Customer ServiceNo one likes to track down the people who owe them money. It can be a tedious, time-consuming process that culminates in an uncomfortable confrontation. Needless to say it is a hated activity for staff in a variety of industries, including healthcare and financial institutions.

Luckily, there are tricks and resources available to make collections less painful and more successful. When the collections process is simplified and improved, organizations enjoy increased revenue, manpower, and resources available for other projects and tasks. And most likely a lot less grumbling from staff typically assigned the chore of conducting collection calls. Here are some easy-to-deploy fixes:

Call Automation

One of the main problems with collection calls is that they are often conducted manually by employees. This means valuable workers must set aside time out of their busy schedules to dial individual numbers, ask questions, or leave messages in voicemail boxes repeatedly until payments are received.

Many people identify certain numbers on caller ID to be collection calls and will avoid them if they cannot or do not want to make the payments at that time. This then prolongs the process of calling for collections.

Luckily automated voice broadcast technology is available to send phone messages out to a list of phone numbers without the need for staff to be involved. The phone messages can be personalized to each caller, providing them with reminders about the payment amounts s they owe, how delinquent their accounts are, and how best to submit the funds.

The automated solutions make it easy to interact with live recipients as well as leave unique messages when directed to a voicemail box. Users can schedule voice broadcasts to go out at key times of the day when recipients will likely be available to answer, and payments can be received. Easy as pie.

Transferring Calls to a Live Agent or IVR

Another tactic that can increase the efficiency of collection calls is to offer those who owe money more than one way to pay off the debt. Because phone calls are more efficient at reaching people and engaging discussions than other mediums such as email, it should go without saying that payments should be enabled via the phone.

After sending out a voice broadcast to recipients, callers can be connected to a variety of paths to make payments including online transfers or in-person payments. Alternative payment options should also include setting up a schedule for regular payments to chip away at accumulating debt within a set timeframe.
Voice broadcasts can connect call recipients with a live agent through an interactive voice response (IVR) system to answer questions and provide customer service. When an organization is flexible with payment options, customers may feel less threatened by the collection calls and more willing to set up a payment plan to quickly pay back all that is owed.

Record Keeping

To avoid costly errors and identify which strategies are improving collection call performance, be sure to implement reporting resources throughout the calls process. If you are sending out voice broadcasts, make sure to take advantage of the real-time reporting capabilities available that provide organizations with up-to-date, online data of how many messages have been sent, the response rate, and other pertinent information. When first establishing an effective collections voice broadcast, real-time reporting can help in:

  • Selecting the best time of day, or day of the week, to send out messages
  • Testing the greeting or other language used in different broadcasts
  • Tracking response rates or options selected by recipients
  • Analyzing how many calls were answered by a person versus a voicemail system

Based on the data reports, you can modify voice broadcast campaigns in real time as the results come in to ensure the optimal number of recipients are receiving messages and offered options to pay off debt. Numbers don’t lie, especially when it comes to money owed.

To learn more about the benefits of voice broadcasts and IVR, check out our “Definitive Guide to Automated IVR Phone Surveys.”