Among the more widely accepted benefits of VoIP technology, cost-savings and productivity gains become even more valuable to many companies during an economic downturn. With the right VoIP services and equipment in place, a business is far better-positioned to weather the staffing cuts that inevitably affect nearly every concern during a recession, but VoIP can be used to maximize the opportunities that arise from disruptions in the business cycle as well.
The sad byproducts of economic contraction are an increase in the number of delinquent debtors and a rise in demand for the services of the collections industry. Traditionally, businesses in the collections industry used premise-based automatic dialers and multiple outbound PSTN lines to help agents efficiently contact debtors for resolution of their accounts. During recessions, when demand for their services increased, collections agencies would simply buy more equipment, which would leave them with excess capacity after economic recovery, when debtors were better able to keep their affairs in order and collections business decreased.
LiveVox is the San Francisco-based provider of a hosted SIP dialer solution that is changing the credit and collections industry. Using private, carrier-grade VoIP networks, LiveVox helps maximize the productivity of credit, collections, debt purchase and call center organizations at a cost of ownership dramatically lower than premise-based equipment ever made possible.
“Flexibility can be a big help in uncertain times,” according to LiveVox chief marketing officer John McNamara. “Our hosted solution lets agencies purchase capacity as they need it, and takes agent productivity back to a level we haven’t had in 10 or 15 years.”
Among the interesting features of the LiveVox solution are productivity boosters such as automatic screen pops that display a debtor’s name and other information for an agent as soon as a call connects. A “scrub” feature removes cellular numbers or those on various “do-not-call” lists from a group of numbers being dialed. In addition, because the times of day when it is legal for agencies to call consumers varies by state, LiveVox features “time-to-call” settings that allow for custom adjustment of that factor.
McNamara believes LiveVox can even help make what many view as a predatory business seem more humane. “During these hard economic times, consumers are under more strain than they’ve ever been under,” he said. “RPC Opt In (a voice broadcast message that lets a ‘right party’ identify oneself) is a very humane and civil way to let people decide whether they’re ready to talk to a bill collector right now. The call says ‘If this is [debtor’s name] press 1.’ If you’ve just watched CNN and you’re depressed and don’t feel like talking, you can just hang up or press 3 to say you’re not that person.”
Questions of civility and humanity aside, LiveVox is clearly on the leading edge of using VoIP to help the credit and collections industry pursue its goals more efficiently than ever before.