The current credit environment can be characterised as one of intense competition for customers, with organisations often taking additional risk to grow credit portfolios. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of their “value” and changing their expectations of how an organisation should treat them.
Credit grantors need to successfully manage their credit portfolios to ensure that the credit which is extended is profitable for the organisation. In this environment, effective collections management is a crucial factor in the success of an organisation.
In this blog, we discuss the top four advantages that your collection system should be giving you in 2020.
With the explosion of AI recently we need to ask whether there will still be a place for call centre agents in 5-10 years’ time? Millennials enjoy self-help services and AI call centre agents. However, will this make human agents redundant? Alternatively, can you ignore AI because you have a fully-staffed call centre?
The fact that the call centre environment is drastically changing and incorporating technology will never replace the need for personal interaction between two parties. These communications will merely occur differently as the days of call centre agents performing mundane tasks like providing balances, or giving banking details, will come to an end, to be delivered by self-service AI bots.
With the inclusion of AI solutions into operations, call centre agents will perform specialist duties like resolving default account queries, negotiating for optimal repayment arrangements, and educating debtors to become credit-wise. Your collections strategy going forward should be looking to include both holistically, and your collections system should be enabling both, as this will ensure your collection yields are higher than ever.
Empower your agents with Augmented Intelligence
We’ve recently written about the need for Augmented Intelligence in our blog AI and the South African Workforce: A Balancing Act. In the blog, we quote Ben Dickson, Founder of TechTalks: “Augmented intelligence, also referred to as intelligence augmentation (IA) and cognitive augmentation, is a compliment – not a replacement – to human intelligence. It’s about helping humans become faster and smarter at the tasks they’re performing. Augmented intelligence refers to the result of combining human and machine intelligence.”
Augmented Intelligence introduces the idea that utilising AI in an indiscriminate, automated way and replacing humans, is irresponsible and morally wrong, but rather, that we should be using AI, data and data insights as a complement to human intelligence.
To that end, your collections system should be including AI and data insights in a way that enhances your call centre agents’ effectiveness.
Our call centre virtual assistant empowers your call centre agents by arming them with visualised information on their customers. It only takes 0.25 seconds to process visual content, some 60 000 times faster than text. By representing customer information and insights visually, your agents will easily and quickly be able to discern and remember who they are talking to, allowing them to spend the first 3 seconds of a call engaging and not making small talk while data mining.
By optimising time spent on the call and motivating your agents, Agent X improves call outcomes (sales or yields), customer satisfaction and agent productivity, and lowers agent turnover.
AI-driven chatbot that can propose a payment plan autonomously
Some of the more menial duties that AI solutions should be taking over include account balance enquiries and proposing optimal repayment arrangements.
Yes, you read that right. AI chatbots should be suggesting payment amounts and managing the process of settling on a suitable amount with customers. If there is a problem or an optimal arrangement cannot be agreed on, there should be a smooth transfer to a live agent to initiate negotiations. By automating the initial payment plan proposal, you’ll be collecting a lot more efficiently.
Our chatbot, Atura, is specifically designed for the Financial Services industry and can handle menial queries and propose payment plans to customers for you. Learn more about Atura here.
Business controlled strategy capability
Your strategy and collector actions should be controlled by business users – not IT. Business users should be in control of the building, testing and champion/challenger strategies (including pre-delinquency, early-stage, late-stage and EDC strategies) that utilises decision keys (data elements within a decision tree) without dependencies on IT or technical resources.
Our collections system, CollectSmart, is a powerful, modular, enterprise-wide debt collection management system that combines business controlled segmentation with the allocation of appropriate and differentiated actions to individual customer profiles – all accessed via an easy-to-use web-based interface. It incorporates comprehensive collections functionality and full industry best practices. The system allows out of order accounts to be managed in an effective, timely and logical manner.
It is developed on the Microsoft® Windows® platform, using state-of-the-art technology, enabling an organisation to set up and work accounts in any manner suitable to its needs. A high degree of parameterisation allows organisation-specific requirements to be easily defined, rather than requiring extensive changes to the system code. The overall ease of use, coupled with the intuitive look and feel, minimises training overheads and reduces the time required by collectors to assimilate all relevant information for the collections call.
The system incorporates a number of easy to use management modules such as Queue Manager, Decision Tree Builder and MIS Reporting to facilitate the working of accounts in a logical, consistent and appropriate way. CollectSmart includes optional, integrated bot technology, namely a call centre virtual assistant, Agent X, and an AI chatbot, Atura.
Regardless of the industry sector, the system can be configured to manage an organisation’s debtors book in the most efficient and economical manner. In addition, CollectSmart is compliant with the requirements of the National Credit Act (NCA).