There are so many ways for collectors to try and get in touch with consumers today, and that creates a lot of opportunity, but also a lot of anxiety. Those anxieties need to be managed and overcome, however, because, even though collectors have more ways to get in touch with consumers, actually getting a consumer on the phone is as tough as ever. Those other communication tools, such a DirectDrop voicemail, email, and text messages, are becoming lifelines to help companies in the accounts receivable management industry reach consumers. It may sound counter-intuitive, but other communication channels can help improve an agency’s right-party contact rate.
That was the subject of a conversation with Todd Santa Maria, the president of VoApps during the debut episode of “Tech Bytes,” a new video series aimed at helping companies in the ARM industry better understand the technology that is available to them, and how it can make them more efficient and productive.
The new communication channels available to companies in the ARM industry “are a way of letting the consumer know, ‘Hey, when when you’re ready to speak, we’re here to talk to you.’ ” Santa Maria said. “You put the ball in their court … You’re allowing them to respond when they can, and when they are ready. So hopefully they’ve gathered up their papers, they’re looking at their bank account or the itemization of the charges that they need to pay, and can call back at the time that they’re more likely to resolve.”
Using alternative communication channels beyond phone calls and letters is going to become increasingly important with the release of the debt collection rule from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. While not only explicitly allowing the use of other communication tools to reach out to individuals, the rule limits how many calls and conversations a collector can have with an individual.
Every communication attempt has “to be impactful because of the limits that they’re aiming to put on that,” Santa Maria said. “And all of these new technologies, really what you want to do is you want to vary it. I think that our clients, this is all anecdotal, because we only have visibility into our own technology and how it works, but most of our clients that use a lot of these methods, if you alternate between them, or move through a progression in your contact strategy, you’re going to find the way that these individual consumers want to be communicated with shows a consideration on the part of the agency — we want to meet you how you want to be communicated with, whether that’s by text, whether I would rather keep it to email, or just let me know when you want to talk.”