Posts Tagged ‘pay’

The do’s and don’ts of debt collection with SMS

Posted on: April 24th, 2018 by dorarapcsak No Comments

Text messages are convenient – they allow us to communicate without taking too much of our time, share urgent information if we cannot reach someone over the phone, and remind people of upcoming events or arrangements. Three utilisations which are very common to anyone working in the debt collection business.

Debt collection is a field of work that often requires handling uncomfortable conversations and situations with customers regarding overdue payments. On the one hand, agents need to remain firm and remind customers of their commitments and payment schedules. On the other hand, there needs to be an understanding of the customers’ situation, and consideration of the fact that there is a thin border between reminding a customer of their outstanding payments and harassment.

We read many articles regarding the wrong use of SMS when reminding debt owners of their overdue payments and the negative impact this has on debt collectors’ business. As we already mentioned in a previous blog post, there is one thing debt collectors always agree on: they receive more promises than actual payments. But handled correctly, SMS messages still have many positive aspects that add value and benefits to debt collection processes.

 

The do’s

Reaching customers often fails for different reasons: they ignore calls from a number they recognise, they are in a situation when they cannot speak freely, or they are simply being approached at the wrong time. For agents working in debt collection these reasons all translate into one uncomfortable consequence: the extra workload needed to try and reach these customers at a later occasion. If only there were a way to effectively communicate all required information to customers, reminding them of their payments… But there is: SMS!

Studies and experiments have shown that SMS is an efficient communication tool. According to Forbes magazine, SMS messages reach 95% of service users with phones, a hugely impressive percentage. As such, instant messages can help ensure a level of continuous profit for debt collecting companies. It shortens debt collection time, and helps secure a continuous flow of debt repayment by allowing agents to contact a comparatively large number of customers over a short period of time. Email is still an important communication channel, as we already discussed it in a previous blog post. Still, instant messages are cost-effective and are more reliable than emails, as people usually pay them more attention. Furthermore, they provide a perfect solution to easily handle some of the following situations:

Scheduled reminders: many customers have a payment schedule with fixed dates for payments. An automated SMS reminder is the perfect tool to send customers a friendly reminder of their approaching payment dates.

Providing options: SMS messages can also contain options such as payment options, a phone number to request a postponement, a link to make an immediate online payment, or a callback request.

Sure connection: SMS messages can be automated and sent only if an agent is not able to reach a customer by phone. This means that the reminder will certainly reach the customer, either by a call or in a message.

In any case, SMS messages are an effective way of reinforcing information delivered to customers during a phone conversation, or instead of a phone conversation. They also help make it possible to contact customers who ignore phone calls or do not take notice of phone calls from service providers.

 

The dont’s

As convenient and efficient as instant messages are, however, they hold many traps and can cause debt collection companies many a headache, even bringing legal problems and law suits if not handled correctly. There are ever more articles appearing regarding debt collection which has gone wrong, with debt owners filing complaints about harassment, and it is easy to cross the line and send a friendly reminder too much, especially for companies operating internationally. But if a few simple issues are taken into consideration, and checked and planned carefully when implementing and using an SMS feature in your debt collection processes, you will definitely enjoy the above-mentioned benefits of SMS debt collection, and spare yourself the headaches (and negative PR) so many debt collecting companies are worried about:

Know what to share – in many countries, debt collection companies are not allowed to share the overdue amount needed to be paid in messages. Before sending your customers information you believe to be useful, make sure you are really allowed to share it in an SMS message.

Know when to stop – in many countries, there is a limit to the number of times you are allowed to contact a customer with a payment reminder. Whether it be eight times per week or ten times per month, make sure you know how many times you are allowed to contact a customer, and plan your communication and reminder accordingly.

Know how to communicate – a friendly tone of voice with customers is preferable in such circumstances, but that is not the only key to appropriate communication. Do not forget that giving your customers misleading information or threatening them can not only achieve the opposite effect, but is also punishable by law.

