ARM Trends Survey

Sponsored By: Interactions

Click here to download a copy of the report.

How many contact center agents do you currently have in your organization?

The overwhelming majority of this survey’s respondents represented companies that had fewer than 100 collectors.

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The company I represent is:

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What Type of Debt Do You Collect?

Nearly one-quarter of the survey’s respondents indicated they collect medical debt, making it the most popular category of debt included in the survey. Personal loans were the next most popular category, followed by utility and telecom debt and government loans. Overall, nine different categories of debt were represented by the participants in the survey.

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How much time do you estimate your collectors spend on “non-revenue” driving activities, such as identifying and authenticating callers, reading required disclosures, removing wrong party contacts, etc.?

A collector who is not on the phone collecting is not making the agency any money. Keeping the amount of time spent on non-revenue activities to a minimum should be the focus of most collection agencies. More than half of the respondents said their agents, on average, spend between 0% and 25% of their time on non-revenue generation activities. Only 11% of respondents said their agents spend more than 50% of their time on such tasks.

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Which channel is currently the most effective, in your opinion?

Despite the growing popularity of digital communication channels like email and text messaging, phone calls continue to be the most effective channel for collecting debt, according to the survey’s respondents. Two-thirds of the survey’s participants listed the phone as the most effective collection channel, followed by text messaging and then email.

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Would you consider your company innovative and/or disruptive?

Collection agencies have ever been leading-edge adopters of technology, and often have to be dragged to updating their systems kicking and screaming. But, interestingly enough, more than half of the survey’s respondents said they would consider their companies to be disruptive in the marketplace, indicting an increased emphasis on using technology to help increase collections and productivity.

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How would consumers who interact with your company rate the customer experience?

Participants in the survey think that the customer service they are offering is top-notch. Nearly 84% of the respondents indicated that they think consumers would rate the customer service they were offered as a four or five out of five. Fourteen out of the remaining 16% gave themselves a three out of five.

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What pain points does your company face today?

The issues that agents have on the phone are the biggest pain point for companies in the accounts receivable management industry today. That includes dealing with wrong number or the wrong party answering the phone and the amount of time it takes to identify and verify the identity of an individual. Only after that does the high turnover rate among collection agents come in as a pain point.

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How familiar are you with conversational AI, chatbots, and/or virtual agents to automate collection calls?

Most of the companies in the accounts receivable management industry have heard of how artificial intelligence tools are being deployed by collection agencies. Less than 30% of the survey’s respondents said they were not very familiar with AI tools, such as chat bots and/or virtual agents.

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Please select the impact that each of the byproducts of the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the different factors.

Dealing with a remote workforce has been the most major shift for companies in the ARM industry, according to the survey’s participants. Nearly half of the respondents said that adjusting to employees working remotely has had a major impact on their operations. Dealing with an unexpected side in volume, especially during the initial months of the pandemic, was the business event that had the next-highest major impact.

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About Interactions:

Interactions Virtual Collection Agent (VCA) powered by Conversational AI increases payments and debt recovery without compromising customer experience. VCA is designed to meet the specific needs of the financial service space by always remaining compliant and providing negotiation capabilities.