In the collections world a sale is never really closed. You work extremely hard to land a client but the debt that they assign is never guaranteed. More and more creditors are assigning portions of their portfolio to multiple agencies and then only allowing you to keep the business for a relatively short period of time. I have heard my whole career that creditors only care about how much money you are returning back to them and, while that is important, my experience tells that there is so much more.
With the increase of competition between different agencies, it becomes that much more important to be able to provide something unexpected. The following list of items isn’t anything earth shattering, but your ability to leverage these tools and present them to clients in a way that differentiates you from the pack is how you will keep clients in the long turn.
1. Rotating Collectors
Creditors want to believe their accounts are being worked by the best of the best in your office. However, they are more sophisticated than in the past and are also looking to see that a variety of people are working their accounts. They understand that different collection styles are a powerful way to collect more from a larger spectrum of consumers.
2. Client Specific Training
Your clients expect you to be training your collectors on compliance issues (FDCPA, HIPAA, TCPA, GLBA etc.) but they also expect them to know the ins and outs of their business as well. Collectors understand the overall collection process but they do not always know how a client’s business works. A little insight goes a long way to collecting more. Screen prompts and client descriptions will often provide the basic information that your collectors need and can be the difference between collecting money and dragging out the process.
3. Bankruptcy & Deceased Monitoring
Clients obviously expect that you are reviewing bankruptcy and deceased information at assignment but the next level of service is in the continual monitoring of those assignments thereafter. This provides a level of assurance that your agency is acting on the most current information available in the industry today. This serves as a level of security and confidence that you are taking proper safeguards with their business in getting the very best possible results.
The ability to immediately react to changes in your client’s accounts is one of the best methods to show them that you are working proactively and that your operation is solid. With the advent of client portals, we cannot afford to not show clients that we are constantly working their accounts based on the newest information. Triggers are immediate and drive action in conjunction with any meaningful changes to your accounts.
5. Scheduled Reporting
Finally, your clients demand custom reporting and more and more they want you to deliver a constant stream of data. Reporting needs to be accurate, consistent, and relevant but it also needs to be visually modern and be delivered in the most convenient ways and at the most convenient times.
While these items are all within your grasp, it is also important to sell these to your clients. Your client needs to understand that you have gone out of your way to deliver superior services, and that you are not only constantly looking for new ways to collect, but also that you are a valued partner and that you deliver much more than money. Unfortunately with the influx of additional competition the dollars you deliver to your clients may not be enough in the future. You must be delivering unexpected service and building the bridges that will keep clients over time.