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Mobile is seen as a big challenge by most of the contact center industry - - and rightly so. However, it also offers some wonderful opportunities, one of which is aimed squarely at your collections function. 

Traditionally, a right party connect has required debtors to be sitting near landlines at their homes or in their offices. Bazillions of outbound dials are made annually to phones that don’t pick up, because the debtors are out of the house.

Mobile device strategies allow you to reach the debtors where they are at the moment, and to reach them via text, which many people (particularly younger ones) greatly prefer. Research indicates that virtually all text messages are opened, with four out of five being opened within minutes of being received. You can send a message to the debtors and provide them with an opportunity to pay all or a portion of their debt by return text. You offer them the possibility of using their usual source of payment (bank account or card) for an automated payment, or allow them to indicate that they wish to provide a different source of cash. In the latter case, you can also switch them over to an alternate channel, e.g. a live agent or Web, to get the details on the additional source of payment. Customizing your processes, including training your agents to provide seamless service in these situations, are initiatives that will be well rewarded.

You can provide debtors with deadline alerts and promise-to-pay reminders, and offer them multiple ways to pay, with as much or as little human interaction as they desire. You may tailor the experience to have the greatest possibility for success.

This is important, because your beloved debtors probably owe money to others as well, and thus you are in competition for the dollars they can shake loose for repayment. “Wallet share” takes on new meaning in this context, and your success in getting payment is not just a matter of reaching out - - it is a matter of reaching out in the most effective and efficient ways possible. Do it better than the others. Consider FTEU (Free to End User) service, which is the texting equivalent of a toll-free number. Make it easy and make it (relatively) painless to pay you, and you will reap the benefits. Those benefits, both reduced costs from automation, and improved cash inflows, can have a significant impact on your bottom line.

I must add two uber-huge caveats before closing: compliance and consent. Just be sure you are on the right side of the law regarding both.

Mobile-based strategies for collections are moving from the early adopters in financial services, to a broader range of collections operations.

This article is refreshed from one the author published previously. If you would like to talk further about this, please feel free to contact me at BruceBelfiore@ BenchmarkPortal.com. For more information, visit our website: http://www.benchmarkportal.com/

Topics: Contact Center Articles, Contact Center Economics 101, Mobile