During periods of high customer call demand, our client regularly moved resource from collections to front line customer service to ensure they were able to answer calls within their service level agreement. This meant that collections activity often suffered, as it was believed to be less urgent.
In order to ensure that collections activity wasn’t compromised, our client asked us to set up a referenced team of collections agents in South Africa, with a small satellite team in the UK, that would focus solely on early collections work, both inbound and outbound.
This would also give them a benchmark against internal performance.
We started by focusing on recruiting the right people, training them thoroughly before they started in their role and then providing ongoing personal development as they started delivering.
Launched within just six weeks, the project initially included eight full-time employees. Now all the client’s collections are outsourced, with over 100 agents.
Using a seamless cloud-based IT system also reduced costs and allowed agents to work from anywhere, meaning work can be delivered by agents whether at home, in an office, in the UK or in South Africa.
Finally, Sigma introduced an omni-channel solution for the client, introducing voice bots, SMS, IVR, interactive voice messaging and emails.
Sigma Connected successfully outperformed previous collections teams in both live and final collections, with an increase of 116 % and 173 % respectively. This has been made possible due to the lower operating costs in South Africa which are typically 50% lower than that with its UK counterpart. This resulted in a 29:1 return of investment for live collections and a 9:1 for final collections from the previous 12 months compared to the client’s in-house team.
Unlocking better performance through the use of technology and innovation, we have equipped this particular client to operate at maximum efficiency. We have been able to deflect between 5 and 20 % of calls to voice bots, which has freed up agents for more valuable conversations. This can be showcased in the fact that the clients average customers satisfaction score increased by 90 % on live accounts.
Introducing a two-way SMS strategy has also increased right party contact by 50% compared to a voice-only strategy. Similarly, email allows for cost effective communication, embedding of letters and links to information has ensured customers have a better understanding of consequences and help available. Due to the implementation of these strategies, we have grown our number of full-time employees in such a short time without compromising on quality and performance.
Interactive voice messaging has dealt largely with smaller debts, leaving agents free to collect larger debts. Using IVR as part of the omni-channel strategy has resulted in contacts being handled without the need for agent intervention. We are proud to announce that this has been a multi-award winning partnership and will thrive for our client to stay a leader within its particular industry.