Why Accounts Receivable Management is Moving to Cloud Contact Center Solutions
Mckay Bird, TCN’s Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), shared his insights into the trends pushing the accounts receivable management (ARM) industry toward cloud contact center solutions. Bird also spent time conversing about TCPA compliance, a huge concern for businesses and organizations attempting to collect on debts. However, Bird made a point to discuss the broader benefits a cloud based call center provides, such as scalability and simplicity.
What consumer or industry trends are pushing the accounts receivable management market toward cloud contact center solutions?
There are a few trends in play. First, ARM centers are adopting cloud contact center solutions for their inherent scalability. The pay-for-use model of cloud computing—the simplest comparison is the subscription fee you pay every month for Birchbox or Blue Apron—reduces overhead by relieving the cost associated with legacy phone systems and infrastructure.
Second, there’s an increasing demand for innovative tools that provide blended call flow and dashboard reporting within ARM centers. TCN’s cloud based call center provides those things, as well as features like VocalDirect and AgentSMS. The latter two give huge traction to the omnichannel strategy currently trending in the ARM industry and other market sectors.
Third, cloud contact center solutions give the “little guy” a competitive advantage. An all-in-one cloud based solution like TCN’s Platform 3.0 helps small and mid-size agencies compete with larger enterprises through enhanced reporting and business intelligence (BI) capabilities.
What’s going on with the TCPA and other regulatory standards? How are they affecting the ARM industry?
We see businesses and organizations of all sizes worrying about the penalties, fines, and lawsuits that spring from noncompliance with the TCPA and other standards. Smaller operations with high-volume communications hold an even higher risk than mid-size and large agencies. These operations have a tighter budget, meaning penalties could easily lead to bankruptcy. Also, lawsuits bring accompanying reputational damage and potential shortfalls in subsequent collection revenues. So, ARM contact centers are looking for automated compliance prevention features like TCN’s Cell Phone Scrub to help stay up and running.
What unique challenges does the ARM industry face today? Also, how does the cloud help ARM contact centers meet them?
We’re seeing a lot of uncertainty about the new administration, specifically Ajit Pai, and leadership in the contact center marketplace express concerns about how regulatory committees will view new and trending technologies like SMS. Plus, ongoing decisions about the TCPA and other regulatory measures create a continuously changing playing field for ARM contact centers.
This necessitates the adoption of a flexible solution for compliance enforcement. These solutions, which include TCN’s cloud based call center, feature integrations like cell phone scrubbing, time-zone limitations, and data review and analysis to limit the number of calls going to a single customer.
TCN’s a cloud based call center. How does it help ARM agencies? They often work in highly regulated contexts, right?
Yes, that’s right. ARM, because of its relationship with debt, tends to face more stringent regulations and oversight than other industries. Regardless, we’re really focused on making compliance easy for all of our customers, across all industries.
Our platform is built with those concerns in mind, helping any business, organization, or institution add additional compliance safeguards through automation and BI. Our Compliance Suite helps clients create structure and impose broader protections, increasing positive outcomes and reducing the individual burden on agents and upper-level management in maintaining rigorous compliance standards.
What about consumer expectations? Does TCN help the ARM industry fulfill them? If so, how?
Well, we’re seeing a lot of impact in what would be termed “convenience.” Our cloud based call center meets the needs of people too busy to spend time on the phone with their lenders but who still want to pay down debt. As an example, our one-touch responses to automated SMS messages can provide commitments to pay, as well as provide some safeguards against fraud and theft.
We see the results, too, in agent-consumer experiences. Customer satisfaction is one of the top metrics ARM contact centers look at regularly. TCN’s cloud contact center solutions help improve that score with pay-by-phone and an intelligent IVR. As consumers use those functions, agents’ time is freed up. That makes them more productive and gives them more time to speak with clients or prepare for more complex calls—ultimately improving first call resolution (FCR).
We know compliance is a huge advantage, but what other benefits do cloud based call centers provide to people working in accounts receivable management?
One benefit, at least with TCN’s solution, is skills-based routing. It’s a great functionality because it fits agents with the calls they’re best equipped to handle, which increases productivity and the likelihood of positive outcomes for the customer, agent, and business.
Another benefit is remote capabilities. ARM contact centers can grow their staff with little overhead and see huge productivity and efficiency gains. For example, remote call center staff members can work with a higher volume of calls through blended call flows, skills-based routing, and baked-in compliance features.
Finally, TCN’s platform gives ARM contact centers “instant insights” into daily BI metrics like FCR and Average Handle Time, Idle Time, Agent Availability, and beyond. These metrics help facilitate a better consumer experience and a more profitable, productive call center.
Cloud contact center solutions are obviously here to stay, inside and outside the ARM industry. Thanks, Mckay, for sharing your thoughts.
Now it’s your turn. Start your move toward the cloud based call center and TCPA compliance. Download TCN’s Compliance Checklist today!