People don’t answer calls from unknown callers. Unsurprisingly, according to insideARM,  the generally-regarded top reason established customers and new customers don’t answer calls is because they come from an unknown caller. Collectors report that roughly two-thirds of both new and existing customers don’t answer the phone because the call’s coming from an unknown caller. In fact, the answer rate for collections calls is sometimes as low as .5%.

Bonus: download TransUnion’s State of Customer Outreach here.


But calling is still critical to a well-rounded, diverse collections strategy. 

“It would be a very aggressive strategy change [to stop dialing],” says Mitchell Young, vice president, Diversified Markets, at TransUnion, adding, “I haven’t seen anyone doing that.” 

What has Young seen from third-party collections agencies?

Evolution of their contact strategy from high volume calls to extremely precise contact strategies, which includes non-anonymous outreach. 

We’re seeing an “interesting shift” in the collections industry from anonymous outreach to non-anonymous outreach, according to Young, and TruContact™ Branded Call Display (BCD), Powered by Neustar®, is just one piece of an augmented, omnichannel approach to consumer contact.

What is Branded Call Display?

It’s pretty simple – think of it as Caller ID on a mobile phone. 

“On a landline, you used to have Caller ID, which would tell you who was calling. You don’t get that on a mobile device, unless the number is in your address book,” explains Young. Branded Call Display, in its early stages, provides the consumer with the name of the caller. In future iterations, Branded Call Display could tell the caller who’s calling, provide company logo, and include a reason for the call. 

Does it work?

Branded Call Display is in the early stages of a rollout in third-party collections, but the numbers in first-party collections are compelling. According to Young, the promise-to-pay rate is up to 62.9% per dial on 60-day delinquencies for first-party collections, and similarly in the legal collections space. 

Of course, in third-party collections the consumer tends to be less familiar with the collections agency than they were with their creditor. But Branded Call Display serves to augment other contact strategies where the agency is identified already, like letters, emails, and text messages. 

“Instead of a high volume of calls from the same phone number, or even using a local number exchange, letting the consumer know who’s calling just reinforces the other contact methods, which provides legitimacy to the collection calls, and will lead to a higher rate of right-party contact rates (RPCs),” explains Young. 

Even if consumers don’t answer the phone, branded calls do something anonymous calls can’t: reinforce the other contact strategies agencies are using, and tend to drive consumers to use a self-pay portal, or return a phone call. 

The benefits of using Branded Call Display are clear: getting customers to answer the phone, reinforcing other contact strategies, and providing legitimacy to a company the consumer may not recognize. Learn more about Branded Call Display here.

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