The way collection agencies communicate with consumers is changing rapidly. You need to know how digital consumer communication strategy has changed – or hasn’t changed – at your supplier/partner debt collection agencies. Do you want to know how to effectively evaluate the performance and digital collection strategy of your partner agency? Want to make sure partner agencies have consumer communication strategies in place that are both effective and user-friendly?
The following KPIs will tell you A LOT about the state of your partner’s digital communications strategy.
How many consumers are opting out of a particular digital campaign? Individual unsubscribes may indicate that a specific consumer prefers a different channel or communication time, but a higher overall unsubscribe rate may mean your agency is inundating consumers with contacts.
Additionally, a high opt-out rate across all of your partner’s digital channels is a red flag that their digital strategy is not consumer-friendly. While Regulation F doesn’t specifically provide limits on texting or email contact, it’s not a complete blank cheque. Your agency partner should always be concerned about UDAAP and potential harassment allegations. And you too.
Even aside from regulatory and legal concerns, there is also an element of reputational risk for you. Consumers won’t tolerate much before they get irritated with your agency partner and, by extension, your brand.
Open and click rates
How many clients click on emails from your partner agency and pay? Or click on a hypertext link in an SMS to visit their portal? This is a KPI that you must receive from your partner agencies. If the click and open rates are catastrophic, the strategy is not effective.
Not every consumer who receives a text or email from an agency will click on it or open it, and target rates will vary depending on where the account is in its lifecycle. It’s important to establish a baseline for click-through and open rates early, and monitor those rates for major swings. Emails are especially susceptible to being labeled as spam, so it’s important to maintain a reasonable open rate for these campaigns.
Incoming call volumes
As your partner agency’s outbound communication efforts (SMS and email) increase, their inbound numbers should follow. Even if they have a great customer portal and web chat, increased outbound efforts should lead to increased inbound calls (unless your partner has two-way email or text, but few are advanced in this area). Your partner should move their frontline agents to answer more inbound calls, and an increase in inbound calls is a clear indicator that their outbound digital communications campaigns are working effectively.
And don’t forget to make sure the documentation is correct
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, policies and procedures. Ask to see how the strategy and tools they use flow through their compliance management system and change management process. (Yes, they should follow their CMS and change management process when their digital strategies change!)
Your partner agency should also have a good understanding of several KPIs (including those listed above). They should track and document these KPIs to share with you.
When you carefully review the documentation that underpins your partner’s digital strategy, you not only understand it better now, but you also lay the foundation for more effective audits in the future.