Debt collection might not win any prizes as a glamorous task, but it is a necessary one. It keeps your business running smoothly and, if thought about objectively, helps people retain or improve their credit scores. Paying off debt is good for everyone, but it can sometimes proves a rough and tough endeavor.
Customers have been harassed or abused in the past, resulting in the Federal Trade Commission’s passage of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. It guarantees certain rights and implements laws and guidelines your organization must follow—or pay the price, often a hefty one.
Fortunately, you can stay in compliance with the act while increasing collections. The key to success resides in your choice of call center solution. With the right one, debt collectors will find it easier to call and receive payment.
1. Start With The Right Call Center Solution
To effectively manage customers and debt, you require a robust call center solution. It should integrate customers’ information, from a myriad of sources, so that you have a detailed, accurate single customer record. It also should feature call recording capabilities and predictive dialers.
Most of the time, you will need to turn to a cloud-based solution to do the work. It can sift and merge multiple data streams. It often claims enhanced outbound and inbound calling abilities, too. TCN’s solution, for example, implements a blended outbound and inbound feature to amplify agent productivity and efficiency.
2. Focus On Single Customer Records
You only know what you know. If information is scattered throughout the organization, you either hunt and peck for it or reach erroneous conclusions. For instance, a customer could have made a recent payment on a debt, but you are not aware because the accounting and your call center system is not integrated. A collector makes a call, and the customer follows up with a harassment complaint. Yikes.
In another instance, productivity and efficiency slow to a snail’s pace because your agents can’t find up-to-date contact information for customers. It remains buried within a record…somewhere. With data integrated into a single customer record, agents and debt collectors always reach the right person at the right time and place.
3. Set Up Rules
TCN’s cloud-based call center platform employs custom logic for inbound calls so that customers reach a knowledgeable agent, fast, but the element can be applied to outbound calls. With the solution, you can set rules not only for debt collection calls as a whole but also for particular debtors.
For example, if a customer opts out of being called between certain hours or at work, you can add those rules to their profile. They thus never receive calls at the wrong time of day or in an inappropriate environment. It’s a small thing, but it makes a huge difference when trying to collect debt. Customers feel cared for when you call them during their preferred times, not to mention being less likely to lodge a complaint with either customer service or the FTC.
4. Record Calls Automatically
Bankrate encourages people to record calls from debt collectors. You should do the same. Recorded calls help when contesting claims, as well as when seeking ways to improve efforts.
However, to see the most benefit, you should record calls automatically. A cloud-based call center solution can handle the task. It can even delete identifying information so that customers’ personal data stays secure and safe.
5. Increase Daily Collection Calls
If your debt collectors continue to make calls manually, it’s time to stop. Manual dialing eats their time, energy, and patience. An automated solution, usually known as a predictive dialing system, helps them do the work and increases your connection rates.
The FTC sometimes flags predictive dialers. This is why it is imperative to implement a solution that follows the FTC’s legislation so that you always stay in compliance. More importantly, it ensures more and faster connections with real people.
6. Document the Details
Finally, a cloud-based call center solution aids with documenting the details. Debt collectors can, and should, write notes about customer interactions in real time via a cloud-based dashboard.
The information helps in a couple of ways.
1. It acts as insurance if a customer files a complaint. You can argue otherwise, thanks to the collectors’ notes and call recording.
2. It enables better follow-up. A collector can look at their notes and be able to speak knowledgeably and personably with a debtor.
3. It helps share information among your call center agents and across the organization. If the debtor contacts the organization, anyone who answers can handle the call.
If you seek to improve the efficiency and amount of debt collection this year and going forward, look no further than TCN’s cloud-based platform. It enables agent productivity, automatically records calls, and delivers results. To learn more about the solution, download our eBook on the Top 10 Things to Consider When Purchasing a Call Center Platform