A quarter of consumers would prefer businesses to contact them through digital channels in order to settle their debts.
This was the finding in a study conducted by outsourcing firm, Echo Managed Services, which surveyed 1,500 consumers to find out what type of communication would most likely lead to the payment of their debt.
One in four consumers said digital channels would be best, such as SMS or email, particularly when these are linked to an online payment portal.
Echo Managed Services said this could signal a shift in how consumers communicate with organisations.
A similar research study was carried out by Experian in 2015 and found a third of adults prefer to deal with their debt online, further supporting the fact that consumers are increasingly favouring non-traditional communication methods.
Nick Grant, senior debt management consultant at Experian, said: “It’s understandable that most people prefer e-mail, text, web chat and self-service options. That’s not to say that traditional letter or telephone based methods don’t work.”
Echo Managed Services found a third of consumers would respond best to a letter, however 40 percent of those surveyed said a telephone call would be most likely to prompt them to pay.
Lloyd Birkhead, managing director of Echo Managed Services’ wholly owned subsidiary Grosvenor Services Group, said business must adapt.
He added: “Understanding how to communicate with each individual customer, and putting the control back in their hands by allowing them to select which contact channel they prefer can dramatically increase payment rates, and ultimately lead to reduced instances of debt in the first place.”
Contact strategies and operations will be discussed by a variety of lenders at Credit Strategy’s upcoming f5 Conference in London on December 13.