In Poland there is a growing problem related to the timely payment of receivables. Effective reaching the debtor and optimizing the debt recovery process may prove to be the key to improve many processes in the organization. How to improve the effectiveness of reaching the debtor? According to Focus Telecom experts.

Polish companies occupy an infamous last position in the European Union in terms of timely payment of invoices. Even 12% of them are paid at least 120 days after the deadline (Bisnode Polska). Therefore, effective debt collection becomes a growing problem. Situations in which only 5 people out of 200 phone calls concerning debt collection are answered are the norm. What are the main problems connected with debt collection and how can organizations deal with them?

Debt collection problems

Among the problems faced by debt collection companies or those dealing with debt collection outsourcing, such aspects as changing the model of remuneration for debt collection activities (e.g. purchase of portfolios) or constant comparison of inhouse/outsourcing costs are most often mentioned. One of the major difficulties affecting the level of profitability of a debt collection company seems to be the low effectiveness of reaching the debtor. Debtors who are late with payment are constantly looking for ways to avoid contact with the debt collection department. Changing phone numbers, not answering calls or switching on voice mail are the most common ways to avoid contact. Apart from the problem of calling the debtor, there is also an obstacle to obtaining full knowledge about him/her, which will allow to conduct negotiations and choose the appropriate strategy more easily.

- Based solely on traditional methods of contact, debt collection departments do not receive information about the level of effectiveness of their communication with debtors. The problem is also the knowledge of the number of calls made and actually made and the collection of data about the history of contacts with individual debtors. With this type of work, the effectiveness of debt collection is very limited - says Tomasz Paprocki, Corporate Sales Director at Focus Telecom Polska. However, knowing the above mentioned problems, innovative solutions come with help, which help to improve many important processes.

How to increase the effectiveness of reaching?

In order to reach the debtor more effectively, a communication platform may be helpful, enabling contact through many channels (phone, e-mail, SMS, chat, www form, fax) and integrating data from each of them. Thanks to it, on the basis of data on the card from the client, the system identifies received e-mails, text messages, phones, etc. and connects them to its history. Thanks to this, all the information is available in one place and the consultant during the conversation has the possibility to perform several actions at once, such as: sending an email, sending a text message or chatting with the client. All this from one system, which reduces the risk and time of arrival.

Ways to get the debtors

Such a communication platform enables access to data starting from the number of calls and actually completed conversations, through working time and establishing employee breaks, to the effect of conducted negotiations. - Assigning the status to a given call and information about the debtor we are talking to (e.g. name, surname, address, PESEL number, etc.) and planned further action towards him makes the management of calls easier, which significantly shortens the debt collection work. - explains Tomasz Paprocki from Focus Telecom. - All information can be freely compiled in real time in clear reports, thanks to which it is possible to manage campaigns cost-effectively - he adds.

The key from the point of view of a debt collection company is to eliminate calls to voice mail and the so-called "empty numbers", which leads to loss of time and generates a loss of money for unnecessary recording to the voice mailbox. The solution here is to get rid of inactive numbers by means of the system function, which checks the activity and correctness of GSM numbers. The second useful value is that the system detects redirections to voice mail numbers and automatically terminates such calls, without telecommunication costs and loss of agents' working time.

Telephone contact is not the only way to reach the debtors. Mass sending of SMS messages with notifications of payment arrears used in case of unsuccessful call may also prove effective. Such an access channel can be integrated with other communication channels, which will allow to gather information about the debtor and the history of contacts obtained by various means.

Modern solutions also play an important role in reaching out to people hiding from the debt collector. - The use of automatic number rotation causes that after each unsuccessful call, another one is made from a different phone number. Thanks to this, the debtor is not able to recognize who called him - says Tomasz Paprocki. But what if we have to face a "difficult client"?

Negotiations with a difficult client

Modern systems make it easier to talk/understand with debtors who require longer negotiations. Databases that contain all relevant information about the debtor, such as contact history, payment history, etc., can be made available to the debt collector. It is also important to be able to record conversations, which may prove decisive in case of a possible dispute between the company and the debtor.

In order to keep up with the changing reality, companies are more and more willing to use modern solutions that help to increase the functionality of the organization and reduce operating costs. Modern technologies are no longer only designed to support business, but indicate the direction in which companies should go. This is also the case with the solutions presented above. Their application allows to speed up the process of service and increase the quality of work of the whole team, which translates into better effects of the activities.