Does Your Omnichannel Strategy Match What Customers Want?

Omnichannel communications collections Does Your Omnichannel Strategy Match What Customers Want?

In a world of “digital enablers” — Web capability, mobile apps, VOIP telephony, payment tokenisation, etc. — you would think that omnichannel would be easy. You would think that joining a few customer contact channels, just voice, SMS, email, web, automated payments, app and a couple more, would be quite straightforward.

The reality, of course, is very different. The reality is that you have to deal with legacy systems (and lots of them), integration challenges, disparate data sources and regulatory compliance with a growing list of abbreviations (OFCOM/OFWAT/OFGEM, FCA, GDPR, IFRS 9).

You might, in fact, start to wonder whether omnichannel is worth it.

We at FICO believe the best answer to this question comes from your customers. We recently completed a series of customer surveys in multiple countries to understand customers’ communication behaviors and preferences, relating to debt repayment.

In the UK, here’s what consumers told us:

  1. The most popular channel to notify customers about a late payment is still the traditional method of mail/post. This is followed closely by SMS and then email. Mobile App notifications have yet to take off, with just 5% of customers receiving a notification this way.
  2. By contrast, 52% of customers want late payment reminders via SMS and mobile app notifications, much more than they currently do and certainly far less of the postal method.
  3. 48% of customers told us that they were more likely to respond to a friendly and helpful message, originating from a trusted source. This makes the branding and tone/text of any messaging critical in improving the customer’s propensity to respond.
  4. When paying their account, in response to a late payment reminder, 30% of customers said that they would prefer to pay via a website/online portal, with 76% preferring to pay by direct transfer or debit card. When this is linked to the increased customer desire to be contacted by SMS and mobile app, ensuring that the payment process is seamless will be key to providing a “frictionless” customer experience.
  5. While there is a lot of talk about the use of social media and chat apps in the collections process (94% of those surveyed use social media regularly) a massive 79% of respondents admitted that they would not be comfortable receiving a late payment reminder through these channels.

Does any of this surprise you? It must surprise somebody, because the survey clearly revealed that many lenders are not using the channels customers prefer, and the channels that are most likely to get results.

I will be discussing these results with my clients as they set up or re-design their customer contact strategies. This will focus on setting the most appropriate contact channels that will help to get the most out of FICO Customer Communication Services, our omnichannel orchestrator.

Which leads me to my next post, where I will look at the key elements of analytics and using data-driven decisions to improve both efficiency and effectiveness in the collections customer contact process.

This video discusses the high-level results from our UK survey. Contact us to find out more.

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