The effectiveness of the debt sale due diligence process depends on close collaboration between Lowell and its clients. We asked the Head of Client Experience, Mike Ewart, for his top tips for ensuring that the due diligence process is successful.
At Lowell, due diligence underpins our entire operation. We care about achieving the right outcomes for our customers and clients, which is why we use a pragmatic and thorough approach. Investing valuable time to conduct comprehensive research at the outset of a sale provides the best protection for all parties.
Preparation and provision
A lot of work goes into identifying and preparing for new transactions. A large portion of our time is spent measuring the risk factors and auditing the customer experience journey. Our top tip for clients when working with us is to provide as much information as possible upfront in relation to the customer experience, for example, details of the arrear’s strategy and forbearance processes. This will speed up the due diligence process.
Use data wisely
Early last year we redesigned our data integrity process, where we deep-dive into the data and determine whether there is any missing supplementary information based on our experience that could be turned into insight to help with the collections process and deliver the right outcomes for customers. This next level of insight helps us have better conversations with customers, manage any queries and ultimately, drive better customer outcomes.
We’re fortunate enough to have fantastic Client Data Integrity Analysts who work with our clients and take pride in delivering the best possible data and insights during the due diligence process. In order to help our clients become more efficient with their data processes, we provide a list of data we need upfront to make sure they are accurately providing the data that’s required. This saves time collecting unwanted data, keeps post-sale queries to a minimum and ultimately ensures an improvement for the customer experience.
Use all of the expertise and knowledge that’s available
We’re continually looking for ways to improve our due diligence process and making it as seamless as possible for our clients. One way we look to do this is by utilising the experience and expertise within the business. We rely on our Subject Matter Experts to participate in due diligence by supporting our question and testing processes and reviewing the findings with them.
Similarly, for our clients, we encourage them to utilise the expertise and knowledge already within their organisation. When different departments around the business collaborate, for example front line operations teams and risk and compliance teams, to provide their specialist knowledge on subjects, it’s the customer that will benefit. Making sure that colleagues from across these teams are an integral part of the due diligence process will help deliver a positive customer experience.
Due diligence session
The due diligence session takes between 3-6 hours depending on the characteristics of the sale. However, recent findings have shown that breaking this up into two or three sessions allows teams to carefully review information and reassess what’s needed at each junction. Whenever gathering information is required, it helps both Lowell and our client’s internal teams to review blocks of data separately to ensure they have enough time to analyse the information thoroughly and focus is on the subject at hand, which will help save time further down the line.
When it comes to the post-sale processes, we ensure our clients have ready-to-go templates put in place to aid them in making the selling experience an easier and more successful transition. The benefit of working with Lowell is that we provide our clients with these templates upfront, saving time and cutting out unnecessary hours of admin work. Clients also have access to our dedicated and experienced Client Operations Managers who are on hand to lead them through the on-boarding process and provide support on a one-to-one basis, post-sale.
Continually review and revise processes
Internal and external environments are constantly evolving, so we need to keep up to date and evolve our due diligence procedures in line with these changes. We continually update our processes and guidance as things change so quickly. For example, COVID-19 has meant that we needed to adapt our questioning to understand how the client’s forbearance procedures have changed.
It’s clear that collaboration and preparation are the key drivers to a successful due diligence process. By working closely together the right outcomes can be achieved, for our clients, for Lowell and most importantly for customers.
The ability and willingness to adapt is also important. The shockwaves from the COVID-19 pandemic have had a profound impact on the way organisations are operating and dealing with clients remotely, this has been the biggest challenge for us. So far, however, the remote video call due diligence sessions have been going well and have proved to be a successful way of working in the current climate.
Going forward we will continue to work closely with our clients to adapt and modify processes and make transactions more effective. If you would like more information, you can contact Mike Ewart directly below.