Watching those cooking shows on television can be very inspiring. But while they are running around making these amazing dishes that look outstanding (and probably taste just as good), it is important to note one distinction between the kitchens you see on TV and the kitchen in your own house: they are stocked with the right ingredients. If a chef needs cumin or saffron, it is likely there in the pantry. If you need cumin or saffron, you most likely are either heading to the grocery store, looking online to see if salt will be a suitable replacement, or deciding to order pizza instead.
Collections is a lot like cooking. You need the right ingredients or whatever you are cooking ends up tasting like a tire that drove over roadkill you couldn’t identify.
STEP ONE: THE RIGHT EMPLOYEE
A successful collection process starts with the right employee. Someone who is not prone to getting upset or angry. Someone who is patient and pleasant. An effective communicator is absolutely essential to a successful collection operation. Without that, the last mile of the process — the one where someone actually talks to the consumer — completely breaks down.
STEP TWO: DOCUMENT EVERYTHING
The next most important component is proper documentation. This is a wide spectrum that encompasses everything from the data used to reach out and connect with a consumer to the notes taken by a collector during a conversation with that individual. Proper documentation allows you the opportunity to get in touch with the consumer — which everyone will agree is pretty important to the collection process — to how to respond and strategize after a call has been made.
STEP THREE: COMMUNICATE
Another important component is an effective communication strategy. The days of letters and phone calls are going the way of the dodo. Collection agencies need to do more than just send letters and place phone calls. Text messaging, email, DirectDrop voicemails can all be effective communication channels for debt collectors. Companies also need to have an effective website and the ability to accept payments online in order to compete and thrive in today’s world.
When evaluating collection agencies, being able to tell one that is successful from one that is not may not be as easy as it seems. You may need to dig around a little and ask some pointed questions to get the information you are looking for. A successful collection agency is going to have each of the components listed here and more. And they will not be shy about providing the information you need to make an informed decision. A successful collection agency will have all of the right ingredients and make a great meal every day.