Subprime lender Southern Auto Finance Co. has experienced communication improvement with its most delinquent customers since implementing a chat function on its website, Chief Executive George Fussell told Auto Finance News, without providing quantifiable details on the increase.
“People don’t really want to face you, so [the chat and text function help with] putting an inquiry out there,” said Fussell. For instance, if a customer is 90 days late and is past due $1,000, it’s easier to ask if we would accept a $400 payment over text than talking on the phone, he added.
SAFCO launched the messaging capabilities, managed by customer service agents, in May to direct and address customer inquiries. Since then, the subprime lender streamlined customer service and billing communications and Fussell said he is currently eyeing enhancements for additional communication channels, without adding details.
“The biggest factors are offering communication methods that change with society,” noted Daniel Baggett, SAFCO’s vice president of operations and compliance.
Moving forward, Fussell noted the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based lender will focus on dealer adoption for its customer information verification tool and ramp up its military lending business launched this month.
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