Technology advances are quietly changing the face of the Collections industry and there are significant implications for organisations that don’t keep up with consumer demand and recognise the potential both financially and operationally.
Customer Service as it stands is a frustrating business and rarely achieves positive results. Do you remember the last time that you as a consumer went through an IVR filtering system, Press 1 for … Press 2 for ….. listened to music on-hold and felt satisfied by the experience?
The ‘as-is’ customer service function has been largely presevered by a generation that still remember going to public libraries, browsing rental films in a shop and going to a travel agent to book flights. Times have changed. Now 85% of access to customer service portals is from mobile phones. Consumers are demanding the here and now resolution to their queries and are no longer interested in making transactions by voice call. (Mark Gait Head of Customer Services – O2)
Gone are the days when companies can adequately serve their customers’ needs through elongated IVRs and off-shore call centres, often asking for the same information three or four times and/or multiple security questions that inevitably lead to the customer hanging up. Customer frustration is one thing, but what about the costs? From the servicer point of view, regulatory requirements have intensified over recent years increasing the length and complexity of customer calls, thus making the individual customer call one of the most expensive tools within the customer interaction toolkit.
It’s imperative that Collections organisations embrace the inevitable. In the next five to ten years, agent-led communication will no longer be the norm. The 20th century call centre model is evolving and must align itself with the needs of the consumer if they are to survive and be successful. As a business, you need to ensure that you don’t lose your customers by being the last servicer to adapt and engage with the new technology.