Thanks for taking the time to read through this blog. As a business that measures itself on the phrase ‘Collections Solutions that Work’ we believe the services we provide need to make impact on our clients’ customers so we keep them at the centre of our decision making.
Download our whitepaper on leveraging customer feedback; Packed with why it’s important, what channels your team can use and examples of how we’ve actioned feedback into success.
Our company has evolved at an astonishing pace over the past few years and driving that change has been the realisation that the best way to adapt to our clients’ needs is to listen more and talk less. A corner stone of our growth has been to identify trends from the feedback and data we have access to and to move quickly to execute change.
As discussed in our leveraging customer feedback whitepaper, our Continuous Improvement Process (CIP) has been designed to help us evolve our services with the ever-changing nature of customer trends. This is especially relevant to our digital services. Our system works by pooling information from our [top 8 feedback channels] to supply our strategic research and development teams so they can identify opportunities for improvement and from that create solutions.
Ideas are mapped out (we have a policy there are no bad ideas) and then we run feasibility tests on paper. Once the activities have passed benchmarking, they’re developed then integrated into our processes, programmes and systems and then handed over to our product owners, and finally the customers. Although we have developed our CIP to approach our R&D in a considered and measured way, we also know our execution teams need to be robust and flexible enough to move quickly when necessary.
In this blog we share with you 4 examples of how we’ve used the Continuous Improvement Programme to make changes that have worked for both customers and clients alike:
- Customers making payment minutes after highlighting an issue
- Report a bug
- People anxious to address
Customers making payment minutes after highlighting an issue
There have been many instances where customers have reported issues via email, webchats and phone call. With simple technical fixes we make it a rule to try and find a solution within 24 hours. Our feedback loop enables these issues to be received by agents, reported to strategic leaders and managers, then passed to our inhouse web development team highlighting the issue and the solutions that needs to be put in place. We’ve then re-engaged with these customers, apologised for any inconvenience and encourage the customer to go on and make payment again where possible, all done within 24 hours. This removal of obstacles, along with the follow-up activity, not only shows customers that we’re listening to them, but also ensures effective solutions are reached as quickly as possible. Reviews are being conducted on a regular basis which enables us to have a clear process in reporting issues and putting fixes in place to create a seamless process in solving issues.
Report a bug issue
We like this story as it’s quite ironic. A customer got in contact with us regarding our ‘Report a bug’ button being so enlarged on a mobile device; it was dominating the screen. The tool that we were using to find ‘bugs’ was actually being ‘buggy’. Our web development team immediately jumped on this, implementing the change required and the customer then went on to make payment within minutes.
People anxious to address issues
On a more serious note, addressing outstanding balances can easily be understood as a sensitive and personal matter for customers, with some often reluctant to engage via phone call. Our feedback channels kept pointing us towards a growing trend of customers desiring to move away from the traditional collections’ method of call centres. Following our feedback channels, we realised the solution was to develop contact payment channels relevant to the customer’s needs; our Customer Portal was born. So, we invested heavily in developing software and programmes that allow customers to manage their own accounts and offer them a level of control never previously enjoyed in the Collections industry before. This actually led to customers contacting us after dealing with their debts, thanking us for the multiple options they had to see what they owed, why it was owed and putting measures in place to address it.
Find out WHY feedback is important to your collections and what channels are best to gather feedback: just download our FREE whitepaper on leveraging customer feedback HERE!
Our approach to vulnerable customers remains paramount and feedback from this consumer group provides valuable insight, helping us to make sure our TCF and vulnerability processes are running effectively. Our data is telling us vulnerability is on the rise and there has been an increase of vulnerable customers of nearly 650% over the past five years. When communicating with vulnerable customers it’s important you have the mechanisms capable of identifying or ‘flagging’ these customers, so they’re redirected to the correct support. We feel it’s important to integrate both digital and in-house expertise to ensure these customers receive suitable responses and are sign posted to the best possible support, so they can clear their accounts sensitively. Let’s look into the ways in which coeo have implemented changes as a result of feedback and examine some examples of how our technology helps support vulnerable clients.
CRiS is our autoresponder webchat bot accessible to customers through our customer portal. CRiS is on hand to direct and signpost customers around their portal and answer a host of portal related questions. We understand that some queries concern complicated matters that cannot be answered by a chatbot. In the case of vulnerable customers CRiS is programmed to identify keywords in the chat such as: depression, anxiety and panic attack. When this is flagged CRiS will provide a friendly message to the customer informing them that the chat will be transferred to a specialist agent. Our trained agents then receive the conversation transcript and can immediately begin helping the customer. The customer’s account will also be flagged as vulnerable, ensuring all staff are aware of this vulnerability so that, if the customer opts to use another contact method, our agents are aware of the customer’s circumstances.
With the development and continued success of CRiS we turned our attention to other channels where we could utilise the programming to help develop the customer experience capabilities, and CriSe, our email bot was born. Our feedback loop and findings recognised an increase is queries coming in via email, once again looking to address their debt digitally rather than in person via the phone. CRiSe has the same in-house programming as CRiS and is able to handle simple queries, along with identifying and flagging vulnerability. Both of these bots have a ‘learning’ system, where commonly asked questions are recognised and further macros can be created by our R&D teams to increase the number of queries that can be answered.
Let’s finish on a happy note!
The ability of our digital developments to allow customers to take back control of their debt has seen a positive surge in both net promoter ratings with clients and positive feedback from customers. CRiS has received a number of positive comments and we thought we’d share a few as a great way to finish this whitepaper on a happy note:
- “Love being able to sort debt this way, it’s so much easier! Great website.”
- “I like that this can be done online without having an awkward chat with someone.”
- “Awesome website. Took 2 minutes to log in and set up an arrangement.”