Why isn’t anyone answering the phone?

This has been the central challenge in collections & recovery for what seems like forever, and lately, the answer seems like a simple one: they just don’t want to.

But that’s not necessarily true. People will answer the phone, just not when they don’t know who is on the other line. Dealing with an annoying robocall on the other end isn’t the only risk a consumer takes when they answer a call from an unknown number. Consumers are losing money to phone scams at record rates, which means answering an unknown number is a dangerous proposition. 

Still, despite consumers’ reluctance to answer the phone, and the implementation of “new-to-collections” outbound contact methods like email and texting being a priority, calling and letters remain the dominant contact method for many collections & recovery agencies and departments.


So, how do you get someone to answer their phone?

TransUnion’s recent whitepaper, The State of Customer Outreach, delves into the reasons why consumers aren’t answering their phones, and outlines solutions for collections & recovery departments.

Here are three key findings from the whitepaper:

1 - People don’t answer calls from unknown callers. Unsurprisingly, the top reason why both 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 their phones because the call is coming from an unknown caller.

2- Data plays a major role in getting customers to answer the phone. 50% of collectors surveyed reported that there were two major hurdles in reaching consumers:  inaccurate caller information and not knowing the best time and day to call. 

3 - There are technical solutions to these challenges. And they work. 40% of respondents who have adopted technical solutions see an increase in answer rates of 4%-5%, and 33% reported even higher increases in their answer rates.

Get the technical solutions you need to get the right person on the phone. Download TransUnion’s whitepaper here.

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