An interesting story from the land Down Under, where a collection agency that has banned its employees from using the word “debtor” and specializes in communicating with individuals via emails and WhatsApp has raised $14 million in venture capital.
The company, called InDebted, is jumping on the machine learning train and using technology to “humanize the way clients interact with customers who owe money,” according to a published report.
Noting that the customer experience has never really been a focus for the collections industry, the entrepreneurs behind InDebted are aiming to turn that notion on its head, the company contacts “customers the way that their history with our clients tells us they want to be contacted,” said Joshua Foreman, the company’s founder.
To keep employees from using the word “debtor,” Foreman said the company used to have a swear jar that employees had to put money in any time they accidentally used the word in the office.
By using email and WhatsApp messages, Foreman said the company has lowered the costs of operating a collection agency, including not needing the large call center that is usually the backbone of a collection operation. Foreman said the company’s collection rates are 43% higher than the industry average.
“The collections industry has such a bad reputation globally that it took a bit of time to really understand what Josh and InDebted were doing,” said Carthona Capital partner Dean Dorrell, one of the investors behind the $14 million injection into the company. “By understanding that it is a customer problem to be solved … and solving those problems in a convenient, legal and empathetic way, InDebted has led a complete revolution of the industry.”