What is omnichannel & why collection agencies need it

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The collections landscape is ever-evolving, because of a growing influx of new debt, digitally aware customers, more stringent laws, and path-breaking technologies.

As a result of that, today’s customer is becoming exceedingly demanding, and she expects choice. In the context of customer service, having a choice means being able to choose whatever seems the best path for getting something done. The customers of today expect a seamless transition from one form of service delivery to another. With that said, it doesn’t come as a surprise that companies with strong omnichannel customer engagement retain 89% of their customers, compared to 33% for companies with weak omnichannel engagement.

This is the world of omnichannel engagement: where all the possible digital touch points are woven into each other, seamlessly changing from one track to another, working in tandem, and not independent silos.
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Having a strong omnichannel presence is definitely easier said than done - which is why a number of customer service leaders are now focusing on developing an effective approach to deliver improved customer experience at reduced costs.
We have compiled a list of 3 reasons why we believe omnichannel communication and debt collection is the future.

1. Faster, more intelligent communication

Smartphone users in the US send and receive five times more texts than they make and receive calls. In such a scenario, collectors need to learn to use platforms and technology and platforms that are familiar and comfortable for the user.

An omnichannel approach to customer communication enables you to handle simple, frequent queries and interactions via a chat bot, with the agent coming online only for more complex queries. Reduced agent handle time implies more time for working on other things!

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The costs involved in keeping voice agents can be reduced drastically by just engaging them online. Moreover, having a complete customer profile, it is much easier to track information - regardless of whether the customer previously talked to a bot or an agent. This makes communication much easier for customers by eliminating the frustration involved in repeating the same information over and over again. As a result of all of this, omnichannel allows faster resolutions as time spent on tracking information (while putting clients on hold) can now be used to engage the customers.

2. Increased revenues and lower costs

Studies suggest that there is a reduction of 5-7% in charge-off upon optimizing the agent and self-service approach together. Further, at an industry level, an established omnichannel approach helps companies grow by 9.5% year-after-year in terms of annual revenue, compared to a 3% growth for companies with weak omnichannel engagement. Likewise, strong omnichannel companies notice a 7.5% decrease, year-after-year, in cost-per-contract, compared to 0.2% decrease for the weak ones.

Additionally, the opportunity cost for companies without an omnichannel plan is a 10% loss of potential revenue, equivalent to the annual growth target of many companies.

3. Future-proofing legal compliancE

Frequently pestering clients with calls or emails relegates the collector to the spam folder at best or with charges for harassment at worst. While the law wasn’t so strict, and largely ambiguous before, it is being revised for clarity on legal statutes and what constitutes privacy breach and harassment.

Think beyond call centers for your collection quotas this year…

While thinking beyond call centers is the need of the hour, it shouldn’t be seen as a way to bombard your customers across platforms. The primary goal of an omnichannel presence should be to make follow-through easy and to let the customer choose his preferred channel. Knowing their preferences simplifies sending personalized communication that is guaranteed to draw a response, rather than a flood of unopened emails.

At Provana, we’ve built a plug-and-play omnichannel web and mobile solution that clients can customize - right down to the colors and branding. Click here to schedule a demo, or check out this quick video below!

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