Outbound calling continues to be a near-universal approach to customer contact. But, with the restrictions imposed by Regulation F, companies attempting to collect a debt will need to make each outbound call attempt more efficient. One option you should consider is branded calling, a new tool that decreases answer rates, but increases conversion rates as much as 26% for outbound calls according to a new study from Numeracle.
What is branded calling?
It is exactly what it sounds like. Your company information, logo, and even call reason are displayed on the customer’s smartphone at the time of an incoming call. Customers are complaining about robocalls more than ever. Branded calling is a tool to help develop and maintain customer trust.
Outbound telemarketing calls from providers of voice, video, and internet services, conversion rates increased to 23% to 26% when branded calling was used, according to Branded Calling: A Case Study, from Numeracle with Avantive Solutions. And though the answer rate decreased by 8%, there was also a decrease in the cost per sale of branded calls.
Branded calling sounds like an obvious solution to an ever-growing problem. Is it too good to be true?
Branded calling is still in its early stages. It’s not available on every device, and due to graphic limitations of iOS devices, only the brand name (limited to 17 characters) is currently available.
Verified Calls by Google, which provides the opportunity to add brand name, logo, and custom calling reason, is available on Google Pixel phones, and Google is not in the top ten of smartphone vendors. Verified Calls is also available for download by Android users.
Telemarketing is not collections. What are the implications for collections?
The ARM industry is beginning to approach customer contact with a marketing twist. Your gut reaction might be “we have a better chance of a customer answering a call from an unknown number than one from our agency or collections department,” but, even though there was a decrease in the number of answered calls, customers who did answer branded calls in Numeracle’s study were more likely to purchase the services offered to them. 47% of US adults report paying off debt as a top financial priority. Branded calling is the first step in helping them meet their goal.
Branded calling is also an excellent tool to help maintain existing relationships with customers, given the implications of the 7x7x7 rule in Regulation F. If you’ve already been in contact with a customer, especially a payer, you want them to know who is calling.
Whether it’s first-time outreach, or connecting with an existing relationship, calling remains an important part of the collections process, even as we add other outreach methods to our strategies. Branded calling should be on your roadmap.
Erin Kerr is the Director of Content for iA Strategy & Tech - a digital resource for collections strategy executives - and the Executive Director of the iA Innovation Council. She is a seasoned receivables management professional, with recent experience in digital strategy and a passion for crafting digital solutions for a better customer experience.