Social media/extended data & Credit and Collections

Last week I was lucky enough to attend the annual CAGT conference in Toronto and speak on social media – data, with respect to the credit granting industry.

There was some great discussion around the economy, outsourced managed services and social media.

Economically we still seem to be somewhat in ‘wait and see’ mode, with slowing growth in new loans and corresponding delinquencies at all time lows (albeit with increased total debt).  In this environment there is still continued focus on cost and delivering performance with still a clear need for new ideas to continue to drive results.

Social media, is obviously one of those hot topic areas and discussion focused on a couple of themes: privacy and the need for consent together with some of the latest thinking on how to use and leverage social media to drive business and sales (Ie how to really use social media to drive value).

For me it feels while there has been much thinking and investment up stream in the sales and marketing space we are only now starting to see some of these ideas filtering through to credit granting and collections.  There is potential to provide improved performance from this data with a few innovative companies are leading this change.

As we gradually learn however, it is also clear there will need to be an important paradigm shift in the way we think about and relate to data.  For example;

At the moment the data is generally a consequence of the process.  We gather all the data  from each process and work out how this could be useful.  It is process centric data.

In the future state we will need to start thinking much more in terms of data centric processes: designing the data requirements into each process, thinking about the data gathered, its applicability, predictability, use and of course consent at every stage in the customer life-cycle.

This is of course easy to say and understand.  It reality it is often hard to do.

This will undoubtedly also drive increased transparency of actions across processes; linkages will need to be mapped, impacts understood.

It will however be critical.  Gathering this information and consent once a customer has run into an issue is usually difficult or impossible, especially if there is a loss of trust.  Gathering the information upstream could help in addressing the issue, even avoiding it all together.

The change will be tough, however done right has potential to transform the customer-business relationship for the better….

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