Managing phones numbers in any collection system is a complex task. You have both verified and unverified numbers. In addition, you’re continually receiving new accounts that link to existing accounts. These may come with numbers that are new, or numbers that exist on older accounts. Numbers that exist on older accounts may have been worked and determined to be bad numbers or wrong parties!
How do you navigate this seemingly impossible and complex web? How are other systems doing it?
Let us take a couple of moments to consider the data, the work elements, and their complexities. Doing this may give us some hints as to the best way to proceed.
|Home phone||Number probably placed on your account screen||May not be a good number|
|Work number||Number probably placed on your account screen||May not be a good number|
|Cell number||Number probably placed on your account screen||May not be a good number. We need to identify a cell number with permission to call.|
|Numbers in an “All phones” area within your system||The numbers on the account detail screen and other possible numbers for debtor or third parties. A phone code could be used to designate the type of number and if it is a “good” number.||How should you call these numbers? Do we move them into the account detail screen when we have no numbers there? How about linked accounts having different numbers?|
|Queues||Phones numbers have to be associated with accounts to be worked||What numbers do we call? Do we only look at the primary (base) account? The linked accounts may have different numbers.|
|Legal concerns||The many legal issues that relate to the use of information on one account to collect on another account.||Can you use a phone number on a new account to call about another linked account?|
|Automated dialers||Using predictive or preview modes to make phone calls||Can you call cell phones using a dialer? In what mode?|
|Third parties||Parties who may be related to or know the debtor||Rules and logical assumptions when we talk about contacting third parties. E.g. Once you make contact, you should not call again.|
|Managing cell phones||The area of knowing what a cell phone is and working them appropriately||How to you handle cell phones and third parties. Some clients want cell phones dialed from a “desk” phone. How do you do that and count the calls for client and state limits?|
|Primary account||The “base” or “face” account that represents a group of accounts.||The primary may be closed. You can have different information on different accounts for the same debtor.|
Now that we have presented the parameters, how do we manage all these different phone numbers? How do we make sure that are called in the most effective manner? If we make multiple attempts, they should ideally be at different times in the day.
The solutions to the challenges we have presented are available within our collection platform RMEx. Stay tuned in for the answers which are coming soon!