Well, it has been one year since our state was shut down and we were “forced” to work from home. Sound familiar? What a crazy year it has been for sure. Ups and downs, cases going up, cases going down ….. businesses closed, re-opened and closed and re-opened again. Our clients’ sales down, sales up, sales down. I think you know what I mean. I wanted to share some of my learnings over the last year.
Empathy still exists!! That’s right, people actually do have empathy for one another. Even Democrats and Republicans! Although we have always taken an approach of dignity and respect, a good chunk of our clients were overly nice and understanding to their clientele. Businesses were more lenient and empathetic towards delinquencies. People were a bit nicer to each other. The consumers that we spoke with were very appreciative of us listening and understanding their situation and working WITH them for a solution, not against them just to get our client paid. We received 3,437 compliments from consumers in 2021. Yes, you read that correctly. Consumers that went out of their way to compliment APR and our staff for treating them so kindly… and yes, we do track it.
It was good to be in the home improvement industry! We have many clients that are in the home service arena. Lawn care, plumbing, heating and cooling, pools/hot tubs, remodel, etc. Many of these clients had really good years. People who were stuck at home got to take a good hard look at their humble abodes and decided to upgrade. It was crazy how long you had to wait to buy a hot tub or an RV.
When COVID first hit, there were many unknowns for our industry, but what we found was that consumers took this as an opportunity to clear up their bad debt. I know that sounds crazy, but it is true. Why? Well, it was a culmination of things. First, people were home, which allowed us to be able to actually talk with more people. Secondly, because of our approach. Consumers understood that we are TRULY there to help and work with them, not against them. Third, people were not out and about spending money on going out to eat, shopping, traveling, etc. This meant they had more “disposable” income to take care of their past due obligations. We even saw this with our financial institutions not having as many people overdraw their checking accounts. Lastly, there was stimulus money that went to many households which allowed them to be able to take some of this burden off their shoulders and take care of past-due bills.
We can work from home. I actually never thought this was possible, at least not long-term. Too many distractions at home, right? Well, I have witnessed firsthand that our incredible team here at APR, stepped up, hunkered down, and not only were able to stay focused but actually excelled in performance. I believe the world has now changed forever. The only problem is that I miss seeing everyone in person. I do miss the buzz in the office as people are hard at work. I do not miss the commute! LOL.
I’m very proud of what our team here at American Profit Recovery has been able to accomplish in the last year. What they have done for these consumers and for our clients is nothing short of amazing. So, as I reflect on the last year, I realize I have a lot to be thankful for.
Stay safe, have empathy, and be grateful. Let’s hope we do not have a second COVID-versary!