Qualco Live! The collections customer service conundrum

29 September 2017 | Newsdesk
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For debt collection businesses to achieve net promoter scores in the mid-40s is truly remarkable given customers don’t choose the relationship. Ian Davies, sales director for debt purchase business 1st Credit, explained how this has been achieved.

Davies explained the need to achieve engaged employees and the value of independent assessment in improving customer experience.

“Giving customers an experience that is above their expectations is morally and commercially the right thing to do,” he said.

He added that 1st Credit strives for a beyond-compliant ethical approach that runs through the organisation’s business model. Employees are given a voice and the agency to deliver the best experience possible, while customers are listened to and their feedback taken on board.

Other key factors include customer journey mapping, measuring outputs, striving for improvement and investing in people. “Any of these not done well could affect the customer experience.”

Davies explained that 1st Credit uses multi-channel communication strategies, specialist teams for customers in vulnerable circumstances, affordability assessments and advanced technologies such as speech technology to track areas such as tone of voice on calls.

Initiatives include a customer charter, real-time customer surveys and customer focus groups – all of which have helped the business understand the experiences of its customers and tailor its approach accordingly.

“These don’t require wholesale change but tweaks to processes. When you add them up it makes a big difference,” he said.

Davies also took delegates through the Investor in Customers Process, an independent assessment of staff, management and customer feedback.

“There are challenging scenarios in collections, but people are getting experiences they didn’t expect from a collections company.”