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What Is Call Automation and How Can It Impact Debt Collections?

Simone Somekh

October 13, 2022

Let’s face it: third-party debt collection agencies often sit on high-volume portfolios of accounts, as they lack the capabilities and resources to contact all debtors. Ultimately, some agencies give up on reaching all those accounts, focusing solely on the larger ones.

ARM companies usually acquire thousands of new accounts each month, but many of those accounts might be left untouched due to the lack of bandwidth. For each account, collectors need to establish right-party contact (RPC), remind the customer of their outstanding balance, and offer ways to help them pay off their debt. More often than not, customers are not available right away, and the collector has to call them back at a different time. It’s not an easy job!

What if I told you that you could automate this entire process?

Yes, you heard that right. A conversational Voice AI solution can handle your collection calls on your behalf. Think Siri or Alexa, but for collections.

What Is Call Automation?

Contact centers in all industries — from banking to e-commerce and, of course, the ARM (Accounts Receivable Management) industry — are turning to automation as a strategy to overcome the challenges of managing both inbound and outbound calls with customers. While there are a variety of software applications out there, conversational AI technologies are booming right now. These tools are capable of handling conversations with customers without the need for any human intervention.

Gartner predicts that conversational artificial intelligence will reduce agent labor costs in contact centers by $80 billion within the next four years.

Voice AI technologies may sound “new” to you today, but they are set to become the industry standard in the collections and payments space within a few years. Early adopters will likely reap the benefits as they’ll be ahead of the learning curve.

When they hear “call automation,” many people tend to think about IVR (interactive voice response) technology. Think, “To make a payment, press 1…” In recent years, voice automation has significantly evolved with the emergence of conversational Voice AI, which is a more sophisticated technology than IVR.

A Digital Voice Agent (read: voicebot) can handle a human-feeling and effective two-way conversation with a customer, answering questions and providing context-specific information.

When integrated with your collection management software, the Digital Voice Agent can reach your customers, remind them of their outstanding balances, and offer them ways to pay via select payment gateways.

Learn more: What to Look for When Purchasing a Voice AI Solution for Debt Collections

How Does an Automated Collection Call Sound Like?

Are you curious to hear what an automated outbound collection sounds like? Here’s a demo of Skit.ai’s Digital Voice Agent calling a debtor to remind them of their due balance and collect the payment:

The Voice AI platform follows these steps:

  1. Triggers the outbound call based on pre-determined criteria
  2. Establishes contact with the customer (RPC) and reminds them about the payment
  3. Collects propensity data and reasons for potential non-payment
  4. If the customer is interested in making the payment right away, the Digital Voice Agent guides them through the process via a payment gateway
  5. Persuades the customer to pay at the earliest, or offers alternate payment plans
  6. Feeds data to the CMS (collection management software) and provides analytics for further action
  7. Performs auto-callback on request, auto-retries, hot transfer to agent

Is an AI-Powered Collector Compliant?

Compliance is one of the most common pain points for those who manage debt collections. There are so many regulations at both federal and state levels, and it’s common for consumers to file lawsuits against ARM companies, which can amount to major expenses on the agency’s part. Additionally, regulations often change, and collectors sometimes struggle to keep up with the new changes.

It’s actually easier to ensure that an AI-powered collector is fully compliant with local laws and regulations related to collections and phone calls. This is because a Digital Voice Agent:

  • never goes off-script
  • only calls customers at permitted times
  • always honors do-not-call registries
  • never resorts to threats or aggressive language

Dive deeper: Meeting Debt Collection Compliance With AI-Powered Digital Voice Agents

If you want to learn more about call automation for collections and payments, schedule a call with one of our experts or use the chat tool below.


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