Research shows that customers prefer the phone channel, especially when it comes to high value, and/or complex issues. But because of robocalls, scams and fraud, customers hesitate to answer the phone if they don’t know who’s calling. Further, some calls from contact centers are mis-tagged as SPAM or even blocked — so the party is never even reached.
Regulation F is also forcing collectors to comply with regulations and respond to the shift in consumer behavior towards self-service. Instituting an omnichannel approach — including phone, emails and texts — will enable even more consumers to complete transactions faster.
We interviewed Director of Product Management Todd Meeks about how TruContact™ Phone Behavior Intelligence (PBI) helps increase right-party contact rates through authoritative contact identity and behavioral insights, by ensuring records are accurate and providing the best phone number and time to reach customers. Here’s what Todd had to say.
What type of problems do you help your customers solve?
TM: The issues we try to help our clients with are around making contact with their customers. When they're making an outbound communications attempt, the key point that they try to measure against is making a right-party contact — so they actually get the right person on the phone.
We’ve seen that when you call a customer on the phone they typically use and at a time that is convenient for them, there's a much more likely instance of them answering that call. Our typical collections clients can work with their customers to resolve the delinquency issues that the customer is experiencing, but the key is that they must make contact first.
We help by providing them the best phone number to reach that customer — and the best day and time to make the outbound contact attempt — to help ensure the customer answers that call.
My top recommendation to our collections clients is to gain insight into their customers, so they can reach them when and where they want to be reached.
In the collections industry, things have changed. What is the environment like nowadays?
TM: Historically, the collections industry had utilized every communication point they could to reach customers, making as many attempts as possible with every channel they had available. But, the regulatory environment is changing dramatically. Recently the CFPB released Regulation F, which limits the number of outbound voice dial attempts collectors are able to make to seven within a rolling seven-day period.
Our data helps ensure that those seven attempts, and those rolling seven days, are made to the right phone at the right time for the best chance of reaching that customer and them answering the phone.
Why is it so difficult to meet these regulations?
TM: One of the issues is technology. While the data we provide tells our clients the best times and numbers to use, integrating those data points into a dialer is typically fairly difficult from a technology perspective. We listened to our customers when they said they don't necessarily have the robust technology teams in place to be able to ingest our data and then integrate that data into their dialer. So, we built a platform that allows us to do that integration on behalf of our customers, while staying compliant with Regulation F.
Once a customer has made the decision to utilize our data, if they were to complete the integration on their own it could take months. We're able to do that same integration on behalf of our customers in approximately two weeks.
What are some of the other benefits they've been able to get with your solutions?
TM: Typically when our customers utilize our data, they're able to realize a 20-25% increase in their right-party contact rates. However, it can be more than that! In fact, we recently implemented Phone Behavior Intelligence (PBI) for a fairly large issuer bank. They were dialing four times a day, every day of the week.
We implemented our platform, aligning with the Regulation F mandate of one dial a day. In spite of the fact that they were dialing four times less frequently, we helped them increase their right-party contact rate by approximately 40%.
The good news is that all collectors that employ solutions to overcome current challenges — and make every phone call count — will position themselves to increase efficiencies and profit margins, and contact consumers faster than their competitors, all while staying compliant.
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