Let’s get right to the point here. Most consumers and others needing your product or service do not really care about how great you feel you are as a business. You may be all these things. You may be the best in the business or your industry and you might even have an endless list of referrals from others because people think so highly of you and your work. But there is really only one thing most care about when they think about using your company.
Can you do what I need you to do?
We are one of several collection agencies that work with small business around the country and what we quickly find out with a business that contacts us is that while they may have gotten a quick laugh from one of our blooper videos on YouTube, they are attracted to us ultimately because they feel we can do the job which is recover the money owed to them. By the way, we won’t stop having fun here at American Profit Recovery but we do understand that it is, in the end, our reputation as a reputable collection agency that gives a business comfort in hiring us. Continue reading “Are you solving problems or just telling people how great you are?”
It’s that time of year! We’re almost to the start of the upcoming pro football season! So, I am watching every report from my team’s training camp, paying close attention to all the roster moves, and pretending that it doesn’t bother me that the experts think my team is going to be pretty bad this year. Anyway, I’ve also been watching all the behind-the scenes shows about mine and other team’s training camps, and interestingly enough I’m seeing a lot of similarities in the way these teams operate compared to how we work here at American Profit Recovery. Many of these teams talk about the “culture” of their team, and so much of that seems to include our core values – Positive Attitude/Integrity/Work Ethic.
Positive Attitude in football is about not letting a bad play get you to give up or abandon your game plan. For us, positive attitude is about focusing on how we can help a consumer find ways to pay their just debts, and not on how we cannot.
Integrity in football is about studying your playbook, watching film, and making sure you are fully prepared to do your job on game day. For a reputable debt collector, it includes putting a priority on compliance, taking the time to understand what type of assistance a consumer needs to in order to resolve their debt, and working in the best interests of the consumer, our clients, our co-workers, and our industry.
Work Ethic in football is all about practicing like you play. Putting in time in the weight room, and playing a full 60 minutes every game. For our collectors, it is all about paying attention to details, making yourself available to speak to consumers after normal business hours, and getting as much productivity out of yourself during a work day.
It’s no surprise to see that the players who commit themselves to their team’s culture and core values are the ones who see the most playing time. Not surprisingly, they are also the players their teams depends upon the most. The same rings true at American Profit Recovery. The collectors who commit themselves to doing all the things necessary to be the best they can be are our leaders. Not just in dollars collected, but in maintaining our high standards of compliance, customer service, and teamwork. It is yet another example of the successful culture we have created here at American Profit Recovery, and why I’m so proud to be a part of THIS team.
There are endless reasons why a customer could be angry. And if you’ve spent any amount of time in business, you have no doubt had your share of customers that are not happy for one reason or another. Some customers get upset over minor issues or inconveniences while others don’t get angry until they’ve reached their boiling point. We’re sure you have experienced both.
Let’s point out something obvious right up front. We know a few things about upset consumers. We’re a collection agency. In a lot of situations, the people were are in contact with might not be thrilled about talking with us. However, in many cases they are, because we offer much needed help in resolving their financial situation. After a rough start sometimes, we end up amicably coming to an agreement about how both can resolve the matter together. As long as certain pieces come into play. Continue reading “How to work with angry customers”
Up 50% since 2015, nearly 52 percent of the world’s population (3.8 billion individuals) are now online. That’s great progress and opens up a whole host of opportunities for everyone online to experience the many benefits of being online.
But as you well know, there are still many security issues that go along with using the internet. We have in this country gotten used to online banking and shopping, and some even post things to social media that can give hackers an edge. And many of us don’t even know it. That along with passwords that should not be passwords, and we have opened ourselves up to the potential to have security issues with our data.
The United States is constantly under a barrage of attacks from foreign actors.
- Verified 2018. Russian hackers attack US power grids.
- Verified 2018. Iranian hackers attack more than 140 US universities.
- Verified 2017. China hackers attack the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) exposing records of over 22 million federal employees.
- Organizations are constantly threatened by malicious actors.
- Adobe had 38 million records stolen.
- Home Depot had 56 million consumer records exposed.
- Uber has 57 million users and 600,000 driver records compromised.
- JP Morgan Chase (The largest US bank) had the information from over 76 million households and over 7 million companies compromised through a data breach.
- PlayStation had 77 million consumer accounts breached.
- Anthem, the second largest insurance company in the US, had 78.8 million current (and former) customer records exposed.
- TJX Companies had 94 million credit cards stolen.
Continue reading “Cyber-fare”
When it comes right down to it, risk equals money in a small business. In fact, if you’re running a small business, that can be a risk in itself. Every day can present a challenge that can either help your business take off to a new level, or harm your business in some way. And hopefully your risk-taking takes you in the positive.
