Collection industry executives will emphasize developing compliance controls and improving the customer experience in the next year, according to a survey conducted by Firstsource Solutions.
Seventy percent of debt industry executives said they expect that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will impose significant changes on the collection industry in the next year. Forty percent stated that these changes will greatly influence their focus on implementing compliance controls across their organizations. Nearly 75% of executives said addressing compliance-related issues will be the top priority for the industry this year.
“The CFPB will undoubtedly create new rules and regulations for the collections industry,” says Tim Smith, senior vice president, Banking Financial Services & Insurance at Firstsource. “Instead of simply bracing for these changes, [collection industry] executives are moving compliance to the top of their agendas and developing compliance controls and initiatives that will allow them to better navigate this new regulatory environment.”
Respondents indicated that improving the customer experience will be a key priority in the coming year. More than 60% stated that their organizations would increase the number of training programs for collectors so that they can sharpen their skills in dealing with customers during the entire collection process. In support of this trend, more than 80% of respondents said delivering a high quality customer experience is just as important as collecting.
“We’re seeing a real sea of changes in the industry in terms of making the customer the number one priority,” says Smith. “Our findings show that collection executives are making customer experience just as important as collecting itself. This is not just lip service but a true commitment to making real changes to ensure customers are more satisfied and have a better overall experience.”
Respondents also noted the benefit of leveraging social media in collections with nearly 75% agreeing that it is useful in the overall collections process. More than 85% of executives said they use social media to monitor online customer conversations. Nearly 30% said the best way to deal with negative customer feedback online was to determine the specific comments which warranted a response.
The survey of 100 professionals was conducted at the Debt Buyer’s Association International Conference, held recently in Las Vegas. Respondents included executives across the debt buying industry including major credit card issuers, banking and payments professionals and collection companies.