment rather than default, within the context of the challenges listed above – while, due to COVID - experiencing significant frontline staff shortages and the management of staff who may be homeworking or have to return to homeworking at any time. 


Hostcomm’s Solution 

Our portfolio of hosted customer engagement products addresses these issues in numerous ways, enabling better debt recovery and driving productivity for your call centre:   

Omnichannel

Our omnichannel contact centre solution includes voice, SMS, live messaging, email, chatbot and web RTC click-to-call functionality, enabling your customers to communicate with you over the channels they feel most comfortable. In the above statistics only 31% prefer the telephone, enabling you to use the preferred communication channel of 100% of your customers. Using multiple channels improves a multitude of outcomes. For example, SMS helps you to send the terms and conditions to debtors in-call and allowing them to process the information as they wish. While that ability to communicate with messaging enables secure login and the ability to send forms with instant signature function so that collectors are no longer required to read terms and conditions verbatim during a call. It also includes a unified customer journey record and analytics. These features allow you to track a debtor over all the channels they use, continue conversations exactly where they were left off, get together strategies to approach them over several channels, ensure that you don’t contact anyone who has already cleared their debt, create alerts, and have the insight into a customer – including their payment history, roll rates and pre-delinquency levels, and punctuality - that enables you to quickly get their trust and set up a payment plan that keeps them on track to clearing debt.   

Interaction Analytics

Interaction analytics enable companies to use AI and machine learning to analyse 100% of customer conversations, and, more importantly, analyse for sentiment, mood, wants and emotions, among a range of other sophisticated indicators. The ability to get this level of insight into through customer conversations helps in many ways. With restrictions tightened around the language used with debtors, interaction analytics can monitor conversations to ensure compliance, helping companies to better meet regulatory obligations – as well as create more skilled and better trained agents.   By looking at levels of stress and language, it can also help to identify customers who may be hiding repayment problems. With more people falling into debt, it is in the best interests of the collections company and the customer for potential repayment issues to be identified as early as possible. Interaction Analytics compliment financial data to ensure the customer is given the opportunity to pay, and repayment terms that will enable them to continue on the path of repayment. Similarly, if a person is using the present climate to seek better repayment terms then they need, it may also be able to give insight.   

AI Chat and Voice

The legal, technological and social changes above combined with the impact of Covid 19 have left have left contact centres needing to drive efficiency and alternative methods of servicing customers. Our chatbots and voicebots, through automation of the customer engagement with AI conversational experiences, drive those outcomes in the following ways: 

24/7, Instant Coverage

Debtors understandably don’t want to deal with their situation and may find excuses like the line was engaged, with a bot debtors can contact you at any time of day and get instant engagement without queuing, helping to overcome avoidance and keep them engaged. 

Productivity

A bot, by automating customer engagement, frees your live agents to focus on high value tasks, and your business to respond easily to sudden large volumes of calls or reductions in agent capacity because of self-isolation requirements. 

Live Agent Handover 

Debt recovery negotiations can be complex and very sensitive. While, it is true that some debtors prefer to talk to a chatbot, it is also the case that a chatbot can miss opportunities to close because it is unable to read emotion in the way an agent can. Our solution addresses this by using interaction analytics to analyse sentiment and then warn your live agents and allow them to take over. 

Outbound Telephony 

Voice is still the channel of choice for around a third of customers. Our solution has its own Voice Gateway technology to provide better latency between Google Cloud and traditional telephony. It also integrates seamlessly with a dialler, allowing it to perform as a full member of your debt recovery team. 

AI Conversational Experience

Hostcomm is a Google Cloud Partner and builds its solution on Google Contact Centre AI, which is the most widely used solution for creating realistic, rich AI conversations. Security The debt industry shoulders incredible risk around the sensitive data it holds. Hostcomm is a certified PCI-DSS Service Provider, Level 1. Our certification doesn’t just cover our payment IVR but also our contact centre solution ensuring that your client’s data is in the securest possible environment.   Hostcomm Integrations The products mentioned above all work together to create a seamless experience of data sharing, analytics and functionality. They are also modularised, enabling you to integrate with your existing systems.   

Open APIs 

Our APIs and pre-built integrations enable you to pull in data from a range of business systems including transaction data, maintaining an up-to-date, accurate view of your customers’ disposable income, financial health, and resilience. Hosted Our solution is completely cloud-based, meaning it delivers the flexibility for your employees to work from anywhere – essential during lockdowns and now a preferred choice of many employees - as well as bringing other features such as more responsive, tiered pricing.

Hosted Dialler and CRM Integration

For debt collection agencies, it usually costs more to recover an outstanding debt, than the outstanding debt itself is worth, in terms of time, admin and lost profit. Putting your admin processes through automated workflow can increase your profitability and improve collection effectiveness.

Hostcomm has a Hosted Predictive Dialler that will fully automate many of your collection processes with full integration with all quality CRMs including Salesforce and SugarCRM. It can recall debtors, trigger CRM workflow actions from the dialler outcome codes and create daily call lists from deadlines set on your CRM system.

Integration features with a hosted dialler and CRM system:

  • PCI compliant payment IVR collection system: Any card payment transactions can be made securely within a call, reducing costly follow-up calls.
  • Click to dial from CRM: One click to dial directly from customer details held in your CRM, reducing errors and increasing agent efficiency.
  • Log calls made from CRM:  Call logs from the dialler are shown in the CRM giving staff an overview of all customer interactions on-screen.
  • Click to add to daily dialler call list: Prioritise call activity to agents to reach the most important goals.
  • Client record screen pop on inbound & outbound call connect: On-screen client details increases agent confidence and improves customer efficiency.
  • CRM updates following dialler call: Fewer errors by transcribing notes and less agent downtime between calls.
  • Automatically add a client to dialler call list:  The dialler can have reminders set for follow-up calls based on rules - e.g. late payments.
  • SMS messaging: Sending text messages can improve response rates and gives a better customer experience.
  • Automatically trigger an email, SMS or letter: As well as diary follow up, you can trigger an email, SMS or letter automatically.
  • Call recording: Call recording and advanced call search functions to find the recording you need, stored by us. These can also link to the client record on the CRM.
  • API interface for integrating with 3rd party applications: Full integration of our dialler with your CRM will reduce debtor contact time and increase follow-up efficiency.

Using our state of the art communications technology, we can link seamlessly to your business systems. Call us today or drop us a message to talk about how we can help your business grow faster.

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Accreditations

PCI DSS Certified, TPS Telephone Preference Service, ICOCSA Supplier Member, Cyber Essentials