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The Role of Conversational AI for Calls and Email in Commercial Debt Collections

In the high-stakes world of commercial (B2B) debt collections, where high call volumes and rising staffing costs are common challenges, the integration of AI-powered technology can be a game-changer for collection agencies. Here’s where Conversational AI—in the forms of multichannel automation, including voice, email, and text—can transform a business’ recovery prospects. This technology can enhance agent productivity, streamline operations, and significantly improve customer satisfaction.

In this article, we’ll explore the power and potential of Conversational AI automation for B2B collections and how you can leverage this technology to optimize every step of your recovery efforts.

Understanding Agent Challenges in Commercial Debt Collections

Collection agencies servicing commercial debts typically face several staffing-related challenges:

Staffing Costs: Recruiting, hiring, training, and retaining talented agents is not easy, and certainly not cheap. The costs associated with maintaining a robust workforce to handle calls and pursue collections represent a significant portion of an agency’s operational expenses. In a competitive market, these costs can easily eat into profit margins.

High Call Volumes: Commercial collection agencies endure a relentless stream of outbound calls, each call representing an opportunity to engage with the debtor and move toward a resolution. Agents tend to be overwhelmed by the high number of calls they are expected to place, leading to burnout and decreased productivity.

Persistent Follow-ups: Successful debt recovery often hinges on persistent follow-ups, a business imperative for the recovery strategy. The process typically requires multiple contact attempts before a resolution can be reached; persistent follow-ups require significant staffing resources and capabilities.

Compliance: The collections regulatory environment is fast-evolving and not always easy to navigate. Staff needs to be regularly trained and updated on laws and regulations, an effort that adds another layer of complexity to the agents’ jobs. Even in commercial collections, where fewer regulations are at play, collectors want to commit to the most ethical practices.

The Rising Role of Conversational AI in the Accounts Receivables Sector

AI has been the talk of the town in virtually every industry, and the accounts receivables space is no different. The challenges we outlined in the previous section make automation with artificial intelligence, Conversational AI in particular, an obvious solution for collection companies and lenders handling all types of debt—including commercial debt.

Industry-leading agencies have adopted Conversational AI, such as Voice AI, to automate interactions with consumers, accelerating recoveries and reducing costs. Whether these interactions take place over the phone or via email, Conversational AI can handle them end-to-end.

The benefits of Conversational AI go beyond those of the collection agency as a business, but significantly improve the agent experience as well. By automating repetitive and tedious calls and tasks, agents can focus on more rewarding or complex scenarios. Additionally, agents can focus on call transfers from the Voice AI solution.

Voice AI refers to the use of Interactive Voice Assistants or voicebots to initiate and handle outbound or inbound calls. In the context of collections, a Voice AI solution can handle collection calls from start to finish—from identifying the end-user to providing information on the due balance to collecting the payment on- or off-call. Powered by Generative AI, Skit.ai’s voicebots can handle multi-turn, two-way, intelligent conversations with consumers.

Conversational AI represents a significant leap in the efficacy of conversational interfaces. By leveraging the power of natural language processing and machine learning, these systems hold conversations that are just as good as your average agent’s conversations.

AI-driven systems do not just handle repetitive tasks; they also progress through call scripts and collections processes logically and methodically, ensuring that no detail is overlooked and that customers receive a consistent and polished interaction.

The Importance of Email Automation in a Multichannel Strategy

AI-powered email automation, when synergized with Voice AI, creates a comprehensive collection approach that extends beyond mere telephony. It casts a wider net for customer engagement and offers a structured, multimodal avenue for debt resolution. Skit.ai’s multichannel platform relies on the synergic utilization of multiple channels, without losing the context from one interaction to the other regardless of the channel.

Here are some benefits of incorporating email automation into your recovery strategy:

Timely and Cohesive Communications: Emails are scheduled and dispatched at opportune moments, complementing the call strategy to create a seamless and unrelenting push towards recovery. This synchronization significantly improves message retention and customer response rates.

Tailored Messaging: With email automation, each message is curated to resonate with the customer’s unique situation and history, engendering a sense of personal and purposeful outreach that traditional email blasts simply cannot replicate.

Customer Convenience: The inclusion of payment links in emails provides a user-friendly payment method, optimizing the customer’s experience and increasing the likelihood of prompt settlements.

