The way debt collection agencies communicate with consumers is evolving rapidly. You need to know how digital consumer communication strategy has changed - or hasn't changed - at your vendor / partner debt collection agencies. Want to find out how to evaluate your agency partner's performance and digital debt collection strategy efficiently? Want to make sure agency partners have consumer communication strategies in place that are both effective and consumer friendly?
The following KPIs will tell you a LOT about the state of your partner's digital communcation strategy.
How many consumers are opting out of a particular digital campaign? Individual opt-outs could indicate a specific consumer preferring a different communication channel or time, but a higher overall opt-out rate might mean your agency is inundating consumers with contacts.
What's more, a high opt-out rate across all of your partner’s digital channels is a red alert that their digital strategy is not consumer friendly. While Regulation F doesn’t specifically provide limits on SMS or email contact, it’s not a total blank check. Your agency partner still needs to be concerned with UDAAP and potential harassment allegations. And so do you.
Even outside of regulatory and legal concerns, there is an element of reputation risk for you here, too. Consumers will only tolerate so much before becoming irritated with your agency partner, and by extension, your brand.
Click Through & Open Rates
How many customers are clicking on your agency partner’s emails and paying? Or clicking on a hyperlink in a SMS to visit their portal? This is a KPI you need to receive from your agency partners. If click through and open rates are abysmal, then the strategy isn’t effective.
Not every consumer who receives a text or email from an agency will click it or open it, and the target rates will vary based on where the account is in its lifecycle. It’s important to establish a baseline early for the click through and open rates, and monitor those rates for major fluctuations. Emails especially are sensitive to being labeled as spam, so it’s important to maintain a reasonable open rate on those campaigns.
Inbound Call Volumes
As your agency partner’s outbound communication efforts (SMS and email) increase, their inbound call numbers should follow suit. Even if they have a great customer portal and web chat, the increased outbound efforts should result in increased inbound calls (unless your partner has two way email or texting, but not many are advanced in this area yet). Your partner should be shifting their frontline agents to fielding more inbound calls, and an increase in inbound calls is a clear indicator that their outbound digital communication campaigns are working effectively.
And Don't Forget to Make Sure the Documentation Is Right
Your partner’s digital strategy should be well documented and they should be able to show it to you in the form of process flows and policies and procedures. Ask to see how the strategy and tools they are using flow through their Compliance Management System and Change Management Process. (Yes, they should be following their CMS and Change Management Process when their digital strategies change!)
Your agency partner should also have a good understanding of several KPIs (including the ones listed above). They should be tracking and documenting those KPIs to share with you.
When you thoroughly review the documentation behind your partner’s digital strategy, you'll not only understand it better now, but you set the foundation for more effective audits in the future.
Colene McNinch is a Partner and the Chief Compliance Officer at M&G Solutions. M&G Solutions is a member of the iA Institute’s Innovation Council. The Innovation Council is a membership group for organizations that understand their future depends on thinking differently and being at the forefront of communications, analytics, payments, and compliance technology. Together, we envision the future and then map how to get there.