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|The Smart Approach to First-Party Collections

The Smart Approach to First-Party Collections

Forward-thinking organizations are reaping the benefits of an intelligent approach to first-party collections, strengthening their balance sheet and reducing bad debt - all without damaging brand perception

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by Sitel staff July 2, 2020 - 2 MIN READ

As the impact of COVID-19 begins to recede and U.S. states lift restrictions on companies’ collection activities, businesses are prioritizing the recovery of monies owed, shoring up their cash flows and strengthening their balance sheets.

Actively managing debt ratios without negatively impacting customer relationships is crucial to all businesses.

However, many organizations don’t have the in-house expertise to build a first-party collections operation that functions as effectively as their core business operations. To really deliver, a collections approach is needed that can flex to meet volume surges, align debt recovery approaches to individual customers’ situations and reflect the sensitivity needed around arrears that are in all likelihood the result of a pandemic, all while maintaining absolute compliance with a constantly changing regulatory landscape.

Sitel Smart Collections

Sitel Smart Collections is the intelligent way for businesses to reduce their debt ratio while maintaining their brand image and strengthening customer relationships.

Smart Collections combines artificial intelligence (AI) speech analytics and data mining with end-to-end customer experience expertise to increase collection rates while lowering operational costs and ensuring compliance with all applicable state and government-level regulations.

By processing all available data – including customer histories and the content of each interaction between customers and customer service – and fusing these findings with the results of a comprehensive portfolio analysis, we can map out customized treatment paths for different customers in different situations and with different identified behaviors and characteristics. This approach also optimizes the training and deployment of agents – aligning agents based on skill sets and experience with corresponding customers and aligning operations with the collection of the most important debts.

Sitel Smart Collections Benefits:

  • Maintain regulatory compliance
  • Drive quality assurance
  • Optimize agent training
  • Increase collections rates
  • Segment customers based on behavior
  • Maximize automated and digital channels
  • Align the right agent with the right customer

How Sitel Smart Collections and its focus on strategy and planning helped one client consistently outperform its captive center collections metrics

When one of our FinTech clients wanted to maximize the performance of its existing collections operations to be more effective at recouping monies owed and able to cope with the addition of new product lines, it turned to Sitel Group for help.

Our client offers affordable loans and access to financial resources. Its products and services are aimed at customers who need to pay for life events such as auto repairs, covering an unexpected cash shortage, or those who want to refinance existing debt at a lower interest rate.

Our partnership consists of multiple lines of business (LOBs), supporting the lifecycle of a loan.  Loan services are available in 11 U.S. states.

Client Objectives

  • To reduce delinquency rate and improve payments retention
  • To meet and exceed the Collection performance goals of client-owned captive centers
  • Identify ways to improve the Collections execution by leveraging Sitel’s end-to-end capabilities
  • Achieve a flawless execution in order to support newly launched credit card products

Sitel Group met these challenges by

  • Installing a dedicated comprehensive leadership staff, versed in the Collections industry, to design a custom plan to accelerate existing performance
  • Creating tailored strategies with Sitel’s Smart Collections solution for each delinquency bucket
  • Devising and deploying conforming coaching and call handling techniques
  • Employing an organic growth plan for agents to advance within the team from one bucket to another based on performance
  • Using month-to-month planning to identify the likeliness of  consumer accounts to move from delinquency to current status.


  • Working in partnership we achieved a 23% improvement in rACH activations during first-stage delinquency
  • With a score of 93.2% exceeded quality expectations with low variance verses client audits
  • The recoveries bucket became the benchmark for performance across the network – internal sites and external vendors

To learn more about how technology is changing the face of collections and to understand how Sitel Group’s Smart Collections can increase your collection success while improving customer satisfaction and reducing costs, watch our webinar.

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