ACA International revealed that there was “$12.07 trillion in outstanding consumer debt” and that “$672 billion of that debt is at some stage of delinquency” for the third quarter of 2016.
To put that number in terms of customers, 77 million people have delinquent debt. That’s 77 million people that collection agencies need to contact and get their debt resolved.
It seems it’s getting harder and harder to collect debts, and call center regulations aren’t making it any easier.
But collecting debt can be made easier using software for collections. This type of software allows customers to pay when they can and maximizes the productivity of agents.
Read on to discover how software for collections can help agencies close more delinquent debts.
Software for Collections that Increase Promises to Pay
If collections agencies want to settle more debts, they need tools that make the process simple, painless, and stress-free.
Below we list 5 pieces of collections software that allow agents and managers to more easily contact customers and collect debts.
Send Billing Text Messages Instead of Calls
We’re certain all collections agencies know this basic truth: people can be reluctant to take calls from debt collectors.
Using software like MobileSMS, agents can send billing messages to customers without ever having to speak with them (something customers usually appreciate). Of course, the text message comes with a callback number in case the customer does want to discuss details or arrangements with an agent.
With an unlimited amount of messages able to be sent to customers, collections agencies can send as many texts as they need and only pay for what they send.
And with the ability to send overdue payment notices directly to customers, collections agencies can now keep their customers on top of their debt without making awkward phone calls.
Send Billing Emails Instead of Calls
Some customers won’t want agents reaching out to them by phone at all.
Email sending software helps collections agencies ensure their message is delivered straight to the right recipient without being intrusive or spammy. So when agents need to send out overdue payment reminders or other notifications, it’s as simple as crafting a quick message, placing the links inside the email, and pressing send.
Emails are completely customizable, so if agencies want to send out a generic message they can. But they can also send highly personalized emails too, especially if that will make it more likely the customer will pay their bill.
Plus, email can be sent to anyone in any country instantly. So if agencies have customers all around the world, email software makes it easy to contact them and settle their debts.
Allow Customers to Pay Bills without Interacting with Agents
The third and final piece of software on this list allows customers to pay bills on their own without speaking to agents. It’s referred to as the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system.
If customers already have the phone number for their collection agency, they can call it up and instead of being transferred to an agent right away, they’ll interact with the IVR system.
The IVR provides callers with a menu of options. One of those options would be “pay your bill” or something similar. Customers can enter or speak the proper information to pay their own bills quickly and easily.
If customers don’t have the number for their collection agency, then the agency can email or text that number using the software we previously listed.
The beauty of a refined and well-constructed IVR is that if you give customers the options they want in a logical order, they can take care of the bills themselves, freeing up agents and collection centers to focus on other tasks.
Route Calls to Agents Who Are the Best at Closing Delinquent Accounts
Now, if customers absolutely must speak to someone, then collections agencies should pass that call onto someone who knows how to calmly communicate and encourage them to pay their debts.
That’s usually not the first agent available. Try software like Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) to route calls – it can send them to the agents best suited for managing tough customers.
Why hand off a customer to the first available agent when agencies can give them to the agent who will get the job done faster and more effectively? This is called skills-based routing and it’s a fantastic way to resolve customer issues quickly.
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