What does the Future of Debt Collection look like with AI?

Published on August 17, 2020

AI & The Future of Debt Collection

As lenders know too well, debt collection is a massive overhead within the industry. It is a sensitive subject that affects customers and lenders and is usually a stressful topic for both parties. Debt collection call centers spend almost 85% of their time just trying to reach them. As an outcome, debt collectors end up wasting valuable time on robotic tasks instead of achieving their actual target of retrieving debt.

Obtaining actionable right party contact (RPC) data moves collectors into the fast lane to enhance recovery operations. Around 38% of collectors take two or more weeks on average to locate an individual. 

How do your collection operations compare?

If two or more weeks resonates, the race to a new strategy should start today. You could be saving precious resources—agent time and company money. The collections industry has always had to deal with – and overcome – negative stereotypes, but in this day and age of heavy regulations and evolving technology, it makes RPC more challenging than ever before. If a borrower does not pick up the phone, it is impossible to collect a delinquent payment, which makes reaching them the key to a successful call. But when all options are drained, collection operations have to be prepared to navigate the complexities of regulations.

Ineffective Calling Strategies

When collection operations utilize calling strategies that only include calling delinquent borrowers during the typical 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. business hours, when most people are at work, their right party contact rates are obviously going to be impacted. Moreover, as most collection management teams know, early-stage contact is critical. Collectors strive to be the first collection call borrowers get, so they can be the first in line to receive a payment. But it is evidently not that simple—being the first in line to receive a payment from a delinquent borrower means increasing your contact rates. To do so, you need to develop a calling strategy that includes prime time or evenings to increase your chances of reaching the borrower.

Of course, to implement this type of strategy, you must consider adopting AI. AI is the most cost-effective, yet scalable way to scale efficiencies within debt collection. You are also guaranteed to quickly collect more delinquencies, the more you align your calling strategy with the typical consumer’s schedule of availability.

Virtual Agents can increase call volume 10X, handling calls end-to-end.

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    Boosting Agent Performance

    The irruption of artificial intelligence made humanization of interfaces and communications possible, enabling Virtual Agents and chatbots to become one of the main energizing elements of collections. Virtual Agents can quickly and seamlessly increase call volume by at least 10X, transfer calls to agents once a customer is confirmed, or continue on the call to retrieve payments.

    The recognition and synthesis of voice provides companies with the possibility of offering versatile experiences. Voca’s Virtual Agents are natural and human-like, providing a similar experience to human agents. They convey the professionalism, confidence, and closeness which customers are accustomed to, without judgment. Thus, increasing the probability of debtors paying their debt and agents maximizing their time.

    Designing debt collection strategies with AI Virtual Agents will drastically improve the dollar amount achieved per agent, as well as boost contact center productivity, customer experience, and agent retention. The infusion of AI into conversations revolutionizes agents’ efficiency. AI assists contact centers to increase call volumes by reaching the right person, quickly, and responding efficiently to customer inquiries, needs, and concerns. Virtual Agents help customers answer common questions and cater to any concerns while disclosing any necessary details for full and partial payments.

    Moreover, the demand for Voice AI is growing due to its 24/7 availability in multiple accents, or tones. The ability to monitor and document calls as they unfold is all automatic. As a result, human agents can spend most of their time speaking with the right person, attaining more dollar value per agent, and not wasting it on inefficient processes through redundant and robotic calls, such as with RPC.

    Boost your Call Center Performance

    In addition to dealing with the challenges mentioned above, managers need to optimize call center performance. The key to achieving this in the financial services industry is boosting individual call agent performance by maximizing call effectiveness.

    Having good call agents is important in every industry. But it is even more essential in financial services where a premium is placed on building trust and developing solid relationships with customers. That is why using their time critically is mandatory for growth. Agents in these call centers need a unique set of skills to perform their jobs effectively. They also need the right mix of knowledge, professionalism, and technology to support their efforts and achieve high performance levels that today’s financial customers demand. With a Virtual AI Agent, they partner with your agents, providing the perfect synergy to achieve the ultimate goal. Investing in a technology that delivers measurable results within days is critical when overcoming these challenges. In fact, it provides a leg up on other call center managers in your industry.

    What’s Next?

    The next generation of collections will be based on Artificial Intelligence, predictive models, and data analysis. The opportunities are clear. Contact centers must start experimenting with these technologies to develop new ways of approaching their clients. Always keeping in mind the final objective: Find the technology which empowers your agents to maximize their time to accomplish the main goal: optimizing collection processes successfully.

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