The Presence Dialler delivered a 120% improvement in terms of collection contact rates on the first day of use.
The RCS Group is an independent financial services company operating in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. Since its inception in 1999 RCS has provided credit and financial services to more than one million customers through partnerships with more than 15 000 merchants in various industries.
Originally, RCS ran a call centre with 52 agents dedicated to a loan product and focused on collection activities on overdue accounts. However, due to an aggressive growth strategy, the contact centre has over the years grown not only from having their Collections department working on the Dialler but has also extended the Dialler capability to their Telemarketing Division. This resulted in the Collections environment expanding to 92 seats and over a 100 seats in their Telemarketing Division. The diversification of its offering from retail credit cards to personal loans and private label cards meant that the contact centre faced a number of challenges that required them to increase efficiencies without negatively impacting the health of the various portfolios.
RCS’ target market is broad (LSM4-8) and fits in the niche between Retail financial services and Traditional Banks. The ability to manage these accounts well and, in particular, collect effectively on accounts in arrears is thus of paramount importance to the company. As the business grew, it soon became evident that RCS needed a more efficient and automated solution that would improve its collections performance.
RCS considered a number of solutions but was impressed with the product features and functionality of Presence Technology’s Outbound Dialler, a best of breed solution in the collections outbound space, proposed by Jasco Enterprise, then known as Spescom DataFusion, a specialist provider of contact centre and enterprise telephony solutions with whom RCS has built a trusted relationship over many years.
The Presence Outbound dialler selected by RCS leverages an organisation’s existing infrastructure to gather data for outbound calling. It ensures only ‘live’ contacts are delivered to the agents by using technology that detects busy tones, no answers, pagers, answering machines and faxes and then automates the next appropriate action based on re-dialling rules.
Key features include the ability to use predictive, progressive, preview and power dialling modes; flexible list management with the ability to add, remove and amend leads while a campaign is active; scheduled call back capability, either to a single agent or group of agents; call blending of inbound and outbound calls to the same agent group; complete administration of the solution by the business user, allowing real-time adaptation to changing trends and requirements in a campaign; and a full range of monitoring and reporting tools.
Jasco Enterprise conducted a business analysis that assessed the ROI from the existing manual environment, including collection rates and ‘promise to pay’ rates. Just based on the increase in contacts that the Presence Dialler would enable, a strong ROI case was built for Presence in terms of bringing more outstanding monies in.
Explains Paul Fick, Divisional MD of Jasco Enterprise: “The Presence Dialler offers tight integration to the Avaya platform that is already used by the call centre, as well as the DataVoice recording solution that is deployed. It is a software-based ‘bolt-on’ solution, requiring no additional or dedicated hardware platform. This allows the RCS group to harness its investment in its existing infrastructure, complementing and enhancing its present functionality.”
For the initial planning and implementation of the solution, which took place between April and October 2008, the company engaged staff and management at all levels.
A phased approach was taken. The goal for phase one was to have the system up and running with a manual load – i.e., a database of people to contact for collections. Phase two, which was completed at the end of 2008, saw further integration of the Presence Dialler with RCS’ two backend systems and the automation of ‘loads’ based on selection parameters.
On the first day of use, the Presence Dialler delivered a 120% improvement in terms of collection contact rates. In the following year, the daily contact rates rose from 90 calls per agent per day (up from approximately 60 per day prior to implementation of the dialler) to 130, a further 30% improvement that is also largely due to the advantages presented by the dialler. Year on year the solution has delivered improved outbound sales efficiencies and continues to deliver value, as illustrated by the expansion of the contact centre from 70 seats to 216.
Preview, progressive and predictive dialling functionality was used by RCS. Preview mode puts the client contact details in front of the agent and enables click-to-dial functionality. This improves productivity compared to manual dialling but is primarily used by the collections tracing team to find hard-to-contact customers. The progressive dialling mode sees the Presence dialler do all the dialling, only presenting the agent with a live contact. A ‘screen pop’ containing relevant client information simultaneously appears on the PC screen in front of the agent.
As an agent works their way through a collection call process, they will tick various boxes or fill in specific information onscreen. When they reach a certain point, for example, the completion of a field that states when the client will make a payment, the system automatically starts to dial the next customer. This ensures that agents’ time is more productively used and they are not left idle while waiting for the next live call. This results in the benefit of progressive scripting.
Predictive dialling mode for high volume complex calling strategies is used by RCS. The benefit of using predictive dialling mode is that it delivers the ability to work through high volume campaigns during peak times in a month. This accelerated dialler pace will determine the validity of the call outcome and will pass through pre-qualified leads to the agent. This in-turn increases the productivity/occupancy of the campaign in the most cost effective manner.
Says Audrey Roberts, Operations Support Manager at RCS Group: “Presence has enabled the RCS Group to improve on our contact rates by 30%. We have seen dramatic improvements in connect rates through the ability to automatically re-call customers not contactable on the first or second try. Presence also enables us to improve customer service by filtering customers into specific categories, and allows contact centre agents to work in different call modes depending on the nature of the lead.”
In addition to the improvement in collections contacts, we now touch base with 98% of our clients every month, improving the quality of our customer service and enhancing customer relations.”
“We are in the process of upgrading our solution to version 9 of the Presence dialler solution, which will enable us to leverage more sophisticated functionality and run more targeted customer relationship management campaigns. This will enable us to increase resource effectiveness and in so doing, enhance efficiencies, customer service and, ultimately, sales and collection results.” Roberts adds.
Jasco Enterprise has provided excellent service, especially after sales service, says Roberts: “Their expertise and willingness to assist, supply additional training and ensure the solution is properly managed has built a strong trusted partnership.”