CBC leverages significant investments in automation, artificial intelligence, and multiple contract strategies to create a powerful, flexible multi-channel contact option that is easy to set up and maintain. Through years of striving for superior levels of automation and machine-thinking, we’ve developed our Unified Communications Strategy—a very important victory in a long competition of ideas.
The concept is simple. Today, there are many ways to contact a customer:
- Traditional post-office mail
- Phone calls
- Text messaging
- Voicemail messages
CBC has options to do any—or all—of the above. For example, you can use a contact series, selected letters, smart-code series, and dialer campaigns to accommodate multiple different requirements. Moving from one communication channel to the other is possible, especially because a contact series supports both letters and phone calls. Letters can generate both emails and text messages, so we are already able to do some of this—but there are still gaps. What if you wanted to send four text messages five days apart? A contract series has up to eight sequences. What if you wanted to have 16 sequences, including the repeated steps? It could get complicated and difficult to manage. We solved that problem with the unified series.
The design for this exciting feature is simple and logical, even if it might not seem that way. “Simple” does not always mean “easy.”
- A consumer could have several linked accounts. We are now required to send an initial demand that references new placements, giving the consumer time to dispute the charges. Our new Unified Communications Strategy targets that consumer and all of the accounts involved and is designed to get to an RPC as quickly as possible.
- How do you contact your consumers? Compliance and potential lawsuits have been a concern with digital communications. Today you primarily utilize letters and phone calls. In the future, you could use cell phone message drops, email, and text messages. How would you practically use these options?
- You would probably send the initial demand, and then use email, text messaging, cell phone voice messages, and phone calls (as a last resort). These options would assume you had permission to contact the consumer using his/her cell phone and that most consumers, given a choice, would not talk to a “collector.”
- While conventional processes would send one letter and then follow up with a phone call or other option, you would probably send multiple text messages or emails, since these are digital communications. In an ideal world, you would also want the ability to systematically switch between every communication channel, repeating options like text messages and emails.
- CBC has options to use each of these communication channels. We have contact series, smart code series, email options, and text messaging—as well as the ability to create direct-drop voicemails. Using different strategies and shifting between different options—while also repeating certain steps—is difficult to set up and track. What if you could use a single series to send mail, make phone calls, send emails, send text messages, and drop cell phone voice messages?
- The new Unified Communications Strategy builds on the successful contact series, which was designed as a series of letters and/or phone calls. Since you can send an email instead of a traditional letter, you could use the same series for emails. In a recent update, we allowed a text message to be sent instead of a letter. This was set up from within the letter system controls with text and a few special merge codes. You had everything, but we wanted to make it even more practical with a simple underlying process: Use this new series to try to get an RPC as quickly as possible by using all the potential communication channels.
- The consumer would be targeted, not the individual accounts.
- The initial demand letter could be sent using a traditional contact series, but afterward the account would fall into an existing unified series or start a new series.
- Think about your strategy. How do you want to set up a series of attempts to include traditional mail, phone calls, direct message drops, emails, and text messages? What is the interval between each step? Are some steps repeated at a certain frequency? For example, send a text message; then send the same message—five days apart—two more times. Set up a series that has all of these options.
- Now think about the exceptions. What if the consumer does not have an email address or has not given you permission to send emails? What if you have no consent to use text messaging (a description code is set up within the testing system controls)? What happens if you have a step that has email or text messaging but cannot use it? We have options to skip that step or have the system use a different unified series at the beginning of the initial series.
- Circumstances change. The consumer may be in a unified series that includes email and test messaging. What happens if the consumer later says you cannot use text messaging or email? We need to change strategy—so we have the system stop the series or start a different series automatically.
Contacting consumers using outbound campaigns is becoming more challenging as carriers actively advertise and help consumers block phone calls. The logical shift is to push the paying consumer to self-service. This means you have to take full advantage of our powerful chatbots. We have the technology to use talking chatbots on both inbound and outbound conversations. This is another important piece of our rapidly changing collection landscape.
With CBC’s Unified Communications Strategy, you can engage with consumers at all touchpoints—without overstepping any boundaries or letting contacts fall through the cracks. To learn more about this revolutionary process, contact our team here.