Improving Customer Service: Technology and the Future of Debt Collection
As numerous individuals find themselves struggling with their finances in this economy, the amount of complaints against debt collection agencies are mounting. In an annual survey, debt collection agencies were ranked number one on the national list of consumer complaints. Most debt collection agencies, however, are not to blame for poor customer relations; the majority of agencies nationwide are fully compliant with only a few agencies creating negative publicity for the industry as a whole.
This annual survey reveals many consumers find themselves bullied and harassed by some of the less scrupulous companies. In response to this, a recent Business Week article discussed Debt Collection Bill consequences and the reactions of individuals who have been harassed by debt collection agencies. This FDCPA bill or “Fair Debt Collection Practices Act”, originally created in 1978 and most recently amended in 2006, aims to reduce the abusive, intimidating, and harassing practices of debt collection agencies and provide consumers with access to debt information that would allow them to ensure the accuracy of their accounts.
More consumers are understanding these laws and consequentially filing complaints against agencies that are in violation. They are aware that the act prevents creditors from calling at inconvenient times, specifically no earlier then 8:00 A.M. and no later then 9 P.M., with all proven violators subject to $10,000 first offence and $20,000 second offence fines. In addition, agencies are not able to call during work hours, except once a month and only if they have not been able to contact the individual at home.
One Debt Collection Agency’s response to this customer relations situation, as seen in the recent article “Collection Agency Unveils New Strategic Plan, Vision for Industry” discusses the agency’s desire to inspire and inflect an industry-wide change on debt collection companies. The emphasis and new organizational theme is to change the habits of its collectors as well as reach out a hand to consumers, who need no longer be referred to as “debtors” but instead “consumers”. Agreeing with the FDCPA, agencies are encouraged to even go as far as to provide individuals with web materials they can read and use to educate themselves, such as personal finance calculators and forms for filing disputes.
Will this strategic plan successfully carry the Accounts Receivable Management industry into the future?
It might just not be all about the right attitude. Customer service goes hand in hand with superior technology—with the right tools and customer service, debt collection agencies can put themselves in a position to succeed even in a highly competitive and challenging industry. When your debt collection system is on point and you’re treating consumers in a positive way, you’re bringing your agency one step closer to success.
For better interactions with consumers, callers and collection managers need increasingly advanced technology to monitor and identify both good and bad calls for the purposes of training. . Debt collection system software integrated with predictive dialing technology ensures collectors save time and allows agencies to comply with regulations.
Debt collection system database tools are designed to cut back on the amount of time agents are on the phone and to make sure they stay in compliance.These tools also make it easy for collectors to collect payments when their computer desktop turns into a cashier station. Credit card processing and e-check processing options are easy and fast with some debt collection system software.
With debt collection system tools and software, agencies can provide the best service, comply with all regulations, and achieve high performance levels as well.
Erica Ronchetti is a freelance writer for DAKCS Software Systems (dakcs.com).
For over 30 years, DAKCS Software Systems has been the leader in simplifying the business of accounts receivable and collection management by creating innovative cloud and on premise software solutions.
Whether it is first or third party, we simplify your accounts receivable, collection management, predictive dialing/IVR, e-payment, client access, self-service and e-signature requirements with elegantly designed, configurable enterprise solutions.