The Types of Messages That Consumers Are Most Likely to Respond To

Are individuals more likely to return a message if it is left by a man or a woman? If it asks the individual to call an toll-free number or a number that is in his or her own area code? If the tone of the message is friendly or stern?

Those are all questions that agencies should be asking themselves if they are leaving voicemails with consumers, either through phone calls or using services that offer DirectDrop Voicemails. Changing even the order of the sentences in a voicemail can have an impact on the rate of individuals who return the calls, said Todd Santa Maria, the president of VoApps in the latest episode of “Tech Bytes.”

Voicemails are going to play an even bigger role in collections following the release of the debt collection rule from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The CFPB’s debt collection rule includes provisions for allowing the use of a limited content message, which shares some information in order to try and procure a return call from the individual in question. The limited content message would not count as a communication under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Along with the limited content message, there are other types of voicemail messages that are most commonly left with individuals, based on the outcomes of legal rulings. But there are ways to tweak those messages to try and maximize the number of individuals who will return the message.

Santa Maria offers a number of different testing options, but says the most successful messages tend to be those that let the individuals know that the ball is in their court for them to decide if they want to call the agency back and talk about their options to repay the debt.

At the end of the day, agencies should keep “it relatively simple,” Santa Maria said. “Short enough that people will listen to it and be inspired to respond.”

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