Combining Voice and Email AI Automation for Optimal Results

Let’s see a sample collection workflow that combines voice and email automation, as done by one of Skit.ai’s clients. When the agency receives an email from a debtor, an automated call can be triggered, which can be easily transferred to one of your live agents for a quick resolution.

Email bot / Email Automation: A personalized email is triggered including a link to a secure payment portal. 

Voicebot / Voice Automation: The voiciebot can initiate and handle thousands of compliant, simultaneous calls to different debtors. On the call, the voicebot can verify the user’s identity and provide the necessary information on the debt. The voicebot can answer questions, capture promise-to-pay (PTP), process payments, or negotiate settlements as needed.

Live Transfers: When needed, the voicebot can easily transfer the call to a live agent, who can collect the payment or capture a promise-to-pay (PTP).

The Results Our Clients Have Achieved

Our clients have reported remarkable success using our multichannel platform.

For the email bot, they experienced an open rate of up to 40% and a payment rate of up to 7.5%. Both metrics varied based on age and type of debt.

With the Voice AI solution synched with the email bot, our clients experienced 100% account penetration and a connectivity rate of 13%. The solution enabled them to save their agents’ time by up to 50% and boost their agents’ productivity by 25%.

Are you interested in learning how Skit.ai’s multichannel solution for collections can benefit your business? Use the chat tool below to schedule a meeting with one of our experts.

The Advantages of an AI-powered Two-way SMS Conversations over One-way SMS

In the debt collection industry, where effective communication is paramount, adopting innovative technologies like two-way SMS AI bots can revolutionize your approach. Traditional methods, such as one-way text blasts, may have their merits, but the advantages of a two-way texting service are increasingly apparent.

While recognizing the fact that, for effective collection, each communication channel is here to stay, what is important to realize is that each channel undergoes a natural evolution toward enhancement. Take voice communication, for instance, which has progressed from manual dialing to predictive dialing and eventually embraced AI-voice agents for automated consumer interactions.

While SMS has traditionally served as a tool for one-way communication, technological advancements highlight significant potential for improvement. Globally, companies are now shifting from conventional one-way SMS blasts to more intelligent and interactive two-way SMS communication.

In this article, our aim is to explore the evolution occurring within the SMS/text channel. We’ll delve into the differences between the established method of one-way blasts and the emerging trend of two-way messaging. Through this exploration, we aim to provide insight into the functionalities of each approach, offering valuable perspectives for businesses navigating their communication strategies.

Use Cases for One-way SMS

One-way SMS have their place.

One way SMS blast has been historically used to send messages to a large audience at once without expecting or attending to any response to the communication and mainly used the channel as a reminder. This is typically helpful in a use-case where you don’t need any response or the cost of not responding is not too high and is used for record-keeping. For example, the one-way SMS is good for relaying transaction information back to the consumer after they make the payment. 

The Limitations of One-way SMS 

However, these one-way blasts lack potential for the collection use case. With one-way messages, we expect debtors to pay (often when they are not yet ready). Consumers who are not prepared to pay can’t ask questions or respond in any other way but click a link or ignore the text or call a number back.

For debt collection, the intention is to get some action from the consumer and move them closer to the payment. One-way SMS is not effective here as it does not recognize and respond to the consumers seeking help.

As such, the only way to measure ROI with one-way text messaging is to count clicks and opt-puts. But a two-way texting service offers you another way to measure ROI – engagement.

The Evolution of Two-Way SMS Conversations

Initially, companies used two-way text messaging to engage consumers directly, but the manual nature of responding to each message proved time-consuming. However, the integration of AI in two-way messaging has transformed the landscape, allowing for automated responses and significantly reducing the burden on the floor collection teams.

The Paradigm Shift: Two-Way SMS AI Bots

Enter two-way SMS messaging with AI-driven capabilities—a game-changer for debt collection agencies. Unlike one-way blasts that focus solely on pushing information, two-way SMS allows consumers to engage in a more conversational manner, akin to texting a friend.

These AI bots enable consumers to ask questions, seek clarifications, or discuss potential payment plans directly through text messages.

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Shifting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): From Transactions to Engagement

In contrast to the limited choices consumers have with one-way messages—pay, ignore, or opt-out—two-way SMS AI bots introduce a broader spectrum of interactions. consumers can not only make payments but also inquire about their outstanding balance, discuss financial hardships, or negotiate payment terms. This shift in KPIs from transactions to engagement offers debt collection agencies a more comprehensive measure of success.


