Steps to Becoming More Compliant

100x100_stairsThe whistle has been blown with one second left and all are anxious to see and hear what the call will be by the new collection industry referee.  Will our current practices and procedures count and the blown whistle send us to the line with the opportunity to win the game or, is the call going to be unfavorable and the game we have become accustomed to winning is now over. Waiting to see what the result will be from our new CFPB referee seems to be what we are doing a lot of in the collection industry, but we can do more than just wait.

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Golden Eggs to Revenue: 4 Strategies for Retaining Your Top Talent

100x100-handshakeAs I visit entities within the collection industry, it is easy to see that some of the cultures inadvertently diminish the value of those that produce the golden eggs each day.  In doing so, turnover within the organization is an expensive problem.  In truth, turnover will always exist to some extent but your ability to limit it can be the key to extra profits.

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5 Processes That Your Clients Love

100x100-aca-changeIn 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.

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4 Things You Should be Using Reporting for Right Now

100x100 stocks If you have access to reporting, you’ve no doubt wondered at one point or another, what you should be paying attention to. It seems like there is data for everything these days, and its growth is on an exponential curve with no signs of letting up any time soon.

In my view, the biggest rule is simplification. The information you are having your team monitor needs to be easy to discern and actionable. In addition to that, it needs to be something that is critical to your business and performance. In the end, our minds are only able to keep so many things in proper focus. Make sure the information you are passing along to your team is the right material to be focused on.

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Getting the Most out of Data Services

100x100-data_servicesData data data. A key differentiator of a top performing organization is their ability to garner and then effectively harness relevant data. In our experience, there are very few organizations in the industry that don’t acquire outside data. After all, if you are relying strictly on the information your client provided you while your competition is reinforcing themselves with additional contact information on each account, it is going to be very difficult to compete. While obtaining outside information is considered common practice today, the scope and range of how that data is utilized could not be wider.

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CFPB in 2013: Changing the Game

100x100-RefereeLike many of you, I have paid particular attention to the actions and rhetoric of the Consumer Financial Protection Board (CFPB). This entity has spent the past few years preparing and organizing with 2013 the year in which we will see a lot more direct evidence of their initiatives. We have already heard and seen their involvement in audits and recommendations. This body of authority has the ability to be the single greatest factor affecting our industry both in 2013 and beyond.

The power of the CFPB is recognized by many in our industry. That is evidenced by the amount of time devoted to it over the past number of years in both classes and seminars at various industry shows as well as the amount of space devoted to it in the various trade magazines and periodicals that focus on our industry. Let me encourage you to continue to read and participate in those discussions so that collectively we can act together.

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The Insect’s Strategy for Gaining New Business

100-x100-Ant_and_a_GrasshopperOne of Aesop’s fables, The Ant & the Grasshopper, illustrates a rather interesting point for our industry. The story focuses on the lives and habits of these two small insects who approach life rather differently. The Grasshopper celebrates his summer days living merrily in the moment, while the Ant works hard each day – always with an eye for the future.

Eventually, the seasons change, and while the Ant finds himself with both food and shelter for the winter, the Grasshopper, in contrast, finds himself both cold and hungry – recognizing the mistakes he has made but at a time when it is far too late to do anything about it.

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Tune Up Your Dialer Strategies With Analytics

There is no doubt that Dialers have revolutionized our industry, much like the automobile impacted the transportation industry.  Dialers allow an agency to churn through massive amounts of inventory quickly by filtering out busy signals, no answers, answering machines, and wrong numbers.  The increase in right party contacts allows for collectors to spend the majority of their time doing what they do best, collecting money.

Now, let’s take a moment and think about an automobile.  If not fed the proper fuel a car will cease to run efficiently and may even sputter to a complete halt.  A dialer is not too different in that it needs the proper “fuel” to get to its destination – in our case, right party contacts which pay.

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Is Your Largest Client Killing You?

A few months back, I received a call from an agency who wanted some help evaluating one of their clients.  Their concern was that they might be spending too many resources on this one client to the detriment of the rest of their business.

This scenario seems to occur quite often in our industry and the long term imbalance of resources is a leading cause for why some agencies will struggle.  Unfortunately for many, the line of questioning exemplified by the agency cited above does not occur until a real problem already exists.  When economic or market specific conditions are positive, the problems are less obvious.  Collecting is easier, new business is more plentiful, and creditors are typically less demanding.  However, once these external – or potentially internal – conditions begin to negatively shift, so too does an agency’s ability to remain both effective and profitable.

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Call Effectiveness: 3 Ways to Quit Wasting Time

100x100-collector-ladyAre good collectors born or made? This question seems to be constantly debated in our great industry and to it I say – who cares? The facts are that we all have different talents we are born with, and if we put time into something, we are going to get better at it. Of course, collectors can be born with natural talent, but they can get better. Likewise, remedial performers can improve what they do and become good.

The goal in nearly every business is to make money. Every organization in collections wants both more and higher payments, yet effort to accomplish this feat is often placed in the wrong areas.

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