It‘s impossible to ignore the impact of technology on our lives and nowhere is it more evident than in our professional worlds. Business sectors have been one of the main benefactors of technology and innovation, with advancements helping companies target and interact with customers in real-time anywhere in the world through mobile devices, laptops and tablets. As expected the debt collection industry has not been immune to these developments.
It is argued though, the collections industry has lagged behind others with the adoption of new tech and for many companies, they’re still in the process of playing catch up.
As a company that’s experienced exponential growth from being at the forefront of the technological revolution in the collections industry, we have identified 4 ‘must-haves’ that help us: streamline our systems and processes, develop our customer-first culture, offer more transparency and accessibility for our clients and embrace the concept of championing ‘the new breed of DCA’ title.
The ‘must-haves’ are:
Join us and take a closer look…
1. Strong foundations
Strong foundations must be a cornerstone for any collections team wanting to position themselves as innovative and forward-thinking. Technology and the digital age are great buzz words, but without substance if they are not supported by a strong understanding of the core principles of the collections industry. We understand that these foundations are most successful when they include three vital ingredients: experience, culture and compliance.
Experience is used to instil confidence in a company. Experience means survival and those that survive are considered less of a risk due to their ability to outlast the competition and deal with the curve balls the industry can throw at them. It helps if that experience is built on solid traditional collections models and techniques such as automated calls and letters, as it’s from these core approaches the future of the industry is evolving.
Corporate culture is crucial when building for the future. In an industry known for being the harbingers of bad news, it is imperative to embed a customer-centric culture that is focussed on changing the narrative from ‘you owe money’ to ‘let’s help you find a solution’. When this mindset is embedded into a business, all stakeholders will be treated similarly from clients through to co-workers and beyond.
Quality compliance is the final pillar at the base of everything a collections team delivers. The implementation of rigorous policies and procedure programmes has wide-ranging benefits, this includes helping to build the correct type of corporate culture to engage with customers and when delivered transparently, drive client confidence.
Once these strengths have been embraced by a DCA the next step in their growth will be to evolve.
2. Embracing technology
Look around your office, home or local super market, everywhere you turn you’ll find technology. The reality is we are now part of a fully ‘connected’ society; modern-day devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops are never far from hand.
The powerful notification and communication channels technology now provides have allowed collections teams the opportunity to look creatively at their approach to recover bad debt and the reality is there is a new breed of debtor that needs a new breed of DCA!
Understanding the entire process of the digital customer journey is now integral to success, our fully ‘connected’ society is demanding to use communication platforms on their terms and at a time convenient to them, because that is the OnDemand ‘Netflix’ world ‘they’ and ‘we’ live in.
The customer as the driver has led the new breed of DCA to develop software and programmes to interact with customers at every digital touchpoint. From SMS messages, email, interactive customer and client portals, website bots, live chat and so much more.
Everyday new technology is emerging to give collections teams unprecedented access and interactive opportunities with customers. It’s a golden age for communication in debt collection, so businesses want to work with a company that uses the finest technology people and processes.
3. Embedding innovation
Innovation refers to creating more effective processes, efficiencies, services and ideas for your collections team. With technology moving so quickly and to avoid being left behind DCA’s can never rest on laurels of past success, the least they must do is move with the times.
To fully future proof against risk a company should embrace a subculture of innovation: move with the markets, forecast where they’ll go, dive deep on data, understand the trends and be prepared to adapt services and processes to match.
Adopt a ‘tradition and tomorrow’ mindset. Build on the solid foundation of experience by adding technology to processes where appropriate. Trial completely bespoke programmes and software solutions on old and new problems and be at the forefront of the innovation explosion.
Showcasing how innovation allows a DCA to become more cost-effective, productive and most importantly profitable will help secure confidence with clients.
4. Full suite service provider
The final piece of the puzzle for the 21st century DCA has to be the ability to provide a 360-degree range of services to suit all of a client needs.
As described earlier having the ability to offer clients bespoke, tried and tested methods of collections and adding to these traditional models with a full range of technological advances will help separate the ‘have’ DCA’s from the ‘have nots’.
Everything from white-labelled early arrears management, administration services for handling repayments from debt management agencies, through to traditional collections and ultimately litigation, the new breed of DCA should have all bases covered.
The ultimate goal is to take all conceivable ‘pain’ away from the client, in a cost-effective way that will help them enjoy a great return on investment whilst at the same time have a fluid and simple process for their customers.
Final thoughts from CRS
CRS are delighted to announce our brand-new event ‘Collections in the Digital Age’ taking place on the 5th of March 2020. Looking to break the mould of traditional ‘collections industry’ gatherings by directing the day away from what has become standard subjects (Brexit, GDPR, wider economic issues) to tackling contemporary topics challenging the industry in the 21st century.
Under the spotlight will be key points such as ‘Understanding the digital customer journey’ and ‘Utilising technology’ to enhance customer experience and understand which tools are working. You’ll also hear from leading industry experts, sharing insight and experiences so delegates can benchmark their operations.