Welcome to the Debt Resolution Funnel: Insights from 20MM Consumers

By on April 11th, 2024 in Customer Experience, Industry Insights, Industry Interviews, User Experience

When it comes to financial and lending services, the customer journey doesn’t drop off once a consumer enters delinquency—in fact, quite the opposite. In the world of debt collection, understanding this unique, and often overlooked, part of the customer journey is critical to securing repayment and debt recovery.

Welcome to the Debt Resolution Funnel. This goes beyond tracking roll rates and primary vs secondary vs tertiary account placements; it instead looks at the debt lifecycle from the consumers’ perspective in well-defined stages with the goal of repayment.

And for TrueAccord, it even goes a step further, with our resolution funnel taking a closer look at how to engage with each consumer in each stage with the optimal messaging, timing, and channel selection specific for that individual. This is possible thanks to our patented machine learning platform, HeartBeat, that automatically improves and optimizes engagement over time, all powered by engagement data from our over 20 million consumer journeys.

While many collection agencies still try to reach consumers through outbound calling (and struggle due to declining right-party-contact rates and tightening regulations), even those using email will typically only develop content based on what bucket the consumer is currently in and use the mass-blast approach for all customers in that particular bucket. Conversely, our patented machine learning engine, HeartBeat, dynamically optimizes the next best touchpoint for every consumer in real-time, including the content, timing, and channel for each customer.

In today’s digital world, one-size-fits-all communication strategies don’t work for any type of consumer engagement—and that has proven especially true in debt collection.

Understanding the Funnel: Tailoring Engagement Strategies for Success

Just as in marketing, where funnels mark the path from awareness to conversion, in debt collection it details the journey from debt placement to resolution. At TrueAccord, we’ve honed our strategies to optimize outreach at every stage of this journey, powered by our intelligent decision engine HeartBeat, delivering an effective resolution process for both our clients and their customers in delinquency.

Let’s take a high-level look at the distinct stages of the TrueAccord funnel and how successful engagement relies on our content, message timing, and communication channels.

Top of the Funnel: Debt Placement, Reachability, and Acknowledgement

  • Debt Placement: The journey begins with debts placed with TrueAccord for collection
  • Reachability: We strive to reach debtors through various channels, ensuring they are aware of their debts
  • Acknowledgement: The consumer acknowledges their debts through interactions with our communications or with agents through inbound calling

Strategies at this stage focus on contact coverage, leveraging and learning through use of diverse channels for communication, and optimizing content and messaging to enhance engagement and acknowledgement rates.

Middle of the Funnel: Active Consideration and Commitment

  • Active Consideration: The consumer explores their payment options, visiting payment forms, or interacting with inbound agents
  • Commitment: The consumer commits to payment arrangements, initiating payment plans or settlements

Here, we concentrate on providing flexible payment options (including completely self-serve a payment portal), improving website usability, and employing targeted follow-up communications to facilitate commitment.

Bottom of the Funnel: Progression and Resolution

  • Progression: Significant progress is made by the consumer towards their commitments, paying at least a percentage of their balances
  • Resolution: The consumer successfully resolves their debts through payment or dispute resolution

Strategies in these stages prioritize payment plan management, personalized communications based on HeartBeat’s machine learning insights, and celebrating debtor progress to foster brand affinity.

Driving Success: Strategies for Each Stage

  • Content and Messaging: Crafting compelling content tailored to specific consumer and funnel segments and leveraging HeartBeat’s machine learning for engaging messaging.
  • Channel Optimization: Utilizing diverse communication channels, such as SMS and email, based on consumer preferences and behavior.
  • Payment Offerings: Offering flexible payment options, including settlements and extended payment plans, to accommodate diverse financial situations.
  • Website Usability: Enhancing website design and functionality to facilitate easy navigation and understanding of payment options.
  • Continuous Discovery: Practicing ongoing experimentation and learning from consumer interactions to refine strategies and improve performance continually through HeartBeat.

Empowering Resolution Through Better Engagement Every Step of the Way

Shifting the mindset of the debt resolution journey only being defined through roll rates and placements to a consumer-centric resolution funnel instead can be a significant overhaul for any organization’s collection strategy. Whether communicating in-house, using a call center, or partnering with a third-party collection agency, adopting the nuanced approach we outlined above for better results takes time, a robust content library, advanced machine learning, and a platform able to scale to meet both your business’s and customers’ needs.

