Current debt collections procedures often produce small returns on investment in large call centres, exacerbated by SMS costs, and protracted action plans.

“Looking at the collections cascade from probability of contact to probability of payment, right-party-connect (RPC) is a direct result of the integrity of available data,” says Gabi Strijp, MD of iLiveIt, a leading customer communications management services company. “For many organisations, this presents the biggest stumbling block.

“Some of the available stats cite penetration rates of less than 0,5% of all calls made, making it an expensive option. This is often because calls are intrusive and embarrassing, and customers increasingly use spam filtering apps to block these calls. RPC of close to 100% is achievable with mobile contact details, because for as long as the line is active, you have an available contact channel,” she says.

iLiveIt, provides enterprises with hyper-personalised, automated Customer Communications Management with services and solutions designed to personalise communication across a wide spectrum of touch-points in virtually any form or channel cost-efficiently at scale.

Collections are particularly challenging for many credit organisations. “If you are swimming in customer data but unsure how to leverage it, we can work with you to personalise your campaigns and communication programs to be composed and delivered dynamically at scale using business intelligence rules triggered by insights held with in historical, real-time or contextual customer data.

“Personalisation occurs rapidly and dynamically at scale in many and versatile ways,” says Strijp

For example, and in the case of collections, some of the proven methods are:

* We create journey maps by debtor profile and/or segment and devise a targeted treatment plan accordingly. By placing debtors in these buckets, you can automate by, for example, choosing the type and time appropriate to the segment (voiceover personalised video MMS for low value, low literacy), time of comms (e.g. higher RPC 10am -5pm for customers 40 years+, peak 12;00 -14:00), tailored Call-to-Action : click to call, click for call back, USSD etc, thereby driving positive engagement.

* Tailor messaging according to where the customer is in their collections’ lifecycle. E.g. pre- soft lock, 30 days etc.

* By using unobtrusive channels – integrated omni-channel, as described in the examples above, if necessary.

* Building trust using 2-factor identification for authentication via OTP.

* Use of engaging, non-threatening copy and lay-out (obviously within the constraints dictated by legal and regulatory requirements).

“Since no two clients are alike, we work with you closely to devise an approach determined by your base profile. The business rules you dictate will determine the next execution channel. You may want to consider running a closed campaign against a traditional collections control group and assess what works best for you,” she says.

“The best channel of communication depends entirely on the company and campaign – close to 90% of our campaigns are opened on a mobile device. We have found with a recent financial institution campaign, for example, that personalised MMS with voiceover returned the best engagement and results. A security company dealing with low LSM/literacy base found USSD + mobile portal worked best. It really depends on the profile of base and a combination of factors: Does the customer have a smart phone? If using a portal or USSD, are the customers expected to pay for data?”

For payment arrangements, the combination of personalisation, voice and video beats all. For example, a personalised video explaining how you can you pay and outstanding balance, redirected to a secure portal, with integrated click-to-call, and/or the customer can select a payment date and amount. We can integrate your payment gateway(s) and automate a reminder SMS on due date with links to a secure payment portal. With a simple link from the initial SMS, Smart SMS, MMS or USSD menu, each debtor can view a personalised mobile portal displaying all their personal debt information.

This portal is secured with OTP authentication and can be tailored, so you could give debtors access to:

* Submit an acknowledgement of debt.

* Apply for debt counselling.

* Obtain information on the complete legal process involved.

* Make payment arrangements.