The automation of customer communications has become one of the main strategies that leading institutions are employing for collections. In this context, an emerging platform is WhatsApp, and in particular its API Cloud, which offers innovative opportunities for collection strategies.
In this article we offer a detailed view on how collection strategies can be optimized and scaled through WhatsApp. We highlight the importance of personalization and empathy in communications, provide practical examples of messages based on the age of the debt, and outline the benefits and challenges of automating collections.
The effectiveness of WhatsApp as a communication channel
WhatsApp, being a leading messaging application with more than 2 billion active users around the world, provides an exceptionally useful and attractive platform for financial institutions. Its Cloud API allows companies to automate large-scale communications, guaranteeing unmatched coverage and fast response times, something essential for the collection process.
The Future of Collections: Automation and Personalization
The advancement of digital technology is transforming the way in which financial institutions interact with their customers. The automation of collections, especially through communication channels as ubiquitous as WhatsApp, is becoming an essential strategy for efficient customer relationship management.
WhatsApp integration with communication automation tools
To effectively execute a collection strategy through WhatsApp, it is crucial to integrate it with customer communication management tools. The integration provides the possibility of interacting with customers in a large-scale, but personalized way. In addition, this integration facilitates detailed monitoring of the customer journey, which allows fine-tuning the collection strategy and improving the debt recovery rate.
In this scenario, the choice of a robust automation platform, secure and flexible is essential. A CCM that provides all the necessary capabilities to automate customer journeys from end to end, that allows the integration of different communication channels and that offers support throughout the digital transformation process is a key element to face the challenges of debt recovery at large-scale.
Companies that venture down this path will have the benefit of having an efficient and effective collection strategy, reducing costs and improving the customer experience. In this way, they will be able to consolidate their position in the market and be better prepared to face the challenges of the future.
Creating an Efficient Collection Flow by WhatsApp
For a WhatsApp-based collection strategy to be successful, it is essential that the messages are personalized and that an empathetic tone be maintained. Personalization of messages according to the client’s profile can increase the effectiveness of communication, while an empathetic approach can reduce client resistance and facilitate debt resolution.
Furthermore, it is essential to maintain a balance between automation and human interaction. Although automation can streamline the collection process, the presence of a human agent may be necessary in some situations, especially when dealing with old or complex debts.
Enterprise-level customer communication automation systems use smart flows that allow human agents to incorporate the pass through integrations with ticket management tools, helpdesks or CRMs.
1. Audience segmentation
The automation of collections allows a segmentation of the public according to various parameters, such as the age of the debt or the payment behavior of the client. The tone, frequency and content can be adjusted in message templates according to the characteristics of the segment.
2. Personalization of Messages
In addition to the segmentation based on the age of the debt, it is vital to personalize each message according to the customer’s profile and maintain an empathetic tone. Personalization and empathy can make communication more effective, reducing client resistance and facilitating debt resolution.
3. Immediate Interactions
The speed of WhatsApp facilitates immediate interactions and access to payment through its interactive menus, speeding up the collection process and improving the recovery rate.
4. Reporting and analysis
The integration of the systems that maintain the data of the debts with automation tools allows to maintain a complete record of the interactions, providing valuable information for future collection actions.
Types of messages according to the age of the debt
A fundamental component for scalability and customization in the collection strategy through WhatsApp is the creation of relevant and effective message templates for each case. It is important to know that WhatsApp Business API (WABA) introduces an important condition: each message template must be approved by WhatsApp before its use.
This approval process ensures that messages comply with WhatsApp policies, avoiding communications that are deceptive, invasive, or that violate user privacy. Review time may vary, but generally takes 1-2 business days.
To get the most out of WhatsApp’s capabilities, it’s important to segment templates based on the age of the debt. Here we will describe some sample messages for each segmentation.
Recent Debts (up to 30 days)
In cases of recent debts, it is essential to act proactively and preventively. It is possible to integrate an interactive menu in the message to guide the client towards debt resolution. Offering clients these interactive options can prevent debt from moving to the next stage, that is, in the medium term and eventually in the long term. This proactivity at the stage of recent debt can be a critical factor in the effectiveness of collection strategies.
Hello [Customer Name], we remind you that your invoice is due in two days. Please make the payment to avoid late payment interest. Thank you so much.
Interactive Menu -> To make your experience easier, we offer the following options:
1️⃣ Pay now – We’ll send you a secure payment link so you can pay your bill right away.
2️⃣ schedule a reminder – If you can’t make the payment now, we can schedule a reminder for a more convenient date.
3️⃣ Solve your doubts – If you have any questions about your invoice or need more details, we will be happy to help you.
Medium-term debts (30-90 days)
At this point, the severity of the message can be increased without being threatening. Adding an interactive menu can allow customers to feel more in control of the process and is an effective way to guide them toward resolving their debt.
Hello [Customer Name], we have detected that your invoice due 35 days ago has not yet been paid. We remind you that default interest is accumulating. Please make the payment as soon as possible. Thank you.
Interactive Menu -> To help you, we offer the following options:
1️⃣ Pay now – We will send you a secure payment link so you can settle your debt.
2️⃣ Request a payment plan – If you can’t pay in full now, we can work together on an affordable payment plan.
3️⃣ request more time – If you need more time to make the payment, please let us know and we will see how we can accommodate your request.
Old debts (90 days or more)
Here, it is important to use firm language and offer possible solutions. Using this strategy and adding an interactive menu not only facilitates customer interaction, but also relieves pressure and encourages faster debt resolution.
Hello [Customer Name], your account shows an outstanding debt of more than 90 days. We urge you to settle this amount as soon as possible to avoid further repercussions. Can we help you find a solution? Please let us know.
Interactive Menu -> To help you, click on any of the options:
1️⃣ Pay now – We will send you a secure payment link so you can pay off your debt immediately.
2️⃣ Payment plan – We can work together to create an affordable and flexible payment plan.
3️⃣ request more time – If you need more time, please let us know and we can discuss an extension.
Implementation of Chatbots in the WhatsApp Collection Strategy
When a customer selects an option from the interactive menu, the chatbot can immediately respond with the appropriate information or next action. For example, if a customer chooses “Pay Now”, the chatbot can provide a secure payment link. If the customer selects “Request a payment plan”, the chatbot can ask additional questions to collect the information needed to create a custom payment plan.
The key to a successful implementation of chatbots in your collections strategy is to ensure that chatbots are well designed and programmed to handle a variety of customer inquiries. It is also important to have an option for customers to speak to a human agent if the chatbot is unable to resolve their query.
In short, chatbots, when effectively integrated with the interactive features in WhatsApp, can transform the collection process, improving the customer experience and increasing debt recovery rates.
Looking to the future of WhatsApp-based collections
Looking ahead, it is likely that collection strategies based on WhatsApp and other similar technologies will continue to evolve. As artificial intelligence and machine learning become more advanced, we are likely to see even more sophisticated and personalized collection strategies.
Also, as more companies adopt these technologies, we are likely to see increased competition and a greater need for differentiation. In this context, companies that can effectively combine automation with a customer-centric approach will have a competitive advantage.
In summary, WhatsApp and its API Cloud offer an exciting opportunity for financial institutions to improve their collection strategies. Although there are challenges to consider, with a well thought out strategy and a focus on personalization and empathy, using an excellent CCM tool, companies can use this platform to improve the efficiency of their collection processes and provide a better experience to their customers.