TrueAccord’s machine learning engine, HeartBeat, doesn’t just optimize our strategies for engagement and commitment. It leverages interaction signals to identify consumers at risk of breaking plans and automatically adapts to keep them successful until resolution. Our approach aims to engage and empower every step—and every funnel stage—along the way.

As we continue to listen, learn, and innovate, we remain committed to delivering exceptional debt collection experiences that prioritize consumer well-being paired equally with debt recovery. At TrueAccord, we’re not just collecting debts; we’re fostering resolutions and helping consumers build brighter financial futures.

Ready to get started? Schedule a consultation today»»

The Resolution Funnel: How to Effectively Guide Consumers Through the Repayment Process

By on January 25th, 2023 in Customer Experience, Industry Insights, User Experience, Webinars

At TrueAccord, our goal is to meet customers where they are to personalize a strategy for each individual customer. We do this by sending them a communication via the right channel, using messaging that resonates with them, and making them an offer they can afford.

We’re able to achieve this thanks to insights from the 20 million customers. This includes data like what email and SMS messages drive the most engagement, which web pages are customers viewing the most, what is the ideal payment plan length, as well as where and when customers stop engaging with us. With every insight, we’re able to improve the overall consumer experience and help keep customers get back to financial health (and recover more efficiently and effectively in the process).

The Resolution Funnel

A funnel is built using a lot of data and a lot of consumer insights. It helps organize that data into a view of the customer’s journey within our product and allows us to identify areas where we can concentrate product improvements. Whether that’s making the website more user-friendly, promoting new and different channels, or utilizing our patented machine learning models—each is a different lever or strategy we can use at different stages of the funnel.

At TrueAccord, our funnel is tailored to fit our business needs while still getting all the benefits of understanding our customers’ behaviors to move them through the funnel, in our case to resolve their debt.

Here’s an example that gives you a good picture of how we think about the customer journey. We have two different funnels for two different clients we work with. You can see they’re fairly different in shape. At the top of the funnels you can see all of the debts placed. Next is reachability, which looks at how the customers were reached, and then if the customers acknowledged their debt, all the way down to when they resolved their debt. These funnels show that for Client 1 we should concentrate our improvements at the top of the funnel, while for Client 2 we need to look at improvements at the bottom of the funnel.

We can slice and dice the funnel in different ways to see how different customer segments are performing. This helps us identify what is working for different consumer segments and for different clients so we can see on a granular level what stages of the funnel to lean into to improve performance specifically for them.

Top of the Funnel

When planning strategies that will improve performance and customer experience at the top of the funnel, it’s important to make sure that the contact information for a customer is correct and that content is personalized in order to get engagement. The stages that make up the top of the funnel are: Debts Placed, Reachability, and Acknowledgment.

Debts Placed: All of the debts that are placed with the company.

Reachability: For the reachability stage, the goal is to reach the consumer and make sure that they’re receiving communication efforts which could be something like a customer opening one email.

Acknowledgment: This could be clicking on an email or SMS and visiting the company’s website, but it could also be from an interaction with customer support via phone or email.

Middle of the Funnel

The two stages we consider the middle of the funnel are: Active Consideration and Commitment. This is where the customer considers the options they have, chooses one, and then commits to a payment arrangement. By providing an online platform that’s easy to use and navigate through filled with helpful content, customers are more likely to self-serve.

Active Consideration: A customer visiting a payment form on the website or having the intent to pay.

Commitment: A customer signing up for a payment plan or agreeing to any other type of deferred payment.

Bottom of the Funnel

Lastly, we’ll cover the two bottom-of-the-funnel stages which are: the Progression and Resolution of the debt. In these stages, it’s essential to have a plan management system in place to help customers keep up with their payments as well as a plan in case they fall off and stop paying. The funnel ends once the customer passes through these last two stages and has paid off their debt.

Progression: A customer paying a portion of their balance either through partial payments or payment plans. Sometimes this stage is skipped if the customer pays in full or in a lump sum payment.

Resolution: The last stage of the funnel, where a consumer satisfies their agreement through paying in full, settling, or filing a valid dispute.

Effective Recovery Through the Resolution Funnel

The more you listen to your customers through their usage and their behavior, the more you can learn and improve your digital collection strategy. Funnels can be an effective tool when you’re trying to improve your performance and customer experience, which are key factors to getting customers through to repayment. It helps you segment customer groups and define how they move through your system and products so that you can focus your collection strategies on where they matter most.

Watch the full Resolution Funnel webinar on-demand to learn more about how TrueAccord gets insights on funneling customers through each phase of the repayment process.

Interested in seeing how you can funnel more customers through the repayment process? Schedule a consultation today!