Despite the recent proliferation of self-service options and the increased popularity of digital touchpoints with consumers, outbound calling remains an essential customer service capability. And yet, contact centers face many challenges in getting calls answered by customers wary of robocalls and fraud. Plus, many must adhere to strict regulations around who, and when, they can call.
We interviewed Head of Product Contact Targeting Solutions, Tom Nowaczyk, to learn more about best practices in the use of identity data to reach the right customers at the right time — while maintaining compliance.
What are the leading challenges facing contact centers today?
TN: I think there are three primary challenges we see in the contact center today:
All these issues are forcing call centers to adapt and get creative in solving those discrete problems. They’re also trying to become more efficient, so those problems become less important.
When we think about contact centers, we’re really think about who you are trying to contact and the best way to reach them. You have all these precious resources, and it's hard to get consumers on the phone. So you want to make sure you're contacting the right person in a regulatory compliant manner. Once you get over that hurdle of identifying who you want to contact, the next question becomes: what is the best way?
And once you do choose the best way to contact the consumer: when do you want to execute that, and how do you want to build campaigns and go around that? This holistic strategy can help you become much more efficient by reducing those issues. If that includes regulatory aspects, you can call less frequently if you're more efficient.
Of course, if a consumer's not answering, solutions like TruContact™ Phone Behavior Intelligence, Powered by Neustar® exist to help keep contact information up-to-date — so you’ll find that if you're dialing the right consumers, they're going to answer the phone more.
Identity data doesn't age like wine, it doesn't get better. What sets TransUnion apart is that we are really good at it knowing how to curate identity. We know when a phone number is not associated with a particular person anymore. We know when they’ve moved from an address.
You've addressed some of the issues contact centers face, and some solutions. Can you give examples of solutions and benefits customers are experiencing?
TN: If a client implements industry best practices around using identity data, and the attributes that influence that identity to better understand the best way to contact this consumer, we find they can improve their contact rates by up to 20%.
And with TruContact Phone Behavior Intelligence (PBI) — which scores the quality of each number according to the likelihood of it being answered — collections agencies can improve right-party contact (RPC) rates by an average of 25%, and optimize operations in compliance with the CFPB’s seven-in-seven rule.
And when you talk about customers and outcomes, is that for particular vertical? Is it across verticals?
TN: When you look at outbound dialing across multiple industries, I think it's helpful to take two very different examples: lead generation vs. collections. Think about when you’re buying a new car, and you put your name on a lead form. But with collections, you’re being contacted to pay a debt. Believe it or not, these industries are more alike than different. They both have consumer contact information and the need to contact a consumer, and they both have very high average monetary values.
But while they are similar, we’re also going to see some differences. In lead generation, there are fewer industry regulations when compared to debt collections. Collectors are probably going to dial consumers more often, normally once every day for seven days. So even though the phone behavior insights are very much the same across both use cases, how you implement them varies based on the nuances of each industry.
What differentiates your solutions from your competitors, and how do they help these different types of industries?
TN: We get asked this quite a bit. There are a lot of other competing firms and it really comes down to just a few things. The first is the scale of our identity data — we have a lot of it. The second is that we can curate it. We know anybody can have a lot of identity data, but not many organizations can tell you when that data is no longer associated with a consumer. Finally, we can amplify that identity data with signals around usage and other attributes that are critical to help you understand how to use that information.
By leveraging our unique relationship with telecom providers — which power over 90% of caller IDs in the US — TransUnion provides predictive phone behavior insights not found anywhere else. Learn more about TruContact Phone Behavior Intelligence (PBI) here.