1. Develop digital-first debt management capabilities
Auto collections volumes are on the rise. As customer income continues to fall, auto financiers will face an even higher volume of complex collections. And, because of social distancing measures and health issues, fewer collections agents will be available to manage the influx. The solution? Augmenting the human-driven approach to collections with automated and omnichannel customer engagement strategies.
Fortunately, the 'stay at home' strategy for dealing with Coronavirus has forced digital to become the standard and primary means of communication. Financiers should use this digital goodwill to improve their collections efforts. To manage increased workload from customer calls and delinquencies, which may be delayed because of payment deferrals and loan extensions, auto financiers will need to consider solutions such as interactive voice messaging, backed by conversational artificial intelligence (AI) with integrated speech analytics.
What's more, financiers that develop a quick, accurate, and sensitive digital collections experience will promote more collaborative interactions, increase their chances of being at the top of customers' wallets, and prevent customers from taking their business to savvier providers.
For example, instead of all delinquent customers receiving a barrage of automated payment reminders, they should receive more focused, personalized messaging and personally relevant restructuring plans. A deeper understanding of both the organization's changed debt-servicing capacity and the customer's preference of interactive channel enables this type of intelligent targeting.
A digital-first collections strategy offers three further benefits for auto finance companies. First, by enabling them to engage customers early and empathetically, it will help them stay on the right side of consumer-protection bodies that are looking to ensure that they are treating consumers fairly. Second, it will free up agents from more mundane calling activities so that they can take on more targeted and nuanced customer interactions. And third, it will deliver huge cost savings to lenders and improve their ability to handle fluctuations in collections volumes, both now and in the future.