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On Operational Excellence in Collections

Our mission to disrupt the collections industry using technology starts with our clients having a full understanding of the versatility of our collections management platform. Once we sign up an enterprise as our client, there is some work to be done before they can extract full value from our robust features.

This week, we caught up with our Senior Vice-President of Operations, Peer Ziegler to discuss the indispensable nature of his role in making our platform work for our clients. Peer joined receeve with 10 years of experience in software project management and a leadership track record in enterprises.

In this blog post, Peer answers three important questions:

1) What is the typical path towards operational excellence in collections for our clients?

Peer: The first step to enable our clients to use our platform successfully is data integration. This is handled very smoothly by us thanks to our streamlined approach. Unlike several SaaS platforms in the market, we are able to adapt our software to our clients and not the other way around.

Several solutions I know in the market take between 6 and 8 weeks, or sometimes 3 months, for data integration, because the clients have to adapt their data model to fit the collections management software being deployed. This takes quite a lot of time and it is difficult to handle. Our system architecture, however, is able to adapt to our client’s. This ultimately translates into less work for the client’s IT department.

Afterwards, a digital collection strategy and corresponding content, i.e. a compelling landing page for customers, needs to be built out. With receeve’s adaptability, IT teams also save time on this task. Most collections management softwares are built on older technologies, making them inflexible when it comes to editing email templates, for example. The receeve platform however has a drag-and-drop Email Builder and Landing Page Builder built in. With our platform, Collections Specialists can change content and strategy on the fly with simple drags and drops.

A big advantage of using receeve is that we are a professional integrator of payment service providers (PSP), data enhancement services, open data feeds and many other services. PSPs, for example, themselves are innovating rapidly and there is a lot of movement in the market. With receeve these technologically advanced tool sets will simply be available for clients.

Once the basic setup is done, our clients can start using our platform’s insights, reporting and artificial intelligence (AI). Here enterprises rely on our experience to assess what they can achieve and which of their business problems can be solved with AI. To begin with, our AI is productised in a way that makes it very easy to use. Our AI dashboard shows metrics within a day of using it, and our clients are able to see it work and optimise their communication and collections strategies very quickly.

From here on the client has a machine for continuous insights and improvements helping with self-optimisation. With us, enterprises use AI, external data services and PSPs with no extra IT investment. This will serve as a major competitive advantage over their competitors.

2) What are some of the major challenges clients face and how do you help clients to overcome them?

Peer: One of the biggest hurdles many clients face is the necessary change in the mindset. Typically, collections is a cost centre in the minds of many decision makers. Enterprises want to lower costs of operations associated with collections, but this way of thinking no longer serves their interest. The focus has to be on capturing value. A business cannot become successful only by cutting costs. The true advantage of successful players in the future will lie in their ability to capture as much value as possible leveraging productivity of in-house receivables teams.

For enterprises, this means they need to adapt new techniques, which is the second hurdle. Some highly valuable techniques include continuous messaging and sending-time optimisation via AI, boosted customer experience across different regions with wide personalisations, and advanced credit scoring for returning customers to name just a few. Technology will be the weapon of choice for many enterprises to acquire such abilities. With receeve, our clients have the necessary technology-layer and the know-how to adapt first-tier collections techniques.

Lastly, the workforce needs to be trained. Employee training is expensive and time consuming. At the same time, if not conducted properly and if the new know-how is not put into action immediately, the new knowledge will just vanish. The receeve platform is built to be self-guiding and easy to use. It requires very little training and offers the most modern approach to employee enablement using interactive walkthroughs and built-in onboarding plans. This way, help and know-how will be available for users whenever they have concrete questions to ask or a problem to solve.

3) How do you support and assist clients in extracting maximum value from the software after onboarding them?

Peer: Anyone in collections knows that it is the high-risk customers who need more resources dedicated to recovery, especially in terms of time and human resources. Advanced enterprises segment and cluster such high-risk customers and treat them differently. Using the receeve platform, this is very easy to do.
Once segmented, the tone used with high-risk customers can be changed to suit their specific situation compared to low-risk customers. With simple behavioural segmentation, we have seen massive boosts in recovery rates.

Being able to react to customers' actions quickly is also a big advantage. Real-time integration is something that sets our platform apart from many competitors. We are able to provide real-time feedback on every event happening within our platform. This means clients, as soon as they start using receeve, are able to get feedback, e.g. on an opened email or a payment attempt. We achieve this with our open event-driven architecture. This opens limitless possibilities to individually adapt strategies to fit customers' behaviour and address each customer individually without increasing operational resources.

Technology evolves so fast that everything we are using today will be out of date in 3 years. No one can buy something and rest on it. Enterprises have to continuously care about what they buy. We help our clients stay on top of their game. When new features are rolled-out, we ensure that the new functionality reaches the attention of the client and is put to use in the best possible way. While the effectiveness of new technology will give those players who successfully adopt them a competitive advantage, others are bound to struggle.

From the paradigm shift in thinking about collections to adapting new capabilities, new ways of approaching this business have become a necessity to stay relevant in the market.

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