Traditionally a call-and-respond industry, collection agencies have recently automated a few aspects of their processes. Chatbots and interactive voice response systems have made communication between agents and debtors a lot easier. Opt-in short message (text) services and website portal negotiators are other innovations that have completely changed how collectors interact with clients.
More AI tools are on the way, which will further increase automation in the industry and reduce the room for error. We envisage AI particularly playing a big role on two fronts;
- AI in customer-facing collection efforts
The technologies we’ve mentioned, including chatbots and opt-in messages, are a few examples of customer-facing AI solutions. These solutions aim to make it easier to reach the client concerning payment and account information.
Further, AI can also analyze data to offer insight into collection trends and patterns. Managers could use AI to match employees with accounts and even estimate the amount of time needed to collect an outstanding debt. Additionally, AI tools can help with the actual collection process, freeing up valuable time and increasing agents’ productivity.
- AI at the back end
In the backend, AI can prove useful in eliminating manual administrative tasks. AI tools make it possible to automate processes such as research, documentation, and report reviews. It is a great way to achieve higher rates of compliance as AI will evaluate all recordings and provide relevant scores for all conversations. Better still, the tools are much more accurate than humans, thus can help eliminate common errors and mere sampling of interactions.
Think of data analysis in determining settlement potential, for instance. From checking incomes and net worth to reviewing credit scores, collectors must analyze multiple data points to determine whether a client is in a position to settle a due debt. AI automates the assessment process, minimizing the risk of error while freeing up valuable time.
The Balancing Act
It’s important to note that AI will not replace humans. Human contact, reasoning and judgment are indispensable, especially in areas of situational analysis and negotiations.
Simultaneously, the increasing role of AI in the entire value chain cannot be understated. The various AI capabilities make collection easier and more efficient, boost agent productivity, and guarantee an increased return on investment. Collectors must, therefore, find a way to marry the two.