At some point you may have asked yourself exactly what debt collection agencies do and how they work. A debt collection agency is the entity that employs debt collectors tasked with recovering late or missed payments. Often these agencies are the “middlemen” who recover funds for the original creditors and lenders. Their overall objective is to legally recover debt while abiding by federal and state laws. There are different types of collection agencies which specialize in different amounts and types of collection.
The paradigm of customer preferences has shifted in recent years. It should be no surprise that these digital preferences in other industries, such as online shopping, would eventually carry over into others. Using digital channels to collect debts is by no means a novel idea, but it has presented a challenge for many businesses to implement. However, with the passage of Regulation F and constantly emerging technologies, the debt collection sector is undergoing a digital shift in its operations. Research shows that customers prefer digital engagement, making payments with the tap of a button, and self-service options that can be handled when the timing is convenient instead of phone calls they don’t have time to answer. The great thing about incorporating more technology into debt collection practices is that it is a win-win for customers and collectors alike. It permits more efficient workflows and grants more flexibility in communication. Digital debt collection uses text, email, and other digital means such as chatbots and applications to send outgoing and receiving incoming communication from consumers.
Times are changing, and so must collection techniques. With the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s “Regulation F” becoming effective December 1st, partners must adapt and optimize their practices to ensure more efficient debt recovery.
The psychological, physical, and relationship effects from debt are detrimental. Many Americans believe that having debt is a necessary factor of life. Whether you are going to college or buying a home, having what some may call “good debt” can assist you in going further in those goals. On the other hand, medical or credit card debt has an adverse effect on your income through interest charges that can cause a chain reaction of borrowing and more debt, all while not having the same potential advantages as a business or student loan. What you may not know is the ways debt can negatively affect your life and how being debt-free can benefit you in non-financial aspects.
Any business can face financial problems that work against the effort to maintain sufficient cash flow. One dilemma that can have a significantly negative impact on your company is issues in accounts receivable. When a service is provided and your customer does not pay, meeting your bottom line becomes difficult. It is a debt collection agency’s obligation to recover your earnings so that you can continue doing business.
Don’t expect anything to go “back to normal” post COVID, and what defines as “post” still remains to be seen. Some experts say that it may be 2022 before we can safely resume old activities in some semblance as they once were. The pandemic has left its mark, not only on our physical behaviors, but our financial ones as well. In these continuing uncertain times, debts rise, layoffs continue, and there is a consistent economic downturn for many businesses. Many entities are overwhelmed with the daily tasks associated with trying to make up for lost time during the shutdown and by trying to throw collection efforts into that mix only makes your employees less productive with other tasks.
When I was 14, I started my first job as a telemarketer for a photography company. That started decades of a career in sales and marketing. My longest stint was 20 years as the National Sales and Marketing Manager for a multi-billion-dollar manufacturing company, so you can imagine that the transition to understanding the mechanics of the debt collection industry was worlds away from what I was accustomed to. The difference is that I’m not selling products anymore, I’m selling a service. I am still learning this industry every day, but the thing that puzzles me most is the mysterious disappearing client. Let me explain.
Research has revealed the potential for a global crisis such as COVID-19 to lead to chaos in the realm of economy. The impact on your customers is evident in an increased level of delayed or defaulted payments, deficiency in liquid assets, and even the bankruptcy of their businesses. These challenges are part of what make debt collection unexcused from the major disruptions to the business sector. However, we have learned that there are many ways to minimize the likelihood of your business’s cash flow deteriorating as a result of COVID-19.
Let’s talk about some of the most common responses we get when calling on new prospects. Now, before you give up on this topic from the very beginning, stick with me; it’ll be worth it. Then ask yourself this question about debt collections - are you doing it wrong?
Many Americans will receive a tax return this year. While some may be tempted to put a down payment on a new car or renovate a kitchen or bathroom, they really should use that money to pay down their debt. Tax time is the best time for businesses to utilize an experienced collection agency to turn their bad debt into bottom-line revenue.