We’ve integrated SMS into our comprehensive omni-channel compliance layer, ensuring cross-channel compliance. Our AI capabilities enable the bot to discern intent, eliminating the reliance on the traditional OPT-OUT keyword typically used in one-way SMS blasts. This enhances compliance beyond the standard SMS blast approach.

Important Assessment Criteria

Although numerous vendors provide 2-way SMS conversation bots, companies should assess services based on their conversational capabilities. Consumers favor systems that offer more flexibility in conversation, as opposed to restrictive ones that limit responses to specific keywords. Imagine being constrained to respond using only predefined terms.

Two-way SMS AI bots empower debt collection agencies to achieve long-term ROI by not only facilitating payments but also addressing consumer concerns, gathering feedback, and enhancing overall customer satisfaction. The ability to retain consumer engagement over time opens avenues for targeted communications, promotions, and personalized interactions.

In Conclusion

While one-way text blasts have their place in debt collection, embracing the potential of two-way SMS AI bots is crucial for staying competitive and maximizing results. Authentic engagement, powered by AI-driven conversations, holds the key to fostering positive consumer relationships and achieving sustainable success in the debt collection industry.

Mail us at info@skit.ai to book a demo or learn more about Skit.ai’s Conversational AI solutions.

How Can You Reduce High Delinquencies with Voice AI?

Delinquency rates are on the rise again. While this may have been the perception of many collections professionals over the past few months, the data published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data in February 2024 confirms it.

During the last quarter of 2023, the total household debt in the U.S. increased by $212 billion (+1.2%). This can be attributed to the rise in balances for multiple types of debt, including:

  • Mortgage balances increased by $112 billion from the previous quarter.
  • Credit card balances increased by $50 billion (+4.6%).
  • Auto loan balances increased by $12 billion, standing at $1.61 trillion.

As a consequence, delinquency rates have been rising in Q4, with 3.1% of outstanding debt in delinquency at the end of the year.

Delinquencies have been consistently increasing among most types of debt; notably, credit card delinquencies have been rising among younger borrowers. Collection agencies now need to compete with multiple entities to recover payments from consumers, and their communication strategy is key.

What Does the Rise in Delinquencies Mean for Collection Agencies?

The rise in delinquencies signifies a challenging period for collection agencies, as they must navigate an environment where consumers are juggling multiple debts. This increase in late payments can lead to a heavier workload and the need for more resources as agencies attempt to manage an expanding portfolio of delinquent accounts.

With more accounts falling into delinquency, the probability of successful debt recovery diminishes without the adoption of efficient and strategic collection practices. Additionally, with the escalation of competition for repayments among different creditors, collection agencies are compelled to refine their approach to ensure they stand out and effectively reach consumers.

For collection agencies, this uptick in delinquencies also represents an urgent call to innovate and adopt newer technologies. Traditional methods of recovery, through letters and manual calling, no longer suffice in the face of evolving consumer behaviors. That’s where AI comes into play.

How Conversational Voice AI Can Reduce Delinquencies

Conversational Voice AI consists of the utilization of voicebots or Interactive Voice Assistants to automate collection phone calls. The benefits of using Voice AI are many: 

Personalization: Interactive Voice Assistants offer a personalized and responsive interaction with consumers. The Voice AI solution addresses the consumer by name and knows the necessary contextual information on the due balance, the original creditor, and more.

End-to-End Automation: Voice AI can handle collection calls from start to finish: establishing right-party contact (RPC), providing information on the outstanding balance, answering questions, capturing promise-to-pay, taking payments on-call, and also transferring the call to a live agent whenever necessary.

Scalability and Account Penetration: A high delinquency rate means that agencies have more accounts to contact. This can be challenging in terms of staffing, since you can’t tap into unlimited staffing resources no matter how large your agency is. AI is infinitely scalable, and enables you to penetrate thousands of accounts within minutes.

Reach Younger Consumers: As we explained earlier, credit card delinquencies have been rising among younger borrowers. Younger consumers tend to prefer to interact with voicebots and chatbots rather than human collectors—and are unlikely to respond to a print letter. Meet young consumers where they are—with the latest technology.

Is It Difficult to Adopt a Voice AI Solution?

The short answer is: no.

No IT staff needed: The adoption of Skit.ai’s Voice AI platform is fast, easy, and painless, not requiring any specialized IT staff on the agency’s end. Our team helps you set up the platform according to the type of campaigns you’re running and the type of debt you’re servicing.