 

Yes, SMS reminders can sometimes have a dark side to them, and can be perceived as a negative way of handling communication with customers. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that they should be avoided or ignored. Many enterprises and companies dealing with debt collection have already proven that, handled correctly, SMS is an effective channel which makes their businesses lucrative. By obeying three little rules and three little considerations, you can experience one big benefit in debt collection – an increased number of payments from debt owners.

Debt collection case study: UPC

Posted on: October 17th, 2017 by viktorvarga No Comments

“Ok, I’ll pay what I owe you online tonight”: an often-spoken but rarely-kept promise in the world of debt collection. But here is a debt collection case study showing how UPC Hungary put a stop to empty words such as these, and increased their number of kept promises.

Every service provider experiences situations in which, for one reason or another, customers fail to meet payment deadlines and accumulate debts. This is where professional teams of debt collectors come in, to remind customers of their overdue payments. However, regardless of the communication channel used to remind customers, debt collectors always agree on one thing:

they receive more promises than actual payments.

During any conversation, the most common thing customers say is that they will pay their debts the following day. But in reality, the number of actual processed payments is usually a lot less than the number of promises made. This is why UPC Hungary, a subsidiary of Liberty Global, decided in 2016 to work with VCC Live towards developing a new way of collecting debts – instantly, conveniently, and securely. Today, we share our debt collection case study based on their experiences.

The debt collection case study

Debt collection today consists of two phases:

  • a contact centre agent contacts a customer to remind them of their debt
  • afterwards the customer chooses a payment method to settle it.

However, if these two phases can be successfully merged then the process can be made faster and more efficient. This is the main topic of our latest debt collection case study, which you can find in our Case Study Library. Introducing VCC Live Pay into UPC’s debt-collecting processes has allowed UPC’s customers to experience a new way of making payments. Furthermore, it also has given them a taste of what the latest technology can do for them. And, seeing that this technology actually works, and provides a flexible and secure way to handle debts, it also helps build customer trust in the UPC brand.

Read our debt collection case study and learn more about the benefits of VCC Live Pay, including actual facts and figures!

VCC Live Pay is now available in 146 countries!

Posted on: June 30th, 2017 by viktorvarga No Comments

We are delighted to announce that VCC Live Pay, with the help of Worldpay, can now help organisations to securely process international payments from their clients and customers.

Worldpay is an international payment processing company that has been offering multi-channel and cross-border payment services for over 25 years. A leader in the field, Worldpay offers over 300 types of end-to-end payment processing methods in 146 countries. In addition to their global presence, what makes their service even more unique is the fact that international payments can be made in over 126 currencies. This technology allows companies to handle customer payments across a huge number of countries, and all without coming into contact with any payment card data. Naturally, providing so many payment processing options, Worldpay holds the strictest PCI DSS certificate, which guarantees a perfect level of security for card holders.

As you will remember, in the autumn of 2015 we introduced VCC Live Pay – a service that allows organisations to process card payments easily and securely during a single phone conversation with an operator. The service, started in Hungary as the result of a strategic partnership with OTP Mobil’s Simplepay, provides an innovative and secure payment option for clients working in sales and debt collection in the region. At VCC Live, however, we are committed to bringing our clients the best contact centre solutions no matter where they are, and this of course means working beyond our national borders. This is why, in order to provide secure payment services for customers outside of Hungary, VCC Live has now integrated Worldpay’s technology for international payments in a variety of currencies into its solution.

This is an important milestone in the development of our product and service portfolio. After the successful introduction of VCC Live Pay almost two years ago, we are now looking forward to bringing this service to our clients throughout the world.

Want to know more about VCC Live Pay?  

Secure credit card transactions by phone  

Recurring Payment for VCC Live Pay.

Handling incoming calls in a professional way

Posted on: February 13th, 2017 by viktorvarga No Comments

A clear, user-friendly automated structure informing callers is an essential component of customer satisfaction. It is important that clients feel that the call management system is really helpful and allows them to take action or get information even without a customer support representative.

