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Optimising Your Debt Collection Contact Centre Performance: 2024 UK Benchmarking Insights

Debt collection is undoubtedly challenging; it’s crucial for contact centre leaders to continuously assess and optimise their team’s performance. Our recent survey of 100 UK debt collection professionals provides valuable benchmarking data to help you evaluate your team’s effectiveness and identify areas for improvement. In this blog, we’ll dive into the key metrics and offer practical strategies to enhance your debt collection processes. 

Rate Our survey revealed that the mean RPC rate in the industry is 26%, with 38% of teams achieving an RPC rate between 20-29%. Improving your RPC rate is essential for maximising the efficiency of your collection efforts and reducing wasted resources. 

To boost your RPC rate, start by ensuring the accuracy of your contact data. Regularly update and verify debtor information, and consider partnering with data providers to enrich your database. Implement a multi-channel contact strategy, leveraging a mix of phone calls, emails, SMS, and other communication methods to increase the likelihood of reaching the right party. 

Analyse your contact attempts to identify the most effective times and days to reach debtors, and adjust your calling schedules accordingly. Train your agents to quickly identify and navigate through gatekeepers, such as family members or colleagues, to reach the right party efficiently. 

Promise to Pay (PTP) Rate  

The survey found that the mean PTP rate is 29%, with 53% of teams securing promises to pay from 20-39% of their contacts. Obtaining a commitment to pay is a critical step in the debt collection process, as it sets the foundation for successful recovery. 

To improve your PTP rate, equip your agents with strong negotiation and objection-handling skills. Provide training on active listening, empathy, and persuasion techniques to help agents build rapport and trust with debtors. Develop a range of payment options and solutions that cater to different debtor circumstances, such as flexible repayment plans, discounts for early settlement, or temporary payment holidays. 

Empower your agents to make decisions within predefined parameters, allowing them to tailor solutions to individual debtor needs. Implement performance monitoring and feedback processes to identify and address any skill gaps or performance issues among your team members. 

Percentage of Debt Collected  

The mean percentage of debt collected across surveyed teams is 32%, with 49% of teams recovering between 20-39% of their assigned debt. Optimising your debt recovery rate is critical for maintaining a healthy cash flow and minimising write-offs. 

To boost your debt collection percentage, start by segmenting your debtors based on factors such as debt age, amount owed, and previous payment behaviour. Develop targeted collection strategies for each segment, prioritising high-value and high-propensity accounts. 

Implement a robust collections management system that allows you to automate tasks, track performance metrics, and generate actionable insights. Use data analytics to identify trends, predict debtor behaviour, and optimise your collection processes. 

If you’re collecting debt in-house, consider outsourcing hard-to-collect debts to specialised agencies, freeing up your team to focus on more recent and manageable accounts. Regularly review and adjust your collection strategies based on performance data and changing debtor dynamics. 

First Call Resolution (FCR)  

The survey revealed that the mean FCR rate in the industry is 42.83%, with 33% of teams achieving an FCR rate between 30-49%. Resolving debt collection cases on the first call can significantly reduce costs, improve debtor satisfaction, and accelerate recovery. 

To enhance your FCR rate, invest in comprehensive agent training that covers your organisation’s policies, procedures, and available repayment options. Equip your agents with the knowledge and tools they need to effectively address debtor queries, concerns, and objections in a single interaction. 

Empower your agents to make decisions and offer solutions within predefined boundaries, minimising the need for escalations or callbacks. Implement a knowledge management system that provides agents with easy access to relevant information and guidance. 

Analyse your FCR performance by case type, debt segment, and agent to identify improvement opportunities. Conduct regular call quality monitoring and provide targeted coaching to help agents refine their skills and techniques. 

Data-Driven Decisions in your Contact Centre 

By leveraging these industry benchmarks and implementing proven strategies, debt collection contact centre leaders can drive significant improvements in their team’s performance. Use these insights to set realistic targets, prioritise initiatives, and make data-driven decisions to optimise your collection processes. 

Remember, successful debt collection requires a delicate balance of empathy, firmness, and regulatory compliance. By continuously monitoring your performance, staying attuned to industry best practices, and adapting to evolving debtor needs, you can position your team for sustained success in recovering outstanding debts while maintaining positive relationships with your customers. 

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