November 14, 2023
November 14, 2023
Debt collection agencies invest time and resources in getting in touch with consumers. In theory, all it takes for a collector to speak with a consumer is to hit the call button, but in reality, it’s not that simple; oftentimes, the number is wrong, the consumer does not answer the phone, or the wrong person picks up the phone.
Connect rates and right-party contact rates are two metrics that significantly affect the outbound operations of a contact center—including a collection agency.
The connect rate measures the percentage of calls that are picked up over the total outbound calls initiated. The right-party contact rate is the percentage of calls in which an agent is able to connect with the target consumer, which could be either the debtor or a relative who has been given permission to handle the debt. Right-party contact (RPC) is the most accurate measure of the effectiveness of an agency’s outbound calling efforts.
In this article, we will explore how conversational voice AI technology can efficiently verify right-party contact, leading to significant time and cost savings for collection agencies.
|☎️ Factors that affect connect and right-party contact rates|
|❌ Wrong number|
|⛔️ Busy line|
|💬 No answer|
|🙅🏽♀️ Wrong party answers the phone|
Collectors know it very well: reaching consumers can be tricky.
Given the limitations imposed by the TCPA and the FDCPA, collectors can’t call debtors at any given time of the day. While timing is everything, even a well-staffed agency can only contact consumers so many times in order to reach them, as the number of available collectors is limited and you don’t want them to spend too much time trying to reach the same numbers too often.
Right-party contact can be a serious challenge for collection agencies. Collectors (and their managers) want to spend as much time as possible actually speaking to consumers and collecting payments — and as little time as possible trying to reach people on the phone. Calls not resulting in RPC don’t lead to a collection and result in an overall waste of resources.
This is where automation and artificial intelligence come into play.
With rising costs, staffing challenges, and shrinking margins, accounts receivables companies are looking at digital transformation and automation as valid solutions to their operational challenges.
Contact centers in all industries have been relying on automatic dialing systems (or auto dialer software) for decades. These systems make the dialing process faster and easier, boosting agent productivity; in addition to queueing calls and dialing the target number automatically, they also screen out inactive numbers, busy lines, and answering machines, drastically improving the contact center’s connect rate.
But what about right-party contact?
Once the collector reaches a person on the phone, they must establish whether the person they are speaking to is the right party (the consumer or debtor) or not. The right party could also be a third party (a person authorized to handle the debt or an attorney representing the debtor). This process can take a few minutes.
A conversational voice AI solution like Skit.ai can handle the actual call — rather than just the dialing process.
Once someone picks up the phone, the voice AI solution confirms right-party contact and authenticates the consumer through SSN, DOB, or zip code; it then engages with the debtor, offering ways to pay off their debt. If needed, the solution will negotiate a payment plan or transfer the call to a live agent, who can assist with more complex queries.
The entire process is faster and cheaper, and allows the collection agency to save on resources, enabling live agents to focus on more complex calls and engage with consumers who are already authenticated. Below, you can see a step-by-step summary of how Skit.ai’s voice AI solution handles a debt collection call:
Are you interested in learning how voice AI can transform your collection agency’s results? Schedule a call with one of Skit.ai’s experts using the chat tool below.
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