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Financial Solutions
26 Nov 2015

Being personal and proactive pays off in debt collection

Survey reveals personal service really does make a difference

Everyone makes mistakes sometimes. Most of us have at some time in our lives come late to pick up the kids from pre-school, or been late for a meeting. Or missed the due date on a bill.

There can be all sorts of reasons. The car might have broken down, or there might have been the wrong sort of snow on the train tracks. Or, if you missed a payment, you might have been moving house, or moving bank, or changing jobs and been short of cash. Or just had too much happening, and you forgot.

Missing a payment doesn’t make someone a bad person. In most cases, they are still valued and valuable customers, who just need some help to get back on track.

That’s a big part of our approach to debt collection at arvato Financial Solutions. We know that most people want to pay, and usually just need some assistance to do so. That is why we actively work to help people get over their immediate problems, and with advice to help them avoid similar problems in the future.

It might just sound like a “nicer” way of dealing with people, but the thing is, we know it also makes financial sense. The way we deal with customers is a more effective way of getting payment. And our approach also safeguards your investment in customer acquisition. These people chose to buy from you, and given the chance, they will continue to be your customers. You don’t want to waste all the time and effort you have invested in them: you want them to remain as loyal, satisfied customers. Treating those customers as real people, and looking after them, makes good business sense.

So we were particularly happy when the latest customer satisfaction survey showed that our approach makes us stand out from other debt collection companies. It looked at how we perform along the entire customer journey – in areas such as Engagement, First-Time Call, Knowledge, Resolution and Tips & Advice – both when dealing with debt collection customers and when providing customer service for clients where we take care of the entire purchase process.

In general, we met the high standards that people have for the Banking & Finance sector, with 87% customer satisfaction. We saw that we have some work to do in the Response Time area, so we have already employed more staff to reduce waiting times, and strengthened our self-service facilities.

But two areas stood out: First-Time Call and Tips & Advice. First-Time Call means resolving the caller’s case in just one call, while Tips & Advice refers to providing practical advice to help people avoid future problems. In both areas, we came in above the industry standard.

These are areas where we have consciously made an effort to stand out. By being proactive, by treating people as people, and taking care of our clients’ customers as our own,  we not only help them pay their debts, we help them remain profitable and loyal customers.

The survey showed that we meet the industry standard of: 87%. Not bad. But we aren’t satisfied, and won’t be until we achieve more than 90%. And we will do that by taking care of people.

– Dennis Blennskog

Country Manager, arvato Financial Solutions Sweden

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