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  • StayAhead Editorial Team

Is your collection operation prepared for scale? RPA can help.


Scaling collection operations. Changing consumer behavior.

Collection industry is changing and this change will affect everyone including clients, collectors, and consumers. Consumer behavior combined with the changing regulatory environment is driving this change. Traditional collection methods may help agencies to meet their current need but with the growing tech-centric consumer base, in order to continue and scale, they need to adopt quickly. A digital-first approach will help agencies make the switch smoothly while putting them on the growth trajectory..


Changing the Way

With resistance to change and still operating with the legacy applications and processes, it is time that agencies step outside of their comfort zone and adapt to the change and take steps towards digitization. Today, leaders are noticing that there is a steady decline of call volume indicating this new behavior among consumers. With more and more millennial consumers on the rise, the trend in decreasing call volume makes a perfect correlation because young consumers prefer connecting through channels other than voice. With new challenges like call blocking, spoofing, and spam tagging, voice channel – outbound calling and campaign driven inbound calling – is quickly becoming a less preferred channel for agencies. According to Forrester, 37% say their solutions are unable to deal with these challenges.


This means that agencies need to quickly switch and adopt other ways to connect with their consumers to retain and grow their revenue share. This could mean alternate methods like SMS, chat, and email or self-servicing channels like consumer portals or chatbots. With all of these in place, 8-5 office hours is not a good fit anymore because consumers now expect to connect anytime. This necessitates a shift from an agent centric operation to an automated consumer centric operation. With customer experience as the key strategy, agencies need to bring in the change at all levels to successfully adapt and implement.


More Consumer-centric and Less Client-centric

The most important factor in transitioning an 8-5 operations to a 24/7 model is to remove the human dependency from the equation. This is especially important when the modern consumers are shifting their expectations by not talking to a live person and choosing to communicate through voiceless channels and complete their financial obligations in managing their debt at any hour of the day. This requires managers to bring in the needed automation and process improvement and revisit the whole collection strategy and operational processes.

Intelligent automation and digital assistants will play a critical role in the new and modified strategy to meet the challenge and improvise the operational efficiency to meet this growing demand and enable scaling. This also means that agencies need to put the consumer at the center of focus and not necessarily the client. Automating the consumer facing systems includes automated payment processing, enabling communication through voice and all possible non-voice channels, and mobile enabled interactions.Automating all possible communications including initial notice to inquiries including dispute management, payment negotiations, reminders, and confirmations can be those significant steps that would make agencies future ready.


Prepare

Some of these transformations might be made easier with the help of introducing ancillary systems but true automation is achieved only when 100% of the operational processes are either fully or partially automated so managers can handle volumes at ease. Be prepared to serve consumers around the clock. Robotic process automation (RPA) truly thrives in automating the legacy processes by removing the human dependency so managers can process large volumes of data at various stages of the accounts cycle without the need of expensive system conversion.


Here are some of the processes that needs to be automated in order to achieve scalability,

1. Data scrubbing and enrichment – Bots can easily connect with various data sources to enrich the data for scoring accounts, skip tracing and improve the better connect ratio, and even choose the best channels for maximum connectivity and success.

2. Reconciliation – Save hours by carrying out automated reconciliation of data. Robots effectively complete reconciliations irrespective of the volume and number of data sets.

3. Dispute management and compliance – Considering the volume of disputes filed by consumers, timely reporting and resolving becomes a priority from a compliant perspective. Automating using an attended or unattended bot can give almost immediate returns and allow agencies to stay compliant.

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