Delivering a collections strategy that balances the needs of the customer with the needs of your business is essential in today's highly competitive collections environment. The increased number of customers involved in debt scenarios presents new challenges in terms of analysing and segmenting debt, and deciding on a strategy to pursue. It also presents new opportunities, driven by the following factors:
- Increased competition for share of disposable income between customers with multiple creditors
- The value of retaining current debtors as long term customers through service
It is the interactions of your collections teams with your customers that will drive your success in competing for repayments and in retaining loyalty. Ensuring your people have the right tools for the changing face of collections is more important than ever before.
Lloyds TSB Asset Finance wished to improve debt collection performance while also delivering a differentiated service.
Procter, the service division of Imparta, was retained to help develop a culture of doing what’s right for the business, the customer and each other in a challenging collections environment.
The remit included a proof of concept before roll-out, and the development of an internal resource to support the roll-out and ensure sustainability.
I was pleasantly surprised when a charming Scots girl treated me like I wasn’t a naughty child! They managed to take on board the fact that my situation was short term and set up my own payment plan to sort me out, she was polite and positive on the phone and left me determined to pay them ASAP.
- Co-design with advisers/managers to ensure collaboration and buy-in
- Interactions designed to support engagement and brand values
- Delivery style split between classroom and real world – building immediate credibility from early successes
- Ongoing coaching support
- Senior management commitment and executive coaching
- Relationship-focused dialogue – aiming for an end point that stops cases rolling over gains commitment and retains loyalty
- Alignment of management infrastructure and HR activities – redesigned recruitment, and induction with dynamic visual support
Procter research has shown that from a customer point of view success is measured in terms of how well collections teams are able to:
- Reassure me – have the confidence to have a natural, adult conversation with me and build a platform of trust that I am speaking to someone who is capable of helping me/providing value
- Relate to me – deal with me as an individual by adapting your communication style and questions to match my agenda in balance with the company's agenda
- Recommend/Resolve – have the credibility to shape the conversation to reflect a balanced agenda and provide me with solutions that work for me – and your organisation
Results: An increase of 80 promises per advisor