A recent interview given by Dave Rudd.
Interviewer: Dave thanks for agreeing to discuss with us the ARM industry and the key actions companies in this industry can take to be more successful.
Dave: You’re welcome! I’m always happy to share my thoughts about the ARM Industry and collection agency success.
Interviewer: Let’s get started, shall we? What are the top actions an ARM firm should be taking to ensure their success?
Dave: That is a very good question. It’s difficult to answer because there are so many parts to running a successful debt collection agency. However, I can offer three suggestions.
Well, first, compliance is vital. Consumer protectionism and politics permeates the ARM industry today. ARM firms are being monitored from all directions—FCC, FTC, CFPB, federal and state lawmakers and attorneys general. So it’s crucial that every firm diligently remains compliant with current laws and regulations.
Interviewer: That is interesting! I didn’t realize so many people were watching over the ARM industry’s shoulders. Are there any compliance areas where ARM firms need to be especially proactive?
Dave: Well, there are two prominent regulations involving cell phones and legal calling hours. ARM firms need to identify cell phone numbers and call them as the TCPA has defined. They also need to diligently manage calling periods to ensure that calls are only made during legal calling hours.
This is not a collection agency example, but in Utah one Senate candidate accidentally had calls made to voters at 6 a.m. which is clearly a violation of legally defined calling periods.
Interviewer: It sounds really important to make sure you keep within those legal calling times. I guess agencies just have to get the most out the agents’ time when they are allowed to make calls. Any tips on how to do that?
Dave: Yes, in fact, that’s my next suggestion, “maximize your agents’ contacting time.” How agents spend their time is critical to the success of a collection agency. When an agent isn’t speaking with a debtor, an opportunity to collect on past due accounts is lost. If they are unable to work accounts because a manager needs to manually switch lists, agents and campaigns, then money is being lost. A few minutes wasted here and there really adds up fast. Implementing features like List Groups eliminates this problem by automating the predictive dialer agent’s work day—ensuring that agents stay busy working the right accounts at the right time.
Interviewer: So that means agents don’t waste any time between lists? That certainly would keep them talking to debtors!
Dave: That’s right! And an agent busy talking is a whole lot more productive than an agent waiting.
Not all accounts are ideally handled by an agent. My last suggestion involves another way to maximize an agent’s using dialogues, which are also called interactive messages, to communicate with debtors.
We find that very productive collection agencies incorporate interactive messaging into their collection strategies. I see many agencies only run their low balance accounts through an interactive messaging system. Other agencies, in an effort to fulfill due diligence requirements, might contact ALL accounts first with an interactive message and then split follow-up contacting between their agents and interactive messages.
Well written dialogues also provide a certain level of comfort that your firm is delivering a compliant message. Dialogues can even facilitate automated payments, verify right party contacts and provide account information.
Interviewer: Wow! There are certainly a lot of options with interactive messages. I can see that even though there are many parts to running a collection agency, there are many tools available to make it easier and more successful. Dave, thanks for your time today. We appreciate your insights into the ARM industry.
Dave: You’re welcome, and I look forward to our next interview.