By now, many credit and collection professionals are aware of the Collection Boot Camp course offered through the California Association of Collectors (CAC). For those unfamiliar, the series consists of two webinars which have already taken place and a live course that is still upcoming. The classes highlight solutions to challenges that relate to those in the credit and collection industry. With the close of the first two webinar sessions, PDCflow’s work has just begun.
Over the next several weeks, we will be breaking down the sessions into blog posts and supplemental guides which highlight a few of the topics covered in each class. Those who missed the webinars can read PDCflow’s blog to get a sneak peek at the valuable knowledge and expertise of the panelists. Webinar attendees can use the recaps and guides to refresh themselves on course material, and share with their agencies to improve office processes and speed up collections.
So far, PDCflow has published two articles based upon the CAC’s first Collection Boot Camp session. The inaugural piece covers regulations and best practices for leaving collection messages and the second blog provides best practices for telephone collection communications during live calls.
Two of the panelists, June Coleman and Courtney Reynaud, were the main presenters throughout the first course. Reynaud covered the pros and cons of call models and scripts, and best practices to speed up account resolution time and lower your agency’s number of escalated calls. Coleman addressed the regulations surrounding work calls to debtors.
As collectors know, there are many rules regarding how and why collection agencies may make contact with a debtor at their work. Coleman’s extensive background as a defense litigator for those in the industry gives her insight into what agents can and cannot do while contacting consumers at work.
Reynaud and Coleman both weighed in on the subject of call frequency, and how to avoid allegations of harassment. Coleman confirmed that calling because you haven’t reached a debtor will not indicate an intent to harass, but stressed the need for reflection before making endless calls. Her advice: “find out why you’re calling,” so you have a clear plan going forward. Do not spend time and effort on a tactic that is clearly not working to resolve an account.
Reynaud suggests implementing rules for how agents can plan for future contact. She advises agents to schedule specific dates for the next call with the debtor. For example, if a consumer does not have money at the time of the call, but anticipates being able to resolve their debt after a paycheck, there is no need to call before payday. Find out when the debtor will be paid, and schedule a check-in call for a few days afterwards (only if the debt has not been paid by that time).
Just as with the advice above, the panelists for the seminar urge agents and agencies to reflect on their intentions in all aspects of the collection process. If a collector understands the intentions behind their actions, they can then determine if they are acting towards their goal of settling the account.
Final Boot Camp Session
For those who are disappointed about missing the first two, there’s still time to sign up for the last class, and network with peers at the same time! The closing Collection Boot Camp course is a live presentation given by Shawn Suhr, CEO, Continental Credit Control, at the 100th annual CAC conference and expo, where PDCflow is excited to exhibit as proud vendor members.
This gives our organization the chance to network with and educate those in the industry, but it also allows PDCflow to attend the final session of the Collections Boot Camp series. “Debtor Reconnaissance and Developing Strategies Using Settlements and Negotiation Tactics” promises to provide valuable information about preparing for the 2018 tax season, avoiding settlement pitfalls and tips on how to use Skiptracing. Coleman will also be in attendance to address the legal concerns related to these topics, to keep your collections compliant.
For more detailed information on leaving collection messages and telephone communications presented during the webinar, please see Collection Boot Camp: Leaving Messages and Collection Boot Camp: Telephone Collection Communications.