DAKCS Difference in Action: Customer Insights with Stacy Willis

July 10, 2020

The DAKCS team is proud of our longstanding partnerships with our customers, some of whom have been with us over 35 years, built on trust and open communication.

Our Customer Insights articles focus on our customer champions, offering a glimpse into how they make a difference in our industry. We’ll highlight how they have helped build the difference that makes our #DAKCSfamily one of a kind.

Meet Stacy Willis of Account Management Resources

We’d like to thank Stacy Willis, Director of Operations at Account Management Resources (AMR) for participating in this interview.

As she announces her candidacy for re-election on the ACA International Board of Directors, she continues to take the steps necessary to better the community and our industry. She is a core part of what makes up the #DAKCSdifference.

A message from Stacy

“I think it’s Time for Progress in our industry and in the association. You elected me last year because you agreed it was time for change. With board experience and as an industry leader, my re-election will ensure improved public perception of our work and advance the fight for technological and legal modernization.” Read the rest.

Let’s dive in

Can you tell us about your background in the accounts receivable/debt collection industry?

I began my career in the ARM industry in 1990 as the switchboard operator for Credit Collections, Inc., which was owned and operated by Jack and Jo Fudge. I gained experience in several roles throughout the company over the years and became Director of Operations in 1997.

Professionally

2020 is your 25th year with AMR and you continue to play such an integral part in the company’s growth and success. What is the biggest change you’ve seen in the industry? How did it impact the business? 

This year we’ve been challenged as industry and business leaders. With the shift of the ACA International Convention and Expo going to a virtual environment, Stacy positively states, “While I’ll miss gathering together in person, it is exciting that we will still be able to interact and learn with the help of such innovative technology! Such progress allows us to adapt and reinvent the way we meet and not be deterred by current conditions.”

With board experience and as an industry leader, my re-election will ensure the improved public perception of our work and advance the fight for technological and legal modernization.

With DAKCS as a 25+ year vendor partner of yours, what stands out as the most impactful benefit to you and/or your business?

Over the years as our business has grown, DAKCS has been right there along with us. When an issue comes up DAKCS is always willing to entertain the idea and incorporate it into the software platform making it work the best way possible.

What strategies did you put in place to meet and adapt to the industry changes?

At AMR, we are constantly looking for ways to stay fresh in this technological age and recently invested in a speech analytics program. The software analyzes recorded phone calls to gather information to further improve communication through quality assurance. It allows us to see a true picture of what is occurring on the lines, analyze trends, and more.

Under my leadership, AMR implemented a Compliance Management System. We moved away from hiring employees with a collector skill set and instead look for customer service skills. We implemented more customer-friendly policies and procedures and changed our terminology.

The outbreak of COVID-19 presented many challenges, but our team transitioned offsite quickly and seamlessly and continues to telework. We’ve continued to meet business goals and objectives.

We have also continued training our agents in the Intentional Communication Code to ensure consumers know we are in this together and that our agents are empathetic to their current situation. We make it clear that we are here to work with them during this challenging time.

Candidacy for ACA International Board of Directors

You announced your re-election for the ACA International Board of Directors, why did you decide to run again?

I was elected last year because the delegates agreed it was time for change. A central part of my platform was about the need for the board to have fresh leadership. Because of their support, I was able to lead with my expertise, diverse perspective, and vision for change. 

Since we convened last year in San Diego, none of us imagined the disruptions our society would experience. Systems in every industry are changing. Business models are being rewritten and standards are being reset.

That’s why now, more than ever, It’s Time for Progress.

What will your primary focus be if re-elected as a Board member for ACA International?

I will focus on the most crucial challenges and opportunities facing our consumers in financial distress, the talent needed in our industry, and bringing balance to outdated and burdensome regulations.

Being a board member allowed me to have a seat at the table and I want to continue those conversations with my colleagues regarding policies and regulations that affect our businesses. We still have work to do and my re-election will ensure the proper attention to these issues.

Why do you feel you’d be a good ACA Board member?

I have the necessary industry experience, proven standard of excellence, and vision for the evolution needed in our field. I will advocate for revisions to regulations so our industry can continue to operate effectively and respectfully in a modern environment.

I have served in our industry from entry-level to executive leadership, and I understand the challenges faced at all levels. My dedication and experienced leadership can address these issues and move us forward.

Influences

What technology or tools do you use on a regular basis that assist you in successfully running your business?

AMR uses a lean six sigma approach to improve efficiency and reduce operational costs.

LEAN DMAIC business improvement concept. wooden step with text define, measure, analyze, improve and control with copy space

Everyone has influencers. Who has influenced your life professionally, personally or both?

Chip Fudge, Chairman of our organization of companies. Credit Collections, Inc. was his family business and then he purchased it in 1992. He has influenced my life professionally and personally for the better.

He taught me everything I know about the business and has continued to inspire me to develop as a leader. I strive to model my career after his and continue to look to him as a mentor.

Personally

What is the best advice you received?

I can be whatever I want to be, do anything I desire to do…it’s all up to me.

What is the proudest moment in your professional career?

I recently graduated from Leadership OKC Signature Program Class 37. The Signature Program is a 10-month series of classes – each focusing on a different community issue.

How about in life?

I am most proud of my two daughters.

Our professional lives keep us busy… what is your favorite pastime or hobby that you like to do to help you relax and get away from the daily hustle and bustle?

I love spending time with my family. Most every weekend I am fortunate to enjoy time with my two daughters and my granddaughter. Depending on the weather, you can find us at a game or on the water.

What was the last book you enjoyed or podcast you listened to? (Even your favorite movie or TV show you binged watched?) Why was it so enjoyable?

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg.

Sheryl Sandberg is Chief Operating Officer of Facebook and describes how women unintentionally hold themselves back in their careers. She encourages women to “sit at the table,” seek challenges, take risks, and pursue their goals with gusto!

We appreciate you, Stacy!

Head to LinkedIn to learn more about Stacy Willis and what she plans to do when it comes to making a change and adding flavor to create a more diverse industry.

See how she plans to lead the fight for updated regulations so our industry can continue to operate effectively and respectfully in a modern environment.

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