The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an entirely new set of financial problems for Americans. In our nationwide Financial Impact Survey, CCM found that 25% of US workers have been laid off or furloughed as a result of shutdowns caused by the virus. In addition, nearly half (48%) of those on unemployment are making less money than they did while employed. Meanwhile, 45% of Americans have less than $1,000 in emergency funds, meaning companies should prepare for a jump in accounts heading to collection.
End-to-End Technology Opportunities
Unfortunately for consumers and businesses alike, many revenue recovery processes are outdated and out of touch with the needs of today’s customers. Without a guaranteed end date for the pandemic’s economic effects, businesses are in a unique position to modernize their collection practices in real-time while helping customers overcome their financial hurdles. Here’s where you should consider implementing a technology upgrade:
- Outreach Methodology
It’s crucial to ensure that your collection outreach is legally compliant, encompassing many factors like outreach platform, time, frequency, and more. Because collection regulations vary from state-to-state, technology that oversees your outreach is key, and some top collection agencies have even utilized customized software to do so. For example, CCM uses advanced analytics and machine learning to optimize outreach when customers are likely to be the most receptive, based on behavioral patterns. With today’s customers likely overwhelmed both financially and otherwise, being as strategic as possible with outreach can help you maximize revenue recovery while safeguarding customer relationships and their perception of your brand.
- Communication Types
For many people, the words “debt collection” bring to mind an onslaught of brightly colored mail notices. But to be effective, today’s collection strategies require a more modern approach. While there is a time and place for direct mail, an effective collection approach also utilizes the technologies of today, like phone, text, and email correspondence. These platforms have much higher engagement rates, and give your customers the opportunity to use familiar method to discuss an often-difficult topic. Additionally, technologies like this allow you to interact in a true two-way dialogue with your customers about finding a payment solution, whereas a traditional mail piece may not offer the same opportunity.
- Payment Systems
Especially with many businesses going cashless to avoid spreading germs during the coronavirus pandemic, consumers are more accustomed than ever to self-service digital payment options. Implementing online payment, whether it be through a third-party or your own proprietary digital portal, can provide a better customer experience and increase your chances of recovering revenue by removing payment barriers. Even if this level of technology isn’t within reach for you currently, accepting payment over the phone can put your payment system lightyears ahead of one that requires a checkbook, envelope and stamp.
There has never been a more opportune time to upgrade your collection processes. With many Americans at risk of missing payments, businesses and their collection partners alike who take this time to implement key technologies will not just better serve their customers, but also help maximize revenue recovery. To speak with a debt collection expert about your recovery needs.