Preset compliance filters: The platform is already preset with all the applicable compliance filters at the federal and state levels, ensuring that calling times and frequency are programmed to be fully compliant.

Go live in 48 hours: You can easily share your first campaign data via a simple flat-file transfer, and you’ll be able to go live in less than 48 hours.

Consumption-based pricing: The pricing model is consumption-based, so you pay for the minutes you use.

Are you ready to take the leap, or do you want to learn more about our solution? Schedule a call with one of our experts using the chat tool below.

Discovering Conversational Voice AI’s Impact on Creditors’ Rights Law Firms

Debt collection is a notoriously difficult task—and law firms specializing in this field are no exception to that rule.

Creditors’ rights law firms involved in collections frequently face obstacles such as compliance with ever-changing regulations, account penetration, staffing challenges, and the high costs associated with collections. As a consequence, these firms are increasingly looking towards innovative solutions to streamline their operations, making them not only more efficient but also more cost-effective.

The field of legal collections is complex and ever-evolving, and just like other segments of the accounts receivables industry, it’s quickly catching up with technology, particularly the use of artificial intelligence. In this article, we’ll explore the use of Conversational Voice AI for legal collections, a booming technology that will likely become an industry standard.

Investing in AI Technologies for Collections and Beyond

Investing in AI technologies is not just a trend—it’s a strategic move that can significantly transform the collections process.

AI-driven solutions like machine learning, natural language processing, and automation have been gaining significant traction among law firms and collections agencies. These technologies are capable of analyzing large datasets to identify trends, predict payment behaviors, and personalize communication strategies.

Most notably, the introduction of Conversational Voice AI has revolutionized the debt collection industry, with Skit.ai emerging as the industry’s leading provider of this type of technology. Voice AI enables organizations to automate phone interactions with consumers, streamlining and accelerating the entire collection process.

This development ushers a new era of efficiency, personalization, cost-effectiveness, and customer satisfaction.

Here are some of the most common challenges faced by creditors’ rights law firms:

Regulatory Compliance: Law firms and agencies are the most careful and well-informed when it comes to complying with laws and regulations, including the TCPA, FDCPA, and Reg F.

Staffing: Collecting in-house requires hiring and retaining full-time staff, including legal assistants and live transfer agents, which is costly and time-consuming.

Outsourcing: Outsourcing collections to a third-party agency is a common practice, yet it’s an expensive option for law firms.

Call Volume: Maximizing the number of consumers reached, known as account penetration, can be a pain point that some companies end up compromising on, especially when dealing with hundreds of thousands of accounts.

Time and Resources: The last calling attempts before pursuing legal action cost time and resources, including establishing right-party contact (RPC).

What Is Voice AI and How Does It Work?

Conversational Voice AI is a sophisticated technology that simulates human-like conversations with consumers. It combines natural language processing (NLP), machine learning (ML), and speech recognition technologies to effectively interact with consumers in a natural-sounding and fluent manner.

Voice AI enables companies to automate thousands of consumer interactions within minutes at a fraction of the cost of a traditional collection call. Collection agencies have been relying on this solution for both outbound and inbound collection calls, successfully cutting costs and accelerating the recovery process.

This technology must not be confused with an IVR system. An IVR forces users to listen to lengthy menus that are mostly irrelevant. Research has consistently shown that IVRs are not popular among consumers. Unlike IVR, an AI-powered solution like Skit.ai handles intelligent, personalized, and effective conversations with consumers, eliminating wait times and cutting costs.

Skit.ai’s solution is fully compliant with all laws and regulations at the federal and state levels related to debt collection, including the TCPA, FCDCPA, and Reg F. Additionally, we also adhere to a stringent data privacy policy.

The adoption of Voice AI is incredibly smooth and efficient. Many of our clients experience a seamless integration, going live with the solution in less than 48 hours. This rapid deployment enables you to start collecting immediately, requiring minimal effort and eliminating the need for specialized IT personnel.

Here’s what one of Skit.ai’s clients has said about us: “Skit.ai’s technology has proved very effective. The platform smoothly integrated with our payment gateways, effortlessly handled high call volumes, and strictly adhered to compliance standards. Consumers have begun to prefer interacting with the Voice AI solution, marking an improvement in the overall consumer experience.”

Are you curious about how Conversational AI can streamline your collection efforts? Use the chat tool below to schedule an appointment with one of our experts!