Treating customers fairly through the collections process

It has always been important to treat customers fairly, but never before has there been such a regulatory focus on customer centricity across all aspects of business.

 

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Past collections techniques – some of which may still be used to a greater or lesser degree – could be disproportionate or potentially threatening to customers. In previous years, these may have been ignored or simply frowned upon, but in today’s environment this now exposes organisations to regulatory risks and possible penalties.

So where do you start?

In reviewing your existing practices, there are many different aspects of the collections process that you could focus on. Below are four steps to get you started:

1. Get to know your customers
Are you utilising all the available information on your customers? You can use both internal and external data sources to understand their ability to pay and whether they have existing appointed representatives to manage their debts. This will help you to ensure that the products and services you offer meet their individual needs.

2. Review your customer communications
Now is the perfect time to conduct an in-depth review of your communications, to ensure that all content delivered to customers is consistent, timely, appropriate and non-threatening. Plan this kind of activity as part of your broader regulatory compliance initiatives.

3. Automate your processes
Could you automate key steps in the collections process to remove subjectivity and become more consistent and transparent? This will enable you to treat customers more fairly across all processes and communications, and focus resources accordingly.

4. Assess your working practices
Review your team’s current ways of working and provide all the training they need to ensure that face-to-face and verbal communications are clear and non-threatening.

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.

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 consumerinformation@uk.experian.com