If you’re in a product or service industry, you’ve likely faced a time when you realized your bad debt was catching up with you. At this point, you may have considered the use of a collection's agency. Maybe you were even scared to take the leap of faith? These fears may be the reason you’re missing out on the revenue that your business needs, negatively impacting your day-to-day business. In fact, a lack of funds can affect employee retention, lead to freezing critical marketing activities, and in extreme cases, can ultimately result in closing your doors permanently.
Large hospital systems usually have in-house collections departments, or they contract with an agency once a year. When the efforts of those agents fall to the wayside because a debt is deemed unrecoverable, a second placement agent is brought in to try and recover the debt.
According to Investopedia.com, recovery rate is defined as the extent to which principal and accrued interest on defaulted debt can be recovered, expressed as a percentage of face value.
Maybe you haven’t ever heard the term before. Perhaps you only think of debt collections in the traditional sense, generally debts over 90 days old that are deemed uncollectible by in-house methods. The fact of the matter is that you could be losing a lot of money during that critical first 90 days. The newer the debt, the more likely it is to be recovered. Therefore, most collection agencies charge a commission rate based on how old a debt is. The newer the debt, the lower the commission rate.
Mergers. Turnover. Layoffs. These dreaded words are whispered all-too-often among colleagues behind closed doors and after hours. Rumors and sometimes unspoken fears leave many employees lying sleepless at night, wondering what their fate is within their corporate environment. Now more than ever, job security concerns are at an all-time high as many businesses have shut down and others have laid-off crucial team members due to the ever-changing economy. However, this is not just a COVID-19 crisis. Acquisitions, employee replacement, and even drastic leadership changes have always been constant in corporate America. Many employees fear impending change and how it will alter their future—a future which includes a company they’ve worked with to build their career. The emotional loss that occurs between the separation of long-time employees and an organization leads to feelings of abandonment and mistrust in future endeavors. However, this discontent doesn’t end with the employee-business relationship. What about individuals and companies on the opposite side of this change? For sales representatives, how does the loss translate to customers that account executives have taken under their wing and fostered long-term relationships? We’ll tell you how—It downright stinks.
Size does matter.
In an age where the need to recover bad debt is more critical than ever, emotions are high, and clients are eager to turn their bad debt into bottom-line revenue. Speaking truthfully, because emotions are high, clients are also vulnerable and can be easily persuaded by promises that “bigger is better”; but what do you get when you partner with an entity that is so large? The mega-agencies might use intriguing promises of employing hundreds of collectors but may fail to mention that 50-60% of those collectors are in third-party offshore call centers in order to handle call volumes and offset costs.
You want your money, it’s as simple as that, and you deserve it! Not all collection agencies are the same. The overall success rate for a collection agency is determined by their rate of recovery. Rate of recovery is the percentage of money recovered on your debtor’s delinquent accounts. This formula at its simplest is like this; if a collection agency recovers $250 on a $2500 placement, their rate of recovery is 10%. When an agency has many clients in various different industries such as healthcare, banking, and leasing, their rate of recovery can be calculated by industry, and also collectively as a whole.
Ashley has received six consecutive payment reminders for her past-due credit card balance. Due to her sub-par credit score, her debt gets sold to a collections agency where she begins to receive phone calls and letters requesting payment. When Ashley is finally ready to make a payment, she returns the call to the collection's agency to be greeted and assisted by an AI-powered virtual agent to make a payment on her balance.
Did you know that 61% of consumers have been negatively impacted by COVID-19? The greatest increase in bad debt began in March 2020, and as a result, the largest phase of third-party collections is estimated to begin in October of 2020, extending well into 2021.
Life as we know it revolves around technology. Business functions, processes, communication, information, and productivity all rely on some form of technology whether it’s your computer, cloud storage and data center, telephone, or even the software you use on a daily basis. For the collections’ agency, this reliance on technology is no different. Earlier on the blog, we discussed technological needs in collections. But what we haven’t discussed is how technology has evolved the collections process. Since it first began, the art of collections has changed tremendously. Now, the collections industry relies on the use of technology to communicate, store, and analyze information like analytics, automation, and Compliance Management Systems (CMS). If you're not using an agency with the latest technological advancements in debt collection, you may even ask yourself if you're doing it wrong.