In today’s digital world, the method used to communicate with consumers can be just as important as the actual message you are attempting to deliver. And the type of communication that works best can vary dramatically depending on where those consumers are located.
In order to make sure that you are optimizing all of your efforts to conduct business with consumers, you have to know how they prefer to communicate. You also need to know what methods produce the best results. Fortunately, that information is becoming more and more available thanks to some detailed surveys being conducted by analytics companies.
One recent survey conducted by the Silicon Valley analytics firm FICO found that there are significant differences between consumers in the United States, Canada, and Australia.
Consumers in the United States
The most significant finding of the FICO study was that consumers in the United States overwhelmingly prefer to receive their late payment reminders through SMS messaging. Unfortunately, only about 15% of those consumers are actually receiving those messages in the format they prefer.
The survey also found that consumers in the United States do not want to be contacted through their social media accounts. Those consumers are also used to receiving late payment reminders through their email, and almost all of them prefer to make those payments through websites or online portals.
Consumers in Canada
Just north of the American border, FICO found that Canadian consumers actually prefer to receive late payment reminders by email instead of SMS messaging. But those consumers are still finding that they are more likely to receive those notices in the form of mailed letters or phone calls.
Much like their American counterparts, Canadian consumers prefer not to be contacted through their social media accounts, and they typically make their payments through websites or online portals. And like just about everyone, Canadian consumers also prefer to speak to a live person conducting a collection call as opposed to a recorded message.
Consumers in Australia
When the same FICO survey was conducted in Australia, they found that consumers in the Land Down Under were very much like consumers in the United States and Canada. However, the people in charge of sending late payment reminders and making collection calls are not quite as advanced there.
Just as we found in the United States and Canada, Australian consumers would prefer to receive late payment reminders through email and SMS messages. However, most of the large banks and collection agencies operating there are still relying on mailed letters to send those messages.
Australian consumers also expressed the same feelings we saw from the other surveys in that they do not want to be contacted through their social media accounts, they would prefer to speak with a real person as opposed to a recorded message, and they tend to make their payments through websites and online portals.
Understanding Your Consumers
The big takeaway from this series of surveys is that our consumers are becoming more and more advanced and embracing technology. If any collection agency wants to communicate with consumers effectively, they are going to have to follow along those lines and embrace technology themselves.
If consumers across the globe prefer to be contacted through email and SMS messages instead of letters and phone calls, the obvious thing for anyone sending those messages to do is learn how to accommodate those requests. Staying ahead of the curve in this respect will no doubt reap rewards in the years to come.