Charting a path through the “new” normal that exists across the country today as a result of the coronavirus pandemic has forced creditors, healthcare providers, and companies of all shapes and sizes to adapt to never-before-seen situations like a workforce that is entirely remote, the importance of social distancing and personal protective equipment, and the anxiety that so many people have about becoming sick. Those challenges are unique and critical to a company being able to survive in today’s society.
There is an old business cliche that says “when everyone zigs, you zag.” But these days, not flying in the face of conventional wisdom might be the safer play, meaning that creditors and healthcare providers should be focusing on their core competencies and doing what they do best, and leaving other areas of their business — like collecting on old, unpaid debts — to companies like collection agencies that specialize in that kind of service.
The economic pick-up that many areas of the country experienced in May and June has stagnated and uncertainty and volatility are the words of the day, according to data released in September by the Federal Reserve Board. Another word that accompanied stagnation and uncertainty was pessimism, especially as banks across the country noted a slowdown in consumer spending, which was driving the economy during the early months of the pandemic.
If consumers are starting to hold back on their spending, that could be a sign they are starting to worry about their financial situation, which means they might start to prioritize their financial obligations and focus on making sure they have enough money to cover the essentials, like food, water, and shelter.
Creditors and healthcare providers may want to take a page from that playbook and focus on their essentials as well. Allowing collection agencies to focus on collecting old debts, especially at a time when empathy and compassion are so important, could provide companies with more bandwidth to make sure their priorities are being taken care of. The report released by the Federal Reserve Board, for example, noted that many furloughed workers across the country were being permanently laid off as companies made the difficult decision to cut the size of their workforces.
This is a time of difficult decisions. But one decision — allowing collection agencies to help so companies can focus on their most important needs — should not be that hard to make.