First party collections services must ensure strategic alignment to clients’ collections objectives and measures of success. Across our group of companies, we have consistently been the top collections provider for clients across diverse industries including financial services, healthcare, telecommunications, retail, utilities, government, and more.
However. there is a tsunami of debt that people are finding themselves in because they are unable to meet financial commitments. That is why we believe that a blanket, one-size-fits-all approach to first party collections does not suffice especially with the prevailing circumstances as the world faces a trying and long recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The financial vulnerability is widespread in all markets because of inflation, increased tax, interest rates, and skyrocketing energy costs. The impact of this black swan event on millions of households and consumers is profound and long-term. Hence collections agencies and credit providers must work collaboratively to understand exactly what is appropriate for each customer – given their unique and individual circumstances.
The landscape for traditional first party collection practices is changing dramatically, with factors to consider from both a legislative and an ethical perspective.
Fortunately, by collaborating with our clients across various sectors and geographies, we have seen first-hand what best practice in collections today looks like.
Strike A Balance With First Party Collection Services
We believe that it is essential to strike the right balance by acting in the best interests of the customer given the circumstances. However, you must also collect outstanding debts to protect the integrity and sustainability of credit providers and financial markets.
But to ensure these capabilities, we must concentrate on three key pillars of capability:
- Advanced predictive and prescriptive analytics (decision optimization) is underpinned by the harnessing and orchestration of both internal and external data.
- The ability to bring data-supported insights into strategies, treatment, and customer interaction decisions at scale.
- Bi-directional, omnichannel customer engagement facilitates customer auto-resolution 24/7.
These three pillars are among the critical tenets of the digital transformation of most businesses across the credit lifecycle.
The Seven First Party Collection Tips For Perfect Business Flow
Our first party collection services ensure that your debt collection strategy is effective because it plays a significant role in shaping the future of your organization.
A proper debt collection strategy must be efficient by maximizing resources at the lowest cost. To do this, iContact BPO uses modern technologies and methodologies to maintain a secure, legal, and long-term outlook toward collections.
Debt collectors are already at a disadvantage when trying to close out their client’s past due accounts because they are viewed in a negative light. Moreover, there has been a 10% decrease in the average collection rate for bad debt over the past few decades.
Therefore, organizations have no choice but to ensure that the techniques used are highly effective. Any mediocre attempt at collecting from overwhelming debt accounts will likely lead to a loss in your annual revenue.
Here are seven key elements to integrate into your first party collection strategy to increase your odds of success while keeping costs low.
1. Give The Client Lots Of Options
Our number one tip is to give a client all the payment plan options they have available as soon as you clearly know they cannot pay in full.
Giving them all their options will help them feel like they are in control of their situation and not being backed into a payment plan they did not choose.
First party collection services are sensitive which is why we advise keeping the tone of the conversation positive, especially because the client is already in a stressful situation.
2. Master The Art Of Listening
Mastering the art of listening is possibly one of the best debt collection techniques that an agent can learn.
According to Psychology Today, the art of listening requires three behaviors:
- Be respectful.
- Talk less than you listen.
- Challenge assumptions.
We feel that listening and understanding a client’s situation can go a long way in putting the consumer at ease.
This will likely lead to a payment plan, or at least start a conversation to put things into motion. Our first party collection services make listening to your client a priority.
3. Ask Questions
Never be afraid to ask the client questions.
For you to successfully complete first party collection services and come to the best possible solution for the client, questions are essential.
Seeking to understand and empathize with those around you, both internally and externally – can have an enormous impact on your ability to reach mutual agreements.
4. Avoid Negative Words Like “Can’t” Or “Unable”
You do not want to come across as forceful or unhelpful. First party collection services are not sales.
Be careful how you use negative words and phrases like ‘“I can’t…” or “I am unable to.”’ Keeping the client focused on what you can do for them, and how you are able to collaborate with them, will lead to a more positive outcome.
5. Become The Client’s Ally
The ongoing challenge first party collection services face is the stigma surrounding what they do.
However, as experts in the industry, we feel that becoming the client’s ally, not their enemy, is a wonderful way to encourage the client to talk about their situation.
There is power in an open conversation, and if a consumer gets to this point, it is then the collector’s responsibility to find the best possible solution for their situation (within company guidelines.)
6. Keep An Open Line Of Communication
Successful first party collection services happen when you keep all lines of communication and channels open to reach payment in full with clients.
Now that there are different channels available to communicate with clients (so long as they opt-in,) you can keep lines open however the clients prefer.
For clients on payment plans, this inevitably leads to better conversations and an increased likelihood of payments in full.
7. Stay Positive & Observe Your Energy
More importantly, the energy you project during the conversations is powerful.
Clients can often sense your energy and will feed off it, one way or another. By keeping your energy positive, you will have a much more pleasant conversation that leads to better results for first party collection services.
Use These First Party Collection Tips In 2022
As we are sure you can clearly see there is a common theme in all these tips – consumer-centric empathy.
Approaching collections with empathy, understanding and positive energy will lead to better outcomes in an increasingly consumer-centric world.