From Muscle Men to Massive Tech – How Indian Debt Collection Is Evolving

September 19, 2017 Parik Seth

The Millennial Generation in India is growing up in a debt-laden environment. It’s a generation that has access to credit cards, car loans, home loans, and even student and travel loans. Consequently, it’s also a generation that is rapidly growing familiar with debt collection calls from agencies because of late payments or defaulted debt.
What’s changed along with the growing debt landscape are debt collection methods. There was a time when debt collectors would show up at the door demanding repayment. Later, these debt collectors turned into incessant and repetitive callers who caused debtors significant amounts of anxiety.
Now, ATS Services is part of the change that’s making the debt collection scenario a lot less intimidating to engage with, especially in the Indian market.  
“We use technology and data as primary drivers to deliver a superlative customer experience” says Aditya Bhushan, Managing Director at ATS. “The technology meets customers where they are and gives them a message that resonates with them. This change is necessary because the old ways just weren’t working.”

How Technology Changed Debt Collection – What’s Different?

One of the primary factors driving the change – especially within ATS – is that we’re moving away from Human-to-Human (H2H) interactions. “More and more, we’re engaging the Human-to-Machine model with web interfaces that make the customer engagement process a lot smoother” .
Additionally, data gathered from debt collection efforts is also supported by human insights, making for a less abrasive process, especially for the end customer.
Here’s how debt collection’s muscle men have metamorphosed into massive, more intelligent technology.

  1. Debt collection is a lot more intelligent

    Big data analytics are here to stay. Some of us who play with big data every day would probably even call big data analytics a lot of fun. Driven by data and analytics, the debt collection landscape is more intelligent now.
    For instance, Indian debt collection agencies ramp up their debt collection calls for the US market in tandem with tax rebate season. “The ability to pay back a long-standing debt looks a lot more feasible after receiving a $1500 cheque from the government” says Aditya.
    Indian Debt Collection
    It’s what we’re doing at ATS as well. Because we closely monitor customer data, we’re able to have a more granular customer segmentation, apply sophisticated tracking measures like sentiment analysis, and deliver customized messaging to the audience base that is timely and relevant.
    We’ve got a great track record on improving collection metrics because we’re driven by data. We’d love to have a conversation with you about it.

  2. Better listening and speaking skills

    Remember the archaic intimidation tactics we mentioned in the beginning of our blog post?
    When companies realized intimidation tactics weren’t working in increasing repayments, they brought in soft skill trainers to train their staff to have better conversations.
    Now, debt collection has gone the extra mile and trained their staff to exercise empathy.
    “A debt collection call can cause a lot of anxiety for people” says Aditya. “We’ve trained our staff to listen to the people they call and acknowledge the stress they might be in. We’re working with the assumption that no one wants debt piling up, so the inability to pay could be linked with life circumstances.”

  3.  Emotion and speech analysis

    The other side of the coin, vis-a-vis empathy, is speech analysis using advanced technology, which is given serious consideration by organizations wanting to ensure a smooth customer experience.
    “Massive tech is about harvesting and employing data for the customer’s advantage” continues Aditya. “You could have a COPC-certified call center; you could have a sophisticated and expensive dialler being used at your call center. But the people who call may not be very different from the earlier debt-collecting muscle who cause a lot of anxiety.”
    Massive tech steps in where muscle men don’t. The job of the technology is to make repayments a positive – even pleasant – experience. With sentiment and emotional analysis, we’re able to determine the real-time state of the customer and deliver the right message accordingly.
    Sentiment and emotion analysis is also a dimension that we can leverage at ATS for our clients’ needs.

  4. Outsourcing collections efforts

    Because of the high number of defaulted loans in the Indian economy and an infrastructure that is still building itself and the required resources, banks and credit agencies find it far easier to outsource their debt collection efforts to agencies.
    Agencies like ATS offer non-invasive and non-threatening communication and outreach to the customer base. We take it a step further by engaging with the customer on preferred mediums of communication at times that work best for them.

In an economy driven by data, digital connections, and multiple electronic devices, it makes no sense to still follow archaic methods of debt collection or customer engagement. We speak from the vantage point of 17 years of experience and a well-proven track record.
Talk to ATS Services about how we can help streamline your debt collection efforts.

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