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Why Customer Service Can Be a Collections Tool

Maintaining a positive attitude while working to recover a debt can prove to be challenging for many collections agencies, especially when considering the delicate balance between the client’s collections goals and the customers relationship with their business. At the very least, chasing debt can be time-consuming, frustrating and, if not done right, something that can affect your company’s cash flow. That’s why properly managing this process is essential for recovering many delinquent accounts, and an important part of that is implementing sensible customer service techniques.

Customer service in collections services is necessary for a very important reason: To recover late payment, agents must approach each customer’s debt to be collected as a problem they can help solve for the customer rather than just demanding repayment. Customers who feel understood are more willing to cooperate with the collector to solve their situation. Also, it’s far easier to arrange payments with customers when practicing cordial phone etiquette and mastering proven customer service techniques. In the end, this helps to maintain the client’s brand reputation and facilitates higher recovery results.

So, if you haven’t yet given customer service the attention it needs, ask yourself this question:

Do you have the right tools to maximize customer service in your collections processes?

If your answer is YES, congratulations! Just make sure your customer service program is continuously optimized based on customer feedback so you can improve your recovery efforts over time.

If your answer is NO, then consider the following:

  1. OPTION 1 – Hire or retrain your in-house team to enhance your customer service program, focusing specifically on your collections processes.
  2. OPTION 2 – Partner with an experienced collections company who has actual customer service experience to get professional help.

While maintaining an in-house customer service department may feel more comfortable for some organizations and assures more day-to-day oversight than outsourcing, it often requires more money, pulls employees away from their core duties, and can lead to average service results and limited debt recovery.

Partnering with an experienced, professional collections company for your call center collections efforts, on the other hand, is often more cost-effective over time, yields better results and allows your staff to concentrate on core competencies that cannot be outsourced.

Here are a few points to consider when deciding what option is best for your business:

Cost 

That expenses come into play when maintaining an in-house call center, such as staffing, training, compensation, equipment, supplies, management and software? To effectively service the volume of customer needs, would your cost per hour be more than it would be when contracting with a professional collections customer service firm? More often than not, outsourcing can significantly reduce your all-in customer service expenditures, and still help you increase the quality of your service and the quantity of money you recover.

Customer Needs

Think about what your customers require and determine if it can be provided internally. Do they need to reach your business during out-of-office hours, to communicate in different languages or via multiple mediums (text, chat, etc.), to speak to a real person more quickly, or to get the personalized attention of someone whose only role is to help them pay their debt? These are all questions that should be closely considered.

Complexity

Are customers getting the service they need and finding resolution with a single call or are they being transferred between departments? Can your team be trained to provide support? Do you have the time to do it? Is there someone on staff who can create, maintain and support ongoing training?

Time

Can your collections service team be there for customers whenever they are needed? Is your team neglecting other key initiatives so they can provide customer service support? Is this the most cost-effective use of staff time and resources?

Customer Service

Remember, a collection agency’s capabilities will have a major impact on your decision to outsource. You must determine if they can build a program that meets your company’s specific needs and objectives. Are they experienced enough? Are they flexible and capable of managing your customers’ needs? How do they find and train agents? Are they compliant? Do they meet audit requirements so your customer data and yours are secure?

These questions will help guide your decision and put you on the fast-track to maximizing your service department and successfully recovering more debt.

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We’re ready to help you make the right choice. Activate Financial is a fully licensed, third-party collections agency. We offer unparalleled industry insight along with customized solutions designed to maximize service, cultivate brand loyalty and help your company increase its collection levels. Call 888.688.3255 or email us at sales@activatefinancial.com

Sources:

  • Solomon, M. (2015). Shark Tank’s Daymond John: Three Reasons Customer Service Trumps Everything. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/micahsolomon/2015/06/30/shark-tanks-daymond-john-three-reasons-customer-service-trumps-everything/#4858b14e4af7
  • Mclovor, M. (2015). How to Outsource Customer Service The Right Way. Retrieved from https://biz30.timedoctor.com/the-lazy-mans-guide-to-outsourcing/
  • Evans, M. (2017). How To Collect Money From Slow-Paying Customers? Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/allbusiness/2017/11/21/how-to-collect-money-from-slow-paying-customers/#647beee61eac