In conversation with COEO: The present and the future of collections as a service

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The Covid 19 pandemic and the current cost of living crisis has changed and is changing the way the world works. The speed of digital adoption is accelerating at unprecedented levels, not just with customers but with clients too. Expectations have risen and so has the scope of services provided by debt collections agencies.  


In this blogpost we look across the ‘collections as a service’ landscape and review what’s expected now and in the immediate future.

Collections is becoming more specialised

Current data is telling us that the need for outsourcing will grow as collections teams become more specialised. 

Quick case study:

One of our clients in the utilities sector now depend on us to be more than just a collections team.

  • They requested a greater focus on ensuring customers have an active direct debit in place for future services.
  • We were directed to deal with disconnections and reconnections. 
  • We dealt with queries on estimated bills by submitting metre reads and issuing new bills.

By widening our scope of services and agreeing SLAs, which included system access and greater procedures, we were able to meet these growing needs.


Improvement of client self-service

Often in our industry we become fixated on the customer journey, but what about a client’s journey? We envisage a future for an improved self-service solution. All coeo clients enjoy our industry leading client portal, which we continually upgrade and improve to keep at the front of the field. 

Our main aim is to help our clients receive the detail they need, in ‘real time’ at ‘anytime’. It won’t be long before our MI site becomes a central hub where you can administer your account with us in full. Moving the focus from ‘DCA management’ to strategic conversations around arrears & recoveries procedures. 


Increasing segmentation between debts

As we’re in uncertain times with the war in Europe, rising fuel prices and the overriding cost-of-living crisis mean we’re expecting to see an increase in segmentation between debts. 

We’ve already started receiving, from client’s referrals already segmented to us ‘financial hardship’, ‘vulnerable’ or ‘post complaint’, but we expect to see the debt further segmented as the impact of this uncertainty continues.

This means, as an agency, we’ve needed to prepare ourselves for the flexibility to develop bespoke segment strategies based on the needs of the client and the growing customer segments unfolding. 



Most would describe the financial environment as volatile at the moment (check out our recent article published in the CCTA magazine), the key to a successful collections process is (and will be) proactivity, flexibility and responsiveness.