Hello! Welcome to Skit.ai. Click here to book a demo.

Blog

Frictionless Debt Collection with Multichannel Conversational AI

Shrutidhara Kakoti

April 19, 2024

Multichannel Conversational AI

Collecting delinquent debts from consumers has always been challenging for collection agencies, whether first- or third-party. Traditional debt collection methods often involve managing numerous accounts manually, which can be unreliable and lead to inefficiencies, delays, and customer dissatisfaction.

However, with the emergence of conversational AI automation, debt collection processes are undergoing a transformative shift. AI-powered multichannel communications is emerging as a powerful solution for the accounts receivables industry, offering a streamlined and compliant debt recovery process with an enhanced consumer experience.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the ongoing shift toward multichannel communication and the impact these new tools have already had on many collection agencies.

What Is the Problem with Traditional Debt Collection Practices?

Traditional debt collection practices are slow and tedious. Most often they result in inefficiencies and delays. These methods lack flexibility and adaptability, hindering agents’ ability to address unique debtor situations effectively. Moreover, the manual nature of these practices increases the risk of errors and inaccuracies, further prolonging the debt collection process.

Diversified Communication Channels Are Essential

In today’s digital world, consumers expect and appreciate the flexibility to communicate through various channels according to their preferences. Offering multiple communication options not only enhances engagement but also caters to diverse consumer needs and preferences. For instance, some consumers may prefer only text messages or email communication for convenience, while others may only prefer phone calls.

Compliance Constraints Impact Engagement

Compliance regulations play a crucial role in debt collection practices, governing the frequency and manner in which collection agencies can contact consumers. Strict adherence to compliance guidelines is essential to avoid legal repercussions and maintain consumer trust.

However, compliance constraints can limit consumer outreach frequency, reducing engagement opportunities and debt recovery. 

Missed Payment Opportunities Due to Limited Agent Availability

The availability of agents is a critical factor in debt collection operations. However, agents cannot be available round-the-clock to address consumer queries and concerns. As a result, collection agencies may miss out on payment opportunities when consumers reach out for assistance during off-hours or weekends. 

Elevated Collection Costs

Traditional debt collection methods often incur high operational costs due to extensive manual processes and resource-intensive workflows. These costs include expenses related to manpower, infrastructure, training, and compliance. High attrition rates further exacerbate operational challenges, as collection agencies must invest in recruiting and training new agents to maintain workforce consistency. Non-compliance with regulatory requirements can result in hefty fines and penalties, adding to financial burdens.

Understanding Debt Collection With Conversational AI

Automated debt collection involves using conversational AI software to contact consumers (inbound or outbound) and optimize debt collection at various stages. Organizations can automate numerous stages of debt collection such as consumer outreach, right-party contact verification, payment reminders, negotiation, on-call payments, follow-ups, and answering queries; with conversational AI.

This can help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of debt collection processes, leading to better financial outcomes for the organization and the customers.

What Is Multichannel Conversational AI?

Multichannel communication is a critical component of automating debt collections through AI. Multichannel communication refers to the use of multiple channels, such as email, SMS, phone calls, and webchat, by collection agencies to engage with debtors. By utilizing multiple channels, AI-driven systems can effectively reach debtors, providing convenient avenues for them to address and resolve their outstanding debts. 

This multichannel approach caters to consumer preferences by offering a range of communication options, ensuring that each consumer can engage using their preferred channel. Furthermore, this strategy is context-based, meaning consumers can seamlessly switch between channels without losing the context of their previous interactions.

How Does Multichannel Conversational AI Help in Debt Collection?

The debt collection software market has been growing steadily, with most agencies adopting conversational AI to automate their processes and become more efficient while reducing collection costs. The debt collection software industry is expected to reach USD 2045.6 million by 2030. The industry is also anticipated to see further growth with a CAGR of 9.2% in the near future, especially with the emergence of LLMs (large language models) like ChatGPT.

Tailoring Communication to Preferred Channels for Increased Engagement

Reaching debtors through their preferred mode of communication ensures personalized interaction. Understanding that not everyone may be available for phone calls, leveraging various channels allows agencies to effectively engage consumers in ways that resonate with them. This becomes particularly relevant in the wake of the digital shift witnessed post-COVID-19. Embracing multichannel communication expands opportunities for engagement, aligning with evolving consumer behaviors and preferences.

According to a case study by Salesforce, a debt collection agency achieved a 12% increase in its collection rate by implementing personalized communication strategies tailored to customer personas. AI algorithms, debtor data, and consumer behavior are analyzed to customize communication approaches. 

Improved Collections with Enhanced CX

Agencies increase contact rates and engagement levels by leveraging multiple communication channels. This improved communication in turn fosters a positive customer experience, as debtors receive timely resolutions and responses. Enhanced customer experience facilitates debt resolution and strengthens the agency’s reputation and customer relationships.

Compliance and Risk Mitigation

Utilizing a multichannel approach for debt collection not only promotes efficiency and effectiveness but also helps businesses comply with evolving regulations in a fast-changing industry. Every communication is documented and traceable and remains within regulatory limits with centralized consumer interactions.

Agencies can stay compliant in many ways with the multichannel approach for communication with consumers. For instance, the 7-in-7 rule mandates that debt collectors cannot contact consumers more than seven times within seven consecutive days. Similarly, the Mini Miranda rule stipulates that collectors must disclose their identity and the purpose of their communication during contact. 

Agencies can drive campaigns through various channels, stay compliant with these laws, or even efficiently track and regulate outreach frequencies with each consumer.

Managing Inbound Queries and Ensuring 24/7 Availability

Multichannel communication ensures that consumer queries are promptly addressed whenever they reach out be it on weekends or after work hours. Whether it pertains to payments or other inquiries, AI software can answer consumer queries, ensuring zero wait times and seizing every collection opportunity. Chat options provide consumers with a self-serve menu, enabling them to address basic FAQs and clarify queries easily.

Cost of Collection

Multichannel conversational AI significantly reduces the cost of collection by streamlining workflows, optimizing agent bandwidth, and minimizing manual intervention. By automating repetitive tasks and leveraging multiple communication channels, AI-driven software enhances operational efficiency and reduces overhead costs associated with debt collection processes.

The Impact of Multichannel Conversational AI Automation on Debt Collection

Collection agencies have observed significant impacts on their collections through multichannel conversational AI.

Conclusion

Automated multichannel conversational AI represents a shift in debt collection practices, offering agencies the tools and capabilities to streamline processes, enhance customer experiences, and drive better outcomes. 

Agencies can achieve higher contact rates, personalized interactions, and improved efficiency, ultimately leading to faster debt recovery and increased profitability; by leveraging AI-powered systems to automate communication across multiple channels. As the debt collection landscape evolves, organizations embracing multichannel conversational AI will position themselves for long-term success.


Resources

Blog

How Multichannel Conversational AI Can Reduce Collection Cost

What is Multichannel Conversational AI in Debt Collection? Multichannel Conversational AI automates interactions across various communication channels—such as voice, text, chat, and email—to engage with consumers through their preferred mode of communication and assist them in resolving their debt. This significantly improves the consumer experience throughout the recovery journey. Consumers can seamlessly switch between channels […]

Learn More
Blog

Contain BHPH Delinquencies with Multiple Follow-Ups

Buy Here, Pay Here car dealerships need to reach all of their active customers frequently and effectively. Conversational AI can help them do so in a scalable and cost-effective way. Artificial intelligence is transforming the way car dealerships communicate with borrowers. Thanks to the use of interactive virtual assistants, dealerships are now able to automate […]

Learn More