Throughout the years we’ve been operating in the debt collections industry, the main challenge our clients consistently tell us they face is how to go about reducing levels of bad debt but without seeing a negative impact on their customer base. A scenario not made any easier by the fact our clients are also obliged to help those in debt, or at risk of going into debt, settle their accounts by understanding what will help these individuals – each of whom are challenged on a daily basis by a variety of different circumstances – to make payments. It was apparent to us at Arvato Financial Solutions that the approach required should involve providing customers with a simple and effective way for them to interact with the organisations they owe money to, and the ability to clear their account using a payment method, and structure, that suits them best.
It’s a 24/7 mobile world
We took our inspiration for the solution we identified from the world around us – one that’s becoming ever more dependent on mobile devices. Customers these days generally expect organisations like ourselves to engage with them in a convenient way that fits in with their 24/7 digital lifestyles. In order to meet this demand our experience told us that communications should satisfy a minimum of three key requirements – messages should be instant, the content should be rich and the customer must be given the option to interact.
Revolutionising customer communications
Innovation is one of the core values at the heart of Arvato’s company ethos. With our RISE solution we introduced innovation on this occasion through the development of an accepted common communication platform that has revolutionised the way we are able to interact with customers, by utilising the combined power of SMS and responsive web design.
Developed in-house and launched in early 2015, RISE – which, if you’re wondering, stands for Rich Interactive Secure E-messaging – allows us to securely deliver personalised interactive content to any technical device. Ultimately offering customers a more convenient method of communicating compared to the more traditional methods, such as telephone or sending a letter by post.
Boost contact rates and customer satisfaction
The RISE journey begins with a prompt being issued to a customer by SMS, email, or a QR code. Our primary target is though SMS, this being due to the high open rates and response times that we find we are able to achieve using this medium – the average SMS ‘open rate’ exceeds 90%, while the average time taken to open an SMS is less than 3 minutes. As a result, what we have consistently seen with RISE is that it offers the ability to benefit from the powerful contact rates of SMS, whilst at the same time overcoming the restrictive nature of the content.
A personalised URL (PURL) is included in the message ensuring every notification a customer receives is fully bespoke and tailored specifically to their circumstances. When clicked, this link takes the customer to an interactive landing page displaying their personalised details that allow them to self-serve their account. The system is proving to be hugely popular with customers too, as since the launch of RISE we have not just seen greater levels of customer engagement and satisfaction, but there’s also been an increased uptake on instant card payments following payment reminder messages.
A robust and secure solution for debt collection
Given how dependent the world is becoming on mobile devices, it was always our intention to create a technical solution free from any usage restrictions, which is exactly what we did. RISE can be used on any form of device and from any location, just as long as there is data available. This is down to the responsive design of the platform, which allows for resizing to fit the screen of any device, regardless of whether it’s a smartphone, tablet, or desktop monitor.
Security is not an issue either. It goes without saying that system security is vitally important and something we know is of primary concern to our clients and their customers. RISE is fully PCI DSS compliant, so it can safely process customer debit / credit card details. While RISE’s capability to present Q&A scenarios for identification and verification purposes reassures customers that the communication they’ve been sent is not coming from a scammer phishing for data.
What does the future hold for RISE?
Our RISE solution has been in active use for almost five years now and as we have utilised this solution across a number of different client portfolios, for a variety of different services, we have analysed response rates and learned more about what makes the customer journey more efficient and increase levels of customer engagement. This has resulted in us making further recent investment in version 2.0 of RISE, a feature of which is that a secure PDF document can be embedded directly into the SMS, eliminating the requirement for a PURL.
Whatever the future holds, one thing we do know is that with over 40 years’ experience in the debt collections industry, at Arvato Financial Solutions we know what strategies work and how to incorporate the latest technologies to help us remain customer centric. By taking care of your customers like they are our own, we ensure we have the solutions in place that enable us to serve as your backbone for growth.
For more information on our debt collection products and services please click here.