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

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February 22, 2024

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.

Compliance

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.


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