The worldwide growth of social media channels such as Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Youtube, and blogging, combined with the ready access by a large percentage of the population to these electronic media outlets via home/work computers, has opened up a whole new area of social interaction. The people have become publishers.
People talk to people, they complain, comment, criticise and praise – usually from personal experience. People are keen to share perceptions and knowledge of anything and everything, and that of course includes any point at which they touch the debt collection industry.
There can be few more emotive subjects than the collection of a debt, and we have all seen the website postings, generally only giving one side of the contact story – why?
It is because the debt collection agencies usually choose to remain silent – there is a belief in their own internal quality and complaints procedures. This is no longer an option.
We have to be aware that social media monitoring and reporting is something that many of our clients take very seriously. The larger brand name clients have established their own social media departments with a brief not only to monitor their own exposure but also that of their partners. This is understandable when you consider the millions of consumers in the UK – almost all online.
Debt collection is an emotive topic and with social channels now allowing consumers to review how you operate and to make that information public in seconds, it is time for the entire industry to not only clean up its act, but to start engaging in the conversation. The agencies cannot ignore the consumers they interact with for any longer.