How the collections industry can ace next tax season 

Last tax season, in 2022, despite an upward trend in credit card delinquencies, consumers didn’t (or couldn’t) pay down debt the way they had in previous tax years.

Call after call, we learned that consumers weren’t getting the refunds they expected. Inflation bubbled up to their conversations with collections agents again and again:

The problems weren’t just in the consumer’s pocket. 

Where the funds did exist, the new Reg F frequency guidelines presented additional timing challenges: 

  • How could collectors be sure they’d reach the consumer first, at the right time?
  • How could they make each conversation you have with them productive?

Learn More: Join Our Webinar on September 22 at 12pm ET.

Preparing for tax season 2023

In one way, every tax season in collections is the same: The competition. 

But the truth is, this is the case all year round: Debt collectors, creditors, and debt buyers all want to prioritize helping borrowers pay. It’s only so critical in tax season because of the choices consumers are able to make when they’re enabled by their refunds. So goes the competition:

  1. A race for contact with a borrower at the right time, both from a regulation perspective and consumer sentiment perspective
  2. A tug-of-war between debt types, partly due to frequency rules and partly due to the borrower’s financial state. 

To win these competitions, creditors and agencies have to be deeply prepared. So prepared that they are left adaptable. 

They should fully understand the possibilities come tax season and react, first, by committing to two key goals: RPC increases and understanding payment intent. And second, by committing to making every conversation the most effective conversation it could be. 

In other words, to prepare for a better tax season than last year, collectors, creditors and debt buyers should focus on prioritizing outcomes. 

How can collections intelligence software improve your tax season?

The answer is in the question. Last tax season made the collections industry’s urgent need for better intelligence more clear than ever. 

Here’s why: If the goal is to get the right person on the phone at the right time and build a productive, valuable conversation, then you need to know and understand a lot more than the phone number and the amount owed. Payment intent, for example. 

You also need to better understand your high-value conversations. How else will you know what statements, timing, sentiments — any factor — made the conversation a success?

There’s just too much missing context.

To get it, add conversation intelligence to your list of software decisions to make sooner, rather than later. Doing so will let you avoid another tax season unprepared for atypical situations, like sky-high inflation and missing refunds. 

This fall is optimization season

We won’t mislead you. The truth is, adding conversation analysis alone doesn’t do the trick. You still need to know what your goals are and what outcomes you want to optimize for. That’s why we’re recommending that collectors, debt buyers, and creditors should focus on two elements of their collections strategy, starting right now: 

  1. Maximizing outreach opportunities 
  2. Optimizing the value of every conversation

Though you can improve your operations anytime — and it’s always a good time to improve — you can’t leave this decision until January this time around if you want to meet your tax season goals. Instead, be discerning today to reap the rewards in a couple of months. 

Start with software. 

Through the intelligence, automation and real-time assistance available through Prodigal’s AI, you can reach borrowers at exactly the right time and understand the ideal outcomes of a conversation — and the actions that lead to them. 

Want to learn more? Join our webinar (or watch later) by saving your seat here