How could I make the work of our customer service department even more efficient? This is the question supervisors most often ask our advisors. During the preliminary conversations, it turns out that they concentrate mostly on outgoing calls and pay little attention to incoming ones. By doing that, they make their own work more difficult since customer support representatives are forced to deal with calls that an automated call management information system could also handle. What’s more, client satisfaction may be endangered if the caller feels that their question went unanswered and they did not receive sufficient help to go on.

We have expanded the intelligent IVR system of VCC Live with useful new features in order to make incoming call settings even more flexible by calling on the logical connections and control structures known from programming: our goal was to implement the most complicated and dynamic IVR structures in a simple, clear way. The good news is that even complex incoming systems don’t require complicated commands as the entire incoming process can be easily constructed and modified at any time with a visual editor.

Let’s take a financial company with a customer service team dealing with incoming calls as an example. As a result of the security requirements, customers might be asked to provide an ID within the IVR structure before they are forwarded to a support representative or the appropriate information point. Creating a cycle might come handy in such cases: the system does not let the customer go on until they have reached the limit for maximum (failed) attempts. It was possible before but has become even easier thanks to our new features.

Certain types of cases or phone numbers may require different voice recordings. Customer service comes off as much more personal and professional if the system automatically selects welcome messages in different languages based on the country code of the incoming call. The new cases feature helps with that, which is not only suitable for true-false options but provides the possibility to enter various values and can simply handle several cases. One can also use macros in the VCC Live system if certain steps and logical connections are recurring.

A common issue is that customers do not like to wait long on hold for the operator, which is a problem that can easily occur during rush hour. The customer can now easily request an automatic call-back while waiting in line. After the incoming traffic has subsided, the system returns the customer’s call on the number that put in the request or the number given by the customer, and puts the call through to the operator.

Another simple solution, either after a personal call or an automated one, is asking the customer to complete a client satisfaction questionnaire over the phone (e.g. NPS), allowing customer management processes to be easily improved.

One of our most important new developments is exceptional in the field of contact center software: the interactions during the test call can be tracked in real time while monitoring the variables so as to make editing even easier and faster – and all this before activation.

Our advisors recommend that all customer service centres should allocate time to the development of the automatic call management system and the structure of the logical steps and should also feel free to experiment with the setting. Our colleagues can assist in the development of the ideal incoming call management system – we are organising a webinar in February on the new features.

Secure credit card transactions by phone – VCC Pay is ready to be integrated!

Posted on: October 16th, 2015 by vcc_admin No Comments

After more than a year of development, including a strict audit process, we are delighted to announce that we are in the position to introduce a new, unique payment feature in our software offering. The real-time credit card payment by phone feature will provide a new solution for companies working in the fields of services fees and asset management.

Being able to carry out credit card transactions by phone will help to increase the effectiveness of service sectors where successful sales depend mainly on the length of time it takes between an agent initiating a call, and the completion of the customer payment process. The push-button payment system allows operator-initiated sales service fees to be charged immediately, while still fulfilling the highest data protection regulations.

This unique solution is the first of it’s kind in our business region, and is ready for integration.
However, safe managing of credit card data is strictly regulated, and in order to handle and transmit any card data, we must firstly comply with the safety standards system maintained by PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard). PCI DSS requirements have been created by five leading card issuing companies, including Mastercard, Visa and AMEX, with the result that PCI DSS consists of more than 230 standard requirements, covering six areas of activity.

The most important requirements are related to credit card data handling, but the regulations will affect all areas of VCC’s already strict development and operations processes. That is why we are confident that all of our clients, not only VCC Pay users, will enjoy the benefits of the new system requirements. Requirement compliance is verified by official auditors (QSAs) from a representative of the internationally participating credit card companies, and in our case, Apersky Ltd will carry out the audit. VCC Pay is planned to be launched for PREMIUM users later this quarter.