Omnichannel communication is the future of consumer interaction

By on February 13th, 2018 in Industry Insights
TrueAccord Blog

Today, consumers engage with service providers and businesses through multiple digital devices and platforms. They expect to be able to research car loan interest rates on their iPad, then see an ad in their Facebook news feed on their desktop, and finally apply for the car loan application on the bank app using their mobile phone. According to a ComScore study, 50% of consumers rely solely on their mobile devices for all of their banking needs. These numbers reveal just how comfortable consumers are with digital communications and banking.   

An omnichannel approach creates a consumer experience that is consistent, complementary and seamless as they move across channels. This is now an expected way for consumers to interact with businesses, and that expectation continues into the debt collection process. Surprisingly, many debt collectors are still using phone calls and letters to get the attention of the consumer, but because their methods are so out of date, many customers will ignore or miss their communications all together, leaving a tremendous amount of debt unpaid.

What is an Omnichannel Debt Collection Strategy?

An omnichannel debt collection strategy is a consumer-centric approach to communicating with consumers. It’s a personalized and intelligent strategy of marketing that provides a seamless experience, regardless of channel or device. Consumers can now engage with a company in a physical store, on an online website or mobile app, or through social media. They can access products and services by calling a company on the phone, by using an app on their mobile smartphone, or with a tablet, a laptop, or a desktop computer.

When utilizing an omnichannel debt collection strategy it’s important to note that you’re not just making your website mobile friendly or sending an email reminder once a month. It’s not using multiple channels in order to stay ‘top of mind’ to the consumer. According to TeleTech Consulting, “To succeed with emerging channels, you can’t leapfrog over the basics. Instead, you must build a solid customer experience foundation from which to incorporate all interaction channels. This means setting up people, processes, and technology to identify, differentiate, customize, and interact with customers to meet their needs and resolve their issues.”  An effective and precise omnichannel debt collection strategy will use the consumer’s behavior to personalize every interaction and communication in order to nurture the customer through the collections process until their debt is fully paid.

Consider the Customer Journey

Most businesses are aware of their customer’s journey. Consumers take this same journey when paying off their debts, but traditional debt collection agencies or agents are not nurturing their consumer through the process, which leads to ignored calls, irritated consumers, and unrecovered debt.

TrueAccord understands that in order to appropriately nurture the consumer through the process you must use the technology and platforms they are most comfortable with. We reach our consumers through text messaging, email, and push notifications on their devices. The average American spends 4.6 hours a day on their cell phone, but most of that time is spent on apps, searching the web, and texting.  A recent study by Informate, found that globally people are not spending time on speaking on their phones. Further, the FCC has warned the American people not to answer any unknown phone calls in order to remain safe and avoid scams. An omnichannel debt collections strategy is the only effective way to meet consumers needs, which is why 95% of TrueAccord’s customers resolve their debt through self-service, online, without a single phone call.

Customer Journey in the Omnichannel Debt Recovery Strategy

From the consumer’s viewpoint, paying off a debt and making a purchase for a product or a service are very much the same, so it is no surprise that they need the same amount of nurturing and follow a very similar customer journey. TrueAccord uses behavior analytics and machine learning to create a personalized omnichannel debt collections strategy that is seamless and effortless for the consumer.

Every step in the debt recovery process is determined by the consumer’s behavior and needs. TrueAccord consumers will experience an individualized consumer journey unique to them. Personalization coupled with flexibility enables TrueAccord to collect more debt from more consumers. TrueAccord’s customers are able to utilize payment plans to pay off debts because they are easy to set up, offer many choices and nurture and motivate consumers to stay committed with positive messages.  

The following chart is an example of one consumer’s personalized journey from debt collections to debt recovered.  As the consumer moves through the different stages, the decision engine decides on what channel to use, what content and how often based on the consumer’s interaction with the platform.

Click here to download a larger version of this diagram

Precision in an Omnichannel Debt Collection Strategy

A personalized omnichannel debt collection strategy is a very precise method of interacting with consumers. This is not a throw-it-all-at-them-everywhere approach to consumer communications. TrueAccord’s intelligent omnichannel debt collection strategy will actually communicate less frequently than a call center would, 3 times a week on average. There is no need to call the consumer 10x a day for weeks on end, or to send expensive direct mail letters in various color paper just to be ignored. The omnichannel approach communicates less frequently but much more effectively, reducing call volume by more than 95% and attempting to contact consumers about three times per week. Because the communication responds to each individual consumer’s behavior it has maximum impact resulting in 50-500% more funds collected than traditional agencies.

An intelligent omnichannel debt collections strategy is a relief to today’s consumer. They are looking for a way to take control of their debt and manage it on their terms. TeleTech’s study found that, “simple tools that give customers more say in their interactions can also improve the experience in the long run.” TrueAccord is the tool consumers with debt are looking for. We believe debt collection does not have to be a stressful never-ending process. When consumers are met on terms that make them most comfortable, and given options that suit their needs, they are happy to pay off their outstanding debts.

Today, 64% of consumers approach businesses with the expectation of personalization and streamlined digital access, an omnichannel intelligent approach to debt collections is a necessity for the success of debt recovery. TrueAccord is the only collections platform powered by machine learning, which allows us to meet consumers exactly where they are and guide and nurture them efficiently through their personalized debt collection process until the debt is fully recovered.  We view the process through the eyes of the consumer and work to deliver an integrated experience that enables a seamless transfer between channels.

To get a larger version of our customer journey diagram, click here

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