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Successfully Navigating Debt Collection and Recovery for the Next Ten Years

Smart, ongoing customer communication matters. Especially when it comes to collecting debt. And as we’re all learning, much more during a pandemic.

I’m a communications guy through and through, with 25 years helping organizations create powerful communication strategies. I get a lot of questions about the digital transformation. Today, I’ll share insights I’ve learned.

Digital customer engagement for collecting and recovering debt is a no-brainer.

Until recently, it wasn’t uncommon to see banks and other businesses adopting innovations in credit risk areas but neglecting to include collection and recovery. I think it came down to a fear factor: too overwhelming. Temporary fixes were easier.

This may have worked in the past, but it won’t moving forward. With more than 80% of the world experiencing government-mandated lockdowns, it’s no secret that dramatically larger collection portfolios are coming. The pool of consumers experiencing past-due debt for the first time will swell considerably. The only way to respond to the convergence of the economic and public health crises is to go digital.

Digital communication proved its value for debt collectors in the early pandemic days.

We’ve already seen the difference between organizations using digital communication and those struggling without it. As the lockdowns began, intelligent, automated omnichannel communications kept businesses open 24/7. It scaled to handle never-before-seen high volumes, rapidly changing rules, workflows and scripts in dynamic situations. Lower cost, compliance adherence and the ability to stay in close contact with customers were big factors, too.

But that’s only part of it.

It’s the combination of digital communication and analytics that will keep you in business through the next decade.  

Demand for hyper-personalized experiences across the consumer journey continues to grow, which means businesses need to improve communication intelligence over time. This is done by leveraging lifecycle decisioning analytics, including risk-based segmentation, predictive scores, machine learning insights and mathematical optimization. The combination of the two creates a more satisfying customer experience, supporting higher resolution rates.     

More than a dialer, automated two-way dialogues across email, SMS, mobile apps, IVR and online sites become more powerful when driven by analytic strategies.  

Omnichannel implementation is fast. Probably faster than you think.

In terms of time-to-value, it’s one of the quickest, most powerful solutions you can implement, with high return on investment ratios. Four to eight weeks is typical for voice and email, and a bit longer when you include text, since it’s dependent on carriers providing short codes.

Surviving the pandemic is one challenge; navigating the waters for the rest of the decade is another. To learn how you can put a digital strategy in place that will help you do this, download Strategic Communication Initiatives That Can Save Your Business for the Next 90 Days and the Next Decade or contact me directly, at Michaelmagaard@fico.com.

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