Optimizing the Collections Process

collection process

Household debt increases growing fast

Though arguably sluggish, an uptick in the national economy is seeing a rise in personal borrowing as consumers shake off the skittish behavior learned during the financial crisis. And though not all household debt translates to the elevation to delinquent status, the industry is experiencing a rise in collections due to increased negligent behaviors as a percentage of borrowing.
To wit, collection contact centers are seeking ways to maximize efficiency and effectiveness in order to provide commercial customers the services that minimize liability and increase revenue from delinquent accounts. The sooner the customer receives reparation, the sooner their accounts can be rectified. This effort to maximize efficiency is often placed on the shoulders of the contact center managers, where profitability equates to a constant analysis of operations.

Optimizing the Collections Process

Managers in the industry have several tools at their disposal for optimizing performance, and the first is the effective management of customer lists in order to optimize contact rates. Organization should be completed placing high value and high risk collections at the head of a task list, targeting with the correct collection treatment in order to maximize collection revenue. Once adequately cleared or solidly attempted, lower tier accounts can be reviewed.
Other tools include a bevy of standard efficiency practices in order to maintain a fluid work environment. Automation of workload assignments need to be flexible based on the unique and ever changing contact list quality, risk level, and probability factors related to contact.

Call Center Best Practices

Also, as a break from traditional contact methods, the dialing practices should not be locked into one format, but rather pliable in order to seek the most viable times to contact accounts due to limited staff resources. More with less should be the contact center manager’s mantra, and this is accomplished by focused efforts on targeted contact. Careful records should indicate time of day, penetration rate, hit rates, risk management, and agent availability – all reviewed by the manager for emerging patterns to be applied to further contacts if required.
One last issue that should be considered is that many call centers work from multiple locations, and internal competition on contact resolution often leads to competition, as well as counterproductive practices. More effective and efficient methods of communication in this area can actually increase productivity, where different centers recognize they are all on the same team and should work toward a common work philosophy in order to maximize revenue. After all, this is in the best interest of the company.
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