With a clear requirement to assess affordability, the challenge for organisations is to do this as quickly and effectively as possible.
Truly understanding a customer’s ability to repay is an in-depth process. Collections agents need to work with individuals to know how their earnings measure up to their disposable income and therefore assess their ability, or inability, to pay. Alongside these conversations, an accurate assessment of affordability should include analysis using both internal and external data sources. This ensures the most complete picture of a customer’s financial situation, from income verification to expenditure assessment.
As a result, should disposable income seem insufficient to cover repayments, alternative plans must be investigated. Furthermore, those identified as financially vulnerable should be offered the appropriate advice and support as soon as possible.
Four stages to streamlining affordability assessments
A streamlined affordability assessment process will allow you to protect your customers and ensure that they can really afford to make the proposed repayments:
1. Harness internal and external data
Check customer information against records from Debt Collection Agencies (DCAs) and other organisations to enhance customer service and streamline the completion of income and expenditure assessments.
2. Support more personalised interactions
Integrate customer contact details and preferences into your database to deliver more personalised offers for customers.
3. Save customers time
Deploy technology tools that help you pre-populate required fields for affordability assessments to streamline the process for customers, save time for collection agents and, as a result, reduce costs to the business.
4. Focus on the right customers
Access all the data you need to differentiate customers who won’t pay from those who can’t pay. Focus your efforts on those who can, but choose not to pay, in order to identify actionable recovery and recognise those in financial distress who may require a different course of action.
Why not download our recent collections whitepaper, addressing the top five challenges facing collections professionals today? Each challenge is coupled with a practical step-by-step guide to help you to optimise your collections strategy and deliver the best customer experience possible – for example see my previous blog about embracing digital collections.
To find out how our debt management products and consultancy services could help you to improve the customer experience while maximising business outcomes, please contact our collections team on 0844 481 5872 or email firstname.lastname@example.org