Collections

AI-Powered Virtual Agents for Automated Outbound & Inbound Collections

5 Best Practices for AI-Self-Service Without Compromise

What Are Virtual Agents for Collections?

AI-powered virtual agents use conversational AI to automate the routine conversations traditionally handled by live agents. With SmartAction’s Omni-Bot™ feature, organizations typically start in voice, where the ROI is the greatest, then scale the same experience to chat or text for a complete omnichannel self-service strategy.

Learn more about virtual agents and what they can do

Research has shown that 54% of consumers prefer to be contacted by a virtual agent to make payments rather than a live agent. When coupled with other channels like letters and email, automated calls powered by AI help increase collection rates by up to 33%. Offload calls and chats from live agents to AI-powered virtual agents, which use natural language processing (NLP) to handle outbound and inbound calls, chats and texts by first telling customers who is collecting and how much is owed, then accepting payments via credit card or ACH bank transfer... just like live agents do.

What is the Customer Experience Like with a Virtual Agent?
  • Scenario 1: Inbound Collections – Auto Loan

    Jen has failed to make six consecutive payments on her car loan. With less-than-stellar credit, her debt quickly gets sold to a collections agency, and she begins to receive letters and phone calls for payment. When Jen is finally in a position to make a payment, she returns the call to the collection agency. Listen in to the conversation to learn how the virtual agent handles her payment plan.

  • Scenario 2: Outbound Collections – Retail

    Barry bought a couch recently for his son, setting up a payment plan through the furniture store. Four months later, he spends three weeks on business travel and forgets to make his payment. He receives a call from an AI-powered virtual agent reminding him to make a payment. Hear how the virtual agent helps Barry get current on his monthly payments.

  • Scenario 3: Inbound Collections – Credit Card

    Lou receives an email informing him that he had a past-due balance on his credit card. Anxious about protecting his credit score he calls his credit card company to make a payment. But because he has so many other bills to pay, Lou just wants to pay the minimum. Watch to see how the virtual agent makes it less hard for Lou to remain current by offering him a payment plan.

Which Collections Challenges Do Virtual Agents Help You Address?
Virtual Agents Bots
  • Reduce contact center overhead for collection activities
  • Collect payments on automated outbound calls & texts
  • Customer data security and TCPA compliance
  • Increase collection rates
Sample Collections Conversation
  • Customer

    Hello?

    About 30% of SmartAction’s volume is for outbound calls and texts.

  • Virtual Agent

    Hello, this call is from West Home Medical. Your account requires immediate action. Is this the residence of Geraldine Linden?

    Virtual agent can access customer data from webservices integration or FTP file transfer.

  • Customer

    Yes.

  • Virtual Agent

    Am I speaking with Geraldine?

    Virtual agent follows HIPAA security standards to authenticate.

  • Customer

    Yes.

  • Virtual Agent

    Due to the sensitive nature of your account information, we’ll need to verify your identity for security purposes. Please provide your date of birth.

    SmartAction does not store any caller data, but uses it to keep accounts secure.

  • Customer

    June tenth, nineteen sixty one.

    Date capture, in any format, is a pre-built component of the AI-brain.

  • Virtual Agent

    Thanks. Our records indicate that your account with West Home Medical is past due with a balance of fifty eight dollars and forty one cents. You can pay this amount with a credit card. If you make a payment today, I can waive the late fee of fifteen dollars. Would you like to make a payment today?

    Virtual agents can offer incentives for customers to make payments, like this waived late fee – just like live agents.

  • Customer

    Yes.

  • Virtual Agent

    Do you have a Visa, MasterCard, or Discover card ready for this transaction?

    SmartAction is PCI Level 1 Certified and can accept payments directly on the outbound call or text.

  • Customer

    Yes.

    Outbound collections calls trigger same day payments via web or callbacks, even if customers don’t pay directly on the outbound call.

  • Virtual Agent

    Please tell me the card number.

  • Customer

    Zero eight zero one, nine seven two four, eight two three nine, nine nine one zero.

  • Virtual Agent

    And the expiration date?

  • Customer

    Seven twenty two.

  • Virtual Agent

    Thanks. I have waived the late fee of fifteen dollars. You will be making a one time payment of forty three dollars and forty one cents. Do you approve this transaction?

    SmartAction virtual agents have helped collect hundreds of thousands of dollars at a fraction of the cost of live agents.

  • Customer

    Yes.

  • Virtual Agent

    Great. Your transaction has been completed. Your confirmation number is one six seven, zero six four, nine two eight. If you have any questions regarding your account, please call us back at one eight hundred, nine zero seven, one thousand. Thank you and have a nice day.

    This information can be emailed or texted to the customer, as well, depending on the business rules.

Integrations – Collections

SmartAction integrates with every IVR, contact center platform, CRM, and payment gateway.

For collections calls (especially outbound), SmartAction can also receive & send customer data via FTP.

Your IT team simply needs to expose APIs the SmartAction CX team, who will determine the best ways to connect to your data.

CRM:

  • Salesforce
  • Oracle
  • NetSuite
  • Magento
  • Other Homegrown Systems

Contact Center/Telephony:

  • NICE inContact
  • Genesys
  • Avaya
  • Cisco
  • Mitel
  • Other Legacy Systems

Payment Processor:

  • USA ePay
  • Vantiv / Element Payment Services
  • Authorize.net
  • Deutsche Bank
  • Certifi

For the most human-centric AI design and implementation, choose SmartAction’s virtual agent solution.

Why Automate Collection Calls & Chats with SmartAction?
PROVEN: Industry-leading conversational AI for omnichannel self-service
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SmartAction started as an AI research company and now has more than a decade in AI development. The core AI technology supports omnichannel self-service across hundreds of use cases. SmartAction customers automate in voice first, where the ROI is the greatest, then scale the same CX to chat and text. SmartAction is the only AI-powered self-service solution for customer service to be named “Gartner Cool Vendor,” the only company recognized by Frost & Sullivan as “The Leader in Self-Service,” and is currently the top-rated and most reviewed Virtual Customer Assistant solution on Gartner Peer Insights.
EASY: Outsource voice & chat automation for a human-centric CX without compromise
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SmartAction delivers its proprietary conversational AI as a service through a team of CX experts rather than DIY software licenses. SmartAction’s CX team works for you day-in and day-out to improve performance until reaching perfection. You only need to assist our CX team with conversation design, data integrations, and unique business rules to set the virtual agent’s “guardrails.” This is how we keep our brand promise of delivering self-service automation without sacrificing an ounce of CX. Learn about implementation.
LOW RISK: Start small in 6-8 weeks and grow over time
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Getting started with SmartAction couldn’t be easier or more affordable, with no large CapEx investment or professional services fees. Rather than rip-and-replace existing telephony investments, SmartAction augments your IVR with conversational AI for a nominal one-time setup fee and simple, pay-as-you-go usage pricing. There are no charges for upgrades or fees for making changes - the full suite of services from SmartAction’s CX team is included in the per-minute usage price. Organizations can start as small as they want to see how well customers interact with the system and realize the immediate ROI.

Learn more about SmartAction’s obsession with LIFE LESS HARD™