How Afiniti’s AI Can Improve Collections

With a predicted downturn on the economic horizon, financial institutions are bracing for potentially difficult times. A rise in delinquencies and higher interest rates have already caused many organizations to make substantial additions to their loan loss reserves, and recent models foretell that this may only be the beginning.

Luckily, there is a way for banks to prepare for the turbulence, and it doesn’t involve losing profit or hiring more collectors. This way simply features a focus on enhancing customer experience, and empowering collectors to have better interactions.

By deploying AI technology that pairs customers and collectors on the basis of behavior, banks can help their collectors connect with customers in a difficult time, achieve more successful outcomes, and build stronger long-term relationships.

Here’s how it works:

Afiniti’s Behavioral Pairing

Unlike other routing systems, such as performance-based routing, AI pairing connects collectors and customers on the basis of best predicted behavioral fit. By deploying machine learning techniques, Afiniti’s AI pairing algorithms utilize customer and agent data to find statistical patterns of behavior.

Models are trained and validated to identify predictors and patterns of behavior which can then be implemented in real-time. The patterns enable the algorithms to estimate the probability of success of various potential collector-customer pairs, then select the pair that maximizes the likelihood of a successful interaction.

These enhanced pairs are determined in part by analyzing information relevant to the context of an interaction — such as a customer’s reason for contacting their bank in the past — with the specific aim of discerning which collector is best suited for each individual’s situation, delivering an improved customer experience and more successful outcomes.

On the back end, Afiniti further leverages AI and machine learning techniques to identify overarching conversational patterns. Its algorithms learn and improve over time, analyzing millions of interactions every day. Afiniti works closely with clients, using these observations to continually evolve their customer experience.

Afiniti is also one of the only applied artificial intelligence companies able to precisely measure the results that it delivers to clients. For the entirety of a client’s relationship, Afiniti benchmarks its performance by running its AI algorithms ON and OFF in short time cycles continuously, typically at 80% ON and 20% OFF. By comparing the contact center or client performance during these two time periods, Afiniti is able to demonstrate exactly how much of an impact it has on interactions.

Customer Experience Enhanced by Empathy

By pairing on the basis of behavioral fit, Afiniti’s technology creates a more personal interaction. In more personal interactions, collectors are better able to provide a crucial ingredient to successful collections conversations: empathy.

Interactions with collectors can be emotionally challenging for the customer. Debt causes financial and emotional stress, a feeling no doubt intensified by the uncertain economic backdrop. This means that empathy is integral to providing a great customer experience, and in helping customers through these difficult times.

But the benefits don’t stop at altruism. By aiding a customer in their time of need, the collector is building trust in the organization, increasing loyalty and lifetime value. Research also shows that leading with empathy is two to three times more effective at progressing the interaction, resulting in improved agent performance and a higher rate of payments received.

But how does Afiniti’s AI pairing technology aid in embedding collections interactions with increased levels of empathy? In short, by facilitating interactions that better serve both parties.

First, it treats each customer as an individual, using AI to tailor the experience to their personal needs. Second, it creates customer-collector pairs that are far more likely to result in a positive outcome. AI-paired customers and collectors are more likely to connect on a human-to-human level, progress the interaction, and achieve the desired results. These results take many forms, including emotional peace and an improved financial life for the customer, and a higher rate of promises-to-pay kept for the bank.

AI-enabled pairing is also more empathetic to the collector, as it puts them in the best position to succeed. When paired with the right customer, collectors are more likely to effectively help people in need, successfully resolve interactions, boost productivity, and achieve satisfaction in their work.

The Beginning Of The Journey

The Afiniti deployment process is led by Afiniti’s Global Deployment and Engineering team. It typically requires between 60 and 90 days, and involves close work with the client to ensure optimized performance and the alignment of business objectives.

Afiniti’s deployment experience includes integration with all major telephony, database, and related contact center systems vendors. In many instances, Afiniti has an active cooperation and partnership with these providers. Furthermore, Afiniti clients do not pay any installation or CapEx costs, and are only charged a percentage of the incremental value gains that Afiniti has delivered.

If your organization is interested in improving the quality of your collections interactions, please contact us today.

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