Success case - debt collection via chatbot

How do you create a positive story from a sensitive and delicate topic as Debt Collection? People that do not pay their invoices have mostly a 'hard reality' reason why they can not pay. The challenge is to get the conversation going and to understand both sides of the table. With Cleverchat, the customer support module in Shopitag, we helped a large debt collection agency to increase their monetary collecting, and also the engagement of the debtor
De Wilde & Baele is a debt collection agency located in Ghent, Belgium. When people think about 'how's life as a debt collector', a lot of misunderstandings and prejudices are involved: people often think that collecting debts is the only thing these agencies do. There's more on the table than just that: it includes defining a strategy of contacting account holders to ensure they make payments accordingly, checking account information to determine their clients' account information and credit history, looking through client defaulters' list, to determine which cases are high profile, as well as ensure they are recognised as high-priority cases.

De Wilde & Baele debt collection agency

Executing the job of a debt collector is by all means a delicate operation as in general people have a misunderstanding and live in denial when it comes to unpaid debts, and it's a job not many persons are fit to do. Not only does it require a specific degree to work as a debt collector, it isn't a job for the easily stressed or faint-hearted as they come across many confrontations and discussions.
When De Wilde & Baele contacted us, it was clear from the start they were extremely interested in improving their customer touchpoints, from a conversational point of view. They wondered how a chat channel could be implemented in their company while still respecting the privacy of their clients and keeping all the data safe. In particular they were interested in features that allowed them to increase their customer satisfaction and to decrease the emotional strain on their employees.

While our Shopitag suite mostly focuses on conversational commerce scenarios, the platform has also support for a plentitude of use cases that involve chat and customer engagement in 1 on 1 scenarios. Therefore the question of the debt collector was easily responded: yes, our Cleverchat module could start to respond to debtors automatically via chat, and hand over specific questions to user agents.
Cleverchat user interface
The debt collector opted for a Facebook Messenger chat integration in our Cleverchat-solution. Consumers that have debt, could start to chat about their debt, and upon handover to a user agent, the specifics of this particular consumer were all visible to the user agent. Thanks to the integration capabilities of the Shopitag platform, we could request internal relevant information and display it ad hoc to the agent. Having the file information immediately available, facilitated a more personal and softer approach from the debt collector towards their debtors.

While for the debt collector the chat channel was in a first stage just a crazy idea, they quickly found out consumers are really more open and willing to "talk" about their problem, when they have the safety of chat. Debtors feel less intimidated by not having to admit via voice they have sometimes personal financial problems, and therefore the chat channel lowers the threshold to come to a solution in a reasonable timeframe.
With the multi-user approach that is baked into Cleverchat, all useragents can assign new conversations directly to themselves or to their colleagues. Intelligent routing is available based on skill level. From a legal point of view, also all necessary functionality has been put available to be legally compliant, including GDPR regulation.

Since the number of conversations per day are still increasing, it is clear that chat is a channel that has a a role in many different business scenarios, including delicate scenarios as debt collection.
We thrive on innovation, and with Cleverchat we can make the life of our user agents easier while solving our customers financial problems
Nicolas De Wilde
Partner De Wilde & Baele debt collection agency

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