If this is the first time you’ve hired a collection agency, you may not realize that the initial process takes some time to yield positive and long lasting results. While it can take 30 to 60 days to start receiving your collected revenue there are processes going on behind the scenes that will set the stage for your long term results. You are probably thinking the money’s going to come rolling in right away. While any agency would love to be able to tell you that’s the way it works (and some will even try), unfortunately, that’s not usually the case. This process takes time but understanding what goes into successful recovery can help ease your any concern you may during the initial stages of debt collection.
So here are 8 things to expect from the best and most reputable agencies, including Simon's Agency, Inc.:
- First, your placement of delinquent accounts should be easy for you to “give” to your collection agency. Most will employ a secure online gateway that should easily allow you to upload your placements to them online (which will generally be a simple spreadsheet packed with all of the account information you have for each patient or customer). They should provide this form to you or work directly with your IT department to accept and decipher your account output from your billing software.
- Once confirmation of your placements is given, the best agencies will “scrub” your data and prioritize the accounts through their own ranking and scoring protocols. Consumer accounts should also be linked to the same consumers the agency may already have on file so that multiple debts under the same consumer can be worked under one account and maximize the likelihood of repayment.
- Once your placement is made, your patient or customers will be notified in writing that their account(s) has been moved to collections and all communication regarding their bill will be conducted through the collection agency moving forward. You will, no doubt, receive phone calls regarding this action – the best course is to tell them that they must now deal with your collection agency.
- Approximately 30 days later (a window required by law) after the first notification is delivered by mail the agency will begin to place calls to the debtor. Information regarding your industry should be shared with the collection team so that interactions can be effective and time researching disputes is minimized.
- A successful agency will be willing to work with debtors toward resolving the past due balance in the quickest method possible. A reputable collection agency will believe in treating your customers and patients with dignity and respect any time they contact them. In this way, they should be constantly aware of your reputation in the marketplace and represent it well.
- Accounts should be continually monitored for regular calls, follow-ups on missed payments, research for updated contact information and more. Many pieces of the process will work together to assure your placement does not get “lost” or handled less frequently than it should.
- The majority of these steps should also be documented for you to see. Most agencies should be able to supply a secure online reporting system that gives you access to your accounts 24/7 as well as a client services team to assist you in doing so.
- Lastly, any successful recovery from your patients and customers should be remitted to you promptly with documentation to support it. This should be done on a regular schedule that is agreed upon by both parties. Additionally, partial payments should never be withheld until full payment is received by the agency. All payments made to the agency should be included in your remittance and never withheld for any reason.
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