Tips on how to collect debt:
OUTDATED BELIEF #4: Your Best Agents Should Call Your Toughest Customers.
Theoretically it seems logical to assign your best agents to call the toughest accounts, whether for collections or cross-sell. But, if this assumption is wrong, it means your best agents are being wasted on accounts where higher skills (and their associated higher salaries) have little impact.
NEW THINKING: Research with sales agents has shown that agents' skill levels, indeed, have a great impact when talking to receptive customers. Skilled agents can, in these cases, sell more in less time. But the research also showed that highly skilled agents delivered no advantage when selling to the most difficult prospects. The company's counterintuitive finding showed that the hardest prospects were difficult to approach under any conditions. If the call center had followed its intuition without testing the theory, it would have degraded its overall agent performance. This finding translates to your skilled collection agents and delinquent customers and means that your general agent pool will be equally as effective with your toughest accounts as your skilled agents.
BOTTOM LINE: If you are putting skilled agents against your most difficult accounts, you should conduct an unbiased test to find out if this strategy is really paying off.
OUTDATED BELIEF #5: Local Strategy Control is Best.
With multiple call centers, strategy is often left up to each center because there is a belief that each local floor operation and download list is somehow unique. What's more, you may allow strategy to be handled locally because a group of call records is downloaded to one specific dialer and called only from that dialer. There are many problems with this outdated approach: Agents across multiple sites may not be fully utilized, campaigns may not be implemented consistently, and the individual customers are vulnerable to severe weather and other downtime risks.
NEW THINKING: New-generation list management technologies remove these limitations by holding a centralized global campaign and dynamically directing call records from any download to any networked dialer. The result is increased productivity as the workload is leveled across agent resources and as strategies are executed consistently and without interruption.
BOTTOM LINE: The collections operation is more productive with a centralized list management technology keeping all call strategies on track in a single or multiple centers. Mounting consumer debt around the world is a challenge for every company. In today's complex and increasingly risky business world, it is necessary to make every step of the collections process as effective and efficient as possible. Often this requires updating long-held beliefs with the addition of new solutions that solve today's biggest collection problems. Today these five outdated practices are being overcome by companies who've found that intelligent predictive technologies can measurably elevate their collections efforts to a new, significantly higher level of productivity.
About the Author
Lois Brown is Vice President of Marketing at Austin Logistics Incorporated, headquartered in Austin, Texas. She oversees brand positioning, marketing communications, and new product definition for the companies' expanding line of predictive analytic and optimization solutions.
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