The customer experience has never been more important and in our increasingly digital world understanding the digital customer journey is no longer a ‘nice to have’ but a ‘must-have’.
Digital and social media have meant word of mouth marketing has taken on a completely new dimension forcing all business sectors to revaluate their approach to customer services and experience, the collections industry is no different.
It is suggested that acquiring a new customer is 5 times more expensive than retaining one, meaning it has never been more important to make sure the customer experience doesn’t stop at the point of sale. It is also true to say that the majority of our clients don’t see debtors as ex-customers but as prospective future customers once again.
Therefore, It is important that collections processes are as engaging, fair and positive as possible.
To execute a digital age experience, you need to start first with understanding and mapping the digital customer journey. In this blog, we’ve listed 5 incredible reasons how a digital approach can benefit all stakeholders:
Let’s get into the detail…
1. Greater customer satisfaction
We know customer experience is one of the top drivers of business strategy. Gone are the days where customers are confined by their geography or network. In our fully connected society, communication travels at the push of a button to potentially millions of people and ‘customers’ have an unprecedented number of services and products to choose from globally.
In the ‘Netflix on-demand’ world we now live in, a good experience now means customers want to communicate on their terms at a time convenient to them. Understanding this means the customer journey in debt collections needs to adapt to this world.
By mapping the customer journey you’ll identify key opportunities to fit into their world at the right time and with the right platforms, making them more comfortable to engage with your services. This is crucial for brand awareness, building customer loyalty, retention and rehabilitation. Ultimately it all leads toward improving your return on investment and saving costs.
2. Increase employee satisfaction
Something to consider is the impact understanding the digital customer journey will have on the development of your internal processes and your team members.
Understanding the customer journey will help you identify opportunities and weaknesses in your current workflows allowing your company to make improvements and add new technologies to increase productivity and therefore satisfaction for your team.
Things as simple as having an easily accessible and updated CRM system is a small technology addition helping staff get a full picture of what type of customer they’ll be engaging with, so they can present a full solution package for them or align technology to suit the customer’s preferences.
It can also make sure vulnerable customers are placed with the correct support team allowing all stakeholders to achieve desirable results.
3. Identify vulnerable customers
The introduction of new technologies to the customer journey can allow artificial intelligence to pick up on keywords and identify potentially vulnerable customers.
AI can be used to scan email, SMS, live chat, Bots and more to recognise words and terms like ‘stressed’ and ‘feeling low’ flagging customers that need specialised support and helping those needing to be placed with skilled collections teams and agents.
4. Reducing outstanding days
Customers have different communication preferences; whether it’s they’re too busy or possibly embarrassed to speak to an agent using traditional techniques. Offering platforms like SMS payments and self-managed digital portals can help reduce outstanding days as you bring them solutions better associated to their preferences.
Communications can also be tailored to an individual's needs. For example, information on paydays could be used to target campaigns on those days for immediate payment, or, if further away to secure an agreement suitable for both parties.
5. Grow your business
Although it’s been mentioned earlier it's important to reinforce how mapping the digital journey of your customers can help to not only identify gaps and opportunities but as we become a customer experience-driven industry understanding every single one of these touch points will allow us to rip up the script and break new ground.
The goal is to achieve more, with better focus, utilising fewer resources.
Final words from CRS
As an organisation that has championed the integration of technology into everything we do, we have understood the key to our growth has come from focussing our service wheel 360 degrees around our clients’ customers.
We have dug deep into our data to understand the full ‘cradle to the grave’ journey of the customer. We’ve explored industry trends to keep pace with change, developed industry-leading systems and software to interact with customers at every touchpoint.