This article, the second in a series by Dan Womack, previously appeared on Ontario Systems' blog and is republished here with permission.
Now that you’ve run your A/B testing, listened to your agents, and established clear account segments, it’s time for the real automation to begin.
Using these three methods to identify your best tactics (analyzing them from day 3 through 96 for example), you should be able to identify some key account triggers that push your treatments forward. For example:
- Does a group of accounts warrant a certain letter or a certain call? What comes afterward?
- At what point do you consider an exhaust treatment on an account?
- When do you opt to extend settlement, and what terms do you offer?
- When and under what conditions do you pursue legal?
Free up time to monitor how each of these choices perform, then repeat as necessary and carry out analysis again. Doing so will give you the best idea of which practices are your best ones, and where you should place your focus as you establish efficient workflow.
You will likely find three factors don’t need a manual touch for optimization:
- Distribution of account placement
When you bring in a group of accounts from a creditor, how are you distributing them to your agents? Demographic information, scoring, balance ranges, and account types are all common metrics that inform which agents work which groups. For example, if you conduct an account analysis and see Collector A is particularly good with a certain demographic, your technology should be able to automatically place that account into their work queue – You may have millennial agents work millennial accounts, for example. Pooling can also be completed automatically, grouping a certain type of account for collectors to work as a team. Analytics drive this process, and you should pay close attention to how frequently each type of account gets worked, and by whom.
- Initial account treatment
When an account enters your system, do you send a letter or make a phone call right away? Making a phone call before letters are sent may save you a significant amount on letter costs, but be careful to ensure those letters are going out accurately, and on-time while maintaining compliance. Either of these paths can be automated. Based on the outcome of an attempt, you can then gauge the success or failure and take the next action. No response to a letter? Make a series of phone attempts, rotating through daytime, evening, and weekend attempts to known phones. Still no contact? Consider additional skiptrace efforts. Point being, your system should be able to decide automatically what the next appropriate action is, take that action, return an automated response, and build appropriate work queues for your agents’ manual efforts.
- Running reports as time goes on
As you continue your efforts, your system should tell you what’s working and what isn’t. Ask yourself how you’re measuring, assessing and making changes to your account treatments – If a group of accounts are stuck in a workflow of a phone call every week, or a letter every month, and nothing’s happening, what changes do you need to make? Your exhaust strategy is an important part of an account’s workflow: If you’ve made four or five contact attempts to no avail, then your reports should show that failure, and move an account to a manual pool before possibly taking it out of the system entirely. Late-stage score and skiptrace requests can also be made automatically. Your system should automatically review these attempts and make decisions about the next treatment.
insideARM Editor's note: The Innovation Council, a part of the Consumer Relations Consortium, holds its third meeting of the year this week. The topic to be covered is competing on data analytics. Prior meetings addressed innovations in payments and omni-channel communications. Innovation Council dialogues put senior executives from larger collection agencies, creditors and leading technology firms together to share best practices and develop tomorrow's ideas. If you are interested in this type of engagement, send us a note.
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