If your organization has had challenges getting customers to pay or pay on time, you have most likely taken steps to work with a collection agency. The right agency will help you get back on track and help your customers find a solution to their ongoing debt.
You have probably interviewed a few collection agencies, and you have finally chosen a company that you can work with, and that fits your needs. You may be asking yourself and your team how you can make this work and achieve the results that your company needs to see.
Let’s discuss some of the ways you can make this relationship work.
Once you have chosen an agency that you feel is a good fit, they should take you through a proper onboarding process. An experienced customer service professional should be in touch with you and your team immediately. They should walk you through the ins and outs of how to use a collection agency effectively for maximum results.
Your customer service professional should show you how to submit accounts and use any online portals or other systems they provide. They should provide training in all areas, so you know what to do when submitting new accounts to collections.
Your representative is there to ensure your success as you utilize the services of a collection agency. They should be available to you during regular business hours and be ready to answer any questions or concerns that come up. Some of our customer service professionals have developed personal relationships with our clients. And that should show you the level of service that we provide from the onboarding process in the future.
This is also your chance to ask your representative any questions about how the collection process will work.
Now that you’ve hired the right collection agency and trained properly, you need to start submitting those delinquent accounts. You have taken the process this far, and you should not delay it any further. Follow the exact procedures of your customer service representative and if you have any questions while you were starting, make sure you contact them immediately. We take people through a thorough training here so when they are ready to submit accounts, they can feel comfortable and know all areas of our online portal.
One crucial factor that we point out in all areas of the onboarding process is that waiting to submit late counts to a collection agency will only further delay payments received by you. The longer an account goes unpaid, the more difficult it is to collect, so it is essential that you start submitting accounts regularly and promptly once you are set up with your collection agency.
Monitor your progress
When you log into our online portal, APRweb, your dashboard will give you a full snapshot of collection activity, payments, and progress on your accounts. Your customer service representative can also help you in this area and review the progress with you. If you find that you are not receiving payments as you feel you should make sure you address that with your representative. He or she can offer advice and dig a little deeper into why payments may not be coming in as you expected.
Ask about other services
One myth about collection agencies is that it is nothing more than people sitting in an office and calling consumers to ask for payment. There are many other ethical approaches to helping consumers pay their debts, and there are other services that your agency should provide to better the chances of collecting your late payments.
One of the challenges of collecting debt is when consumers move. If they have not paid their bill to you, that presents a challenge in collecting that money. Most agencies will offer skip tracing, which is a technique to locate your customer wherever they have moved to. There are several tools that your agency can use to find your customer, and they are used commonly in this industry.
Another service that your agency should provide is reporting to credit bureaus. If a customer knows that you will report their delinquency to a credit bureau, that may be just the motivation they need to pay off their debt to you. Most agencies will offer this service in it is something we do here as part of our practice.
At American Profit Recovery, we are enormously proud of the training we provide our professional collectors. They know how to engage a consumer, and they understand what it takes to get them to the table and resolve their debt. But it would help if you kept in mind that does not happen every time. Some consumers will just refuse to pay, and hiring a collection agency does not mean that you have waved a magic wand, and everyone will pay you.
Many factors dictate the success of a collection program. Those include disputes you may have had with your customer, the age of those late accounts, and someone’s inability to pay at all. You should factor these in and get comfortable being flexible and knowing that at least here, we are doing everything ethically we can to improve your cash flow.
Did you read our blog post on how to hire a collection agency? If not, check it out here. If not, check it out here.