As the only trade body in the UK for the debt collection industry, the Credit Services Association (CSA) is responsible for ensuring members meet legislative requirements and aim for best practice in the industry. With increasing pressure from Government, regulators and other stakeholders to improve transparency and engagement with customers, the board instructed Engage Comms to advise on and implement a digital communications strategy back in 2013.
Understanding the customer
We started by carrying out extensive qualitative online research into the debt collection sector, focusing on the perceptions and behaviours of the consumers that CSA members deal with on a daily basis on platforms including money advice forums. The findings were presented back in an in-depth report which made recommendations for improving consumer and stakeholder engagement at the highest possible levels for the long term benefit of the CSA, its members and, most importantly, the consumers they serve, in a new regulatory environment. We also presented the findings to members at the CSA’s Annual Conference.
This insight was then used to develop and roll out a digital communications strategy for the CSA including a new strapline ‘building confidence in debt collection’, a complete overhaul of its website to give consumers, stakeholders and members a more interactive platform on which to engage with the organisation, and a thought leadership blogging programme.
When we repeated the research six years on in 2019, we found a significant shift in attitudes and behaviours online as a result of the transformation of the online presence and engagement of the CSA and its member companies.
Finger on the pulse
Following the initial implementation of the research, our ongoing work included weekly ‘agenda tracking’ to ensure the organisation remained outward looking to what was happening in the wider sector. This insight was used to create relevant, topical, regular, thought leadership content.
Learning & Development
We have also brought our expertise in the education & skills sector to the development and roll out of a marketing communications strategy and campaigns for the Association’s Learning & Development offering including its role as an Approved Apprenticeship Training Provider.
UK Credit & Collections Conference
For several consecutive years, we have supported with the development of an industry-leading programme for CSA’s UK Credit & Collections Conference and have even spoken at the event ourselves.