Choosing when it’s time to start using a debt collection agency can be a hard fought and agonizing decision to make. Choosing when it’s time to replace a debt collector can be even harder. That’s why no matter what decision you face today it’s important to get the decision right. If you’re reading this article you’ve most likely already made the decision to seek help with your delinquent accounts and are looking to shorten your days in receivables and improve your overall revenue cycle. While you may have a great billing team in place, there are going to be accounts that a billing company will struggle to collect on. Utilizing a professional debt recovery firm should always improve the collection rate on accounts that are 30, 60, 90 or even 180 days or more past due. A collection agency is built around collecting these types of debts and should be uniquely qualified to do this work. But it’s important to know that not all collection agencies are created equal.
Once you’ve made the decision to begin utilizing a collection agency, or are ready to change course by selecting a new agency, it’s important to perform your due diligence by examining what each agency brings to the table for your organization. There are several key areas that can make the difference between choosing an acceptable collection agency and choosing an exceptional one.
One of those key areas is Technology & Information. Understanding what technology is utilized by the agency to perform the work of collections, how that technology interacts with the information you supply and how that technology will make your life easier are all components of this area that, once identified and examined, will help you choose the very best agency.
Here are seven points that should help you make an informed decision based on Technology & Information capabilities and procedures:
The best agencies will be using the latest technologies that leverage cloud computing for real-time monitoring, advanced processing and high levels of security via encryption and secure gateways.
An agency should be able to provide a template or work with your technicians to easily transfer your desired placements to them in a manner that is secured by SFTP, SSL or comparable encryption. Additionally, if you use a billing system, they should also be able to integrate your output format directly into their database for a seamless transfer of information that allows them to begin working your accounts immediately.
An agency should be able to get your placements in and be working them in a matter of days, not weeks or months.
Agencies may even use their own proprietary software and databases to manage your collection accounts. This allows them to move much more quickly in changing processes and dataflow on the fly. An agency that employs its own database architects and managers is poised to take immediate action based on any number of factors that can affect collections from seasonal shifts to sudden economic conditions.
The best agencies will apply their own analytical process to your accounts using consumer credit data and their own proprietary methods for classifying them and working them according to their expertise. Whether it’s managing the small data inside their own operations or the big data represented by consumer credit information, the use of analytics is a must in this industry and will be the difference between achieving mediocre results and highly successful recovery rates.
Many agencies utilize a dialer system capable of placing tens of thousands of phone calls each day which helps to bolster overall contact rate. Dialer systems are growing more advanced by the day and feature more and more human interaction than previous generations could provide. A modern dialer system is a plus for any agency.
The agency you chose should be at least as good as, if not better than, your organization with regard to the technology they employ, the knowledge and resources they possess and the care they take with your data.
To learn more about the other key areas that will help you choose the best Collection Agency, please download our FREE eBook, “3 Critical Areas to Consider When Choosing a Third-Party Debt Collection Agency.” In this guide we will explore:
- Even more about how Technology & Information affects the results an agency will have in recovering your delinquent accounts and narrowing your days in receivables.
- How the Longevity & Track Record of an agency speaks volumes to the level of success they will have with your placements.
- How the Operations & Personnel of an agency shapes their ability to recover your debt and the time it takes them to do so.
- Plus 10 Tips that will help you make the most informed selection that you can!