Can Auto Dialing Software Ease Debt Collection Stress?

Can Auto Dialing Software Ease Debt Collection Stress?

A lot of businesses find debt recovery challenging. That’s no surprise; chasing debts can seem at odds with the relationship you’re trying to build.

But that doesn’t have to be the case. In reality, debt recovery is just another part of the customer life-cycle, like an enquiry or a purchase.

There will always be debts to recover, so you need to make it as hassle-free as possible. And, you need to know how integrating your auto dialing software will help.

Customers attitude to debt

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Don’t call too many times

Calling the same customers day after day? Stop. Be cool. Imagine you’re trying to get a second date; show interest, but don’t come off too keen.

A remarkable 41% of debt situations occur because a customer forgot to set up a payment. Reminding them once is helpful. Reminding them ten times is close to harassment. (Which is why debt collection is the biggest cause of complaints to authorities like the Federal Trade Commission.) 

This is still a customer relationship, and that’s worth preserving. You could hound customers for faster repayment. But you’re picking your own pocket if they switch to a competitor.

How does integrated auto dialing software help?

This is really just a scheduling question. Is your dialer well integrated with other call center software? Then you should be able to set conditions for a follow-up call that automatically re-enters the call list.

No answer? Automatically recycle the contact.

Agreed a payment schedule? Automatically schedule a follow-up.

Payment taken during the call? Automatically remove the customer from your call list.

No fuss, no wasted time, no hounding the customers.

How do customers respond to poor debt collection?

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Give the callers the right information

As we’ve seen, customers who fall behind on payments aren’t always aware of it. In the UK, a disproportionate 34% of those with ‘problem debt’ are young people with less experience managing their finances. So it helps to make 100% sure that customers have all the information they need to get back on track.

About one in three customers pay more promptly when they encounter really good debt collection practices. That includes things like basic politeness, making the payment process simple and – crucially – supplying the right information.

You might favour email, SMS or even snail mail (although speed helps). Whichever channel you use, make sure that robust CRM integration supplies the most up-to-date information.

How does integrated auto dialing software help?

But what does that have to do with your auto dialer? Actually, quite a lot – so long as your auto dialing software is well integrated with surrounding systems and processes.

Integration means guaranteeing that, when a contact enters the call list, they’re also notified of the issue (automatically). That could be something as simple as sending an automated SMS message to say, ‘by the way – there are X arrears on your account. We’ll be in touch to tell you more, or you can call us on…’

Customers obviously prefer it when debt collection calls don’t come out of the blue. Give them some heads up and they can check the details themselves. If you’re really lucky, some of them will even correct the mistake before you even make the call. Sounds like a win-win.

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Lock in your call outcomes

Debt calls can put stress on customers, no matter how good your processes are. But clear, straightforward communication will limit this.

We’ve already talked about keeping customers informed before your call. You can also help them (and yourself) by providing a concise summary of the call’s outcome. The in and outs of payment schedules are often complex, and most of your customers aren’t sat in front of a spreadsheet, ready to take down all the details.

If you really want to help them, make sure they understood what happened on your call, and what they need to do next.

…retailers were found to be the most likely to deploy best practice techniques in their debt recovery procedures. They were the most likely to approach customers with friendly and helpful staff, as well as providing easy payment options for people struggling to pay their bills. They were also most likely to make their charges clear and have all the relevant account information to hand when speaking to customers.’

Counting the Cost of Debt Recovery

How does integrated auto dialing software help?

The lack of CRM integration at many call centers is shocking, and causes a huge number of problems. All you need to do is communicate call outcomes – payment schedules, follow-ups, dispute processes – to your customer. 

You also need to stick to the call outcomes you agree too. 76% of callers get different answers from the different agents they talk to which is… bad. 

When your auto dialer ‘talks’ to other systems, you don’t need to rely entirely on agents with great memories. You can rely on automated systems placing outbound calls exactly when they’ve been scheduled to. 

Have you been wondering how your systems can start talking to one another? It’s not only debt collection that gets easier – although it’s a great place to start. Take a look at our ROI calculator or book a whiteboarding slot with an expert to start your automation journey.