In the current age of digitalization, consumers expect to communicate with your business using the channel of their choice. They want to connect with you, the way they want to connect with you, and when they want to connect with you.

Consequentially more and more businesses are been forced to adopt omnichannel strategies for any areas of the business which are customer facing. The simplicity of managing the customer service help line, the odd letter of complaint and the customer service inbox, has been replaced with an ever-evolving mix of chat rooms, social media forums, text and a deluge of email conversations all of which require managing to completion.

In this dash to embrace modernity, and spearhead these new channels, the phone and the power of a human conversation, is often overlooked. It is remarkable how hard it is to find a customer service phone number on many websites, or how silent many businesses divisions which are customer facing have become.

Despite the emergence and stabilization of new channels the phone remains the most used (48%) and preferred (80%) method for communicating with a business.

The customer facing functions of credit control and debt collection have been quick to embrace an omnichannel approach to their customer contact – utilising a mix of emails, letters, SMS and voice to chase outstanding invoices and collect what is due. However, despite the wealth of options available, it is without doubt that voice contact remains the most powerful communication channels in the collection agent’s arsenal – so why is voice contact still so powerful when it comes to collecting your cash?

1. Engagement

Unlike an email or letter, a phone call, when it gets through to the right party, is impossible to ignore. The customer has to enter into a discussion, whether they have a dispute or are willing and able to pay, the dialogue is has been opened and the collector is in a position to move them through to a resolution.

2. The personal touch

In a world of efficiency and compliance, a letter, email, SMS or even chatroom will usually follow a boilerplate template with no nuance for individual circumstances. However, voice calls have an infinite capacity for personalisation – the collector can build rapport, develop an understanding of the customer’s circumstances and then guide them towards the appropriate resolution. No other channel has such an ability to build a relationship with the customer and to leverage this to not only to secure payment but to build customer loyalty for the business.

3. Speed of resolution

It is well known that people can talk quicker than they can type, but if you also consider the far greater potential for misunderstanding through the written word than spoken, and it is easy to understand how overdue accounts can often be resolved in one phone call. In a five minute conversation a collection agent can highlight the overdue invoices, identify and resolve any disputes and take immediate payment.

4. Accuracy of Information

Another reason why voice is still a critical channel for effective for credit-control is the ability to communicate accurate information over this channel. All details can be thoroughly discussed ensuring the customer has a clear understanding of the status of their account and their options. Any misunderstandings can be identified and resolved avoiding further confusion and potential payment delays.

Conclusion

With these point in mind, it is therefore not surprising that voice remains a critical communication channel when it comes to collecting what is due. With the growing understanding that modern day market share will be won as much by delivering market leading customer experience as on innovation, these are facts businesses will ignore at their cost. It is absolutely critical that brands provide the best quality of customer service to their customers – even when chasing outstanding invoices. Picking up the phone and talking to your customers is not only the action most likely to collect your cash – it is also another step towards strengthening you customer relationships – building loyalty and advocacy.

If you have outstanding debts,, contact our team of specialist advisors at sales@4dcontact.com for a no-win no fee quote.

Mark Smith: Director at 4D Contact & Barratt Smith Brown

(TOFU Offer) UK Debt Collection Industry Report: Key Trends for 2021
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UK Debt Collection Industry Report: Key Trends for 2021

Are your credit management and debt collection strategies relevant and robust for 2021? Download our report on the key debt collection industry trends for 2021.

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[TOFU offer] eBook – A C-Suite executive’s guide to Delivering successful order-to-cash transformation
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A C-Suite executive’s guide to Delivering successful order-to-cash transformation

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Download the report

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