But it’s the risks we encounter daily that can cause a small business owner time, money and reputation. And it’s how you handle them that can make or break your profitability.
As a collection agency that works with small business, we hear countless stories from those in business about the ups and downs of their individual operations. From lawn care companies, contractors, veterinarians and even schools. And because we work extensively with dental and medical collections, we often hear the struggles of those medical practices as well. Continue reading “Are you paying attention to risks in your small business?”
What does a collection agency know about customer service? More than you think.
If there are a few things that are overflowing here at American Profit Recovery, its respect, and a deep desire to help. That’s helping the business that hires us and their customer that owes them money. They both require our help and some might say, they are both our customer.
Since we are most often talking about helping a business, stay in business, and what we can do to help them, let’s focus on the consumer for a moment.
While in many cases, a consumer gets into our system because of an oversight or even a minor dispute, many times, they are facing financial challenges. And in a lot of cases, they don’t know where to turn. So they ignore both the business they owe the money to and the debt collector. It is our job to open the lines of communication as best we can. And we cannot do that by being rude, unreasonable or not understanding of their situation. We need to be great at customer service. Continue reading “Great customer service makes you different”
If you own a small business, manage one or even work for a small business then you have an important role here in our country. You are a major player in the US economy. In fact, you are pretty much the backbone of it.
A small business as you may know is any organization that employs 1-49 employees. And the SBA says that over half of Americans work for a small business. That is everything from the professional consultant, the lawncare company, that great breakfast place down the street and that local dental practice.
Small business survives on great relationships. Taking care of the customer and gaining a clear understanding of their needs, wants and issues. A small business develops a relationship with a customer, unlike big business. The small business takes care of the customer or patient, and the customer pays for their expertise, products and services. Hopefully on time.
But when a small business doesn’t get paid for what they provide, that can cause a whole host of issues. And as a collection agency that works with small business, we see these issues firsthand. Businesses struggling to get customers to pay on time and in some cases, pay at all. Continue reading “Small Business is the backbone of our economy”
There comes a time at every type of business when a price adjustment is necessary. Most businesses do not like to raise prices but in fact, it is just part of doing business over time. Keeping pricing the same for long periods of time can have a negative effect on your bottom line and your cash flow. If you want to stay in business and stay profitable, you will need to adjust your pricing from time to time.
For many types of businesses, raising prices can be a little bit stressful because you don’t know how your customers will react. For other types of businesses, it can be just a way of
doing business. If the market dictates what your cost of goods are, then you have no choice but to have pricing go up and down at times. In fact, there are some types of business such as certain distribution companies that adjust prices daily. And remember that daily catch sign at your local seafood restaurant? Pricing fluctuates in business and you need to get comfortable with adjusting pricing.
Continue reading “How to raise prices without making your customers mad”
Success in any endeavor comes from paying attention to the details. Collections is no different. Collectors who do all the small things right are the ones who enjoy the most success. These small things are part of the countless decisions that collectors make on a daily basis. Sometimes, a decision as simple as when (and when not) to make a call can be the difference between collecting the account or not.
My best recommendation to our clients, in order to help achieve the best possible recovery, is to provide as much detailed information as possible when placing an account in collections. Knowing if a consumer named “Robert” goes by “Bob” or “Rob” can make all the difference in being able to get that consumer on the phone.
Often times, even the smallest piece of information can make the biggest impact on whether or not an account is collected. Consumers do not always remember the details of a particular debt, and being able to provide them with a small detail may help jog their memory on a collection call. For example, let’s say that a consumer questions why a medical bill is owed when they have insurance. If a client has provided us with the fact that the past-due amount is the consumer’s co-payment, we can possibly avoid a dispute situation and talk instead about how to resolve the debt.
You can imagine that no consumer wants to admit they have knowingly avoided paying a debt when they are called by a debt collector. Therefore, their initial response to us will often be a lack of awareness about the bill. If we can address that issue head-on with a small piece of information, we can focus on doing what we do best. That is, helping consumers find a way to pay their just debt.
You could write an entire book about what keeps business owners up all night. In fact, there are most likely many on the market. In our past blog post on this subject, we outlined a few including lack of cash flow, keeping sales and revenue growing, staying on top of current trends and other concerns. If you don’t have time to read an entire book, we got you covered here at American Profit Recovery as we have been summarizing these top issues you face.
And as you might imagine, collection agencies that serve small business hear quite a bit from business owners and management about the ups and downs of business. Especially when it comes to matters surrounding money. First of course is cash flow or lack of it. Which as you probably know, effects just about every aspect of your business.
Money is the deciding factor when it comes to so many issues that you might face. Here are a few more concerns that you should always be keeping a close eye on in your business. Continue reading “Four more concerns of business owners”