Every Contact an Opportunity: An Introduction

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Walter Steele

Every contact a collector makes with a consumer is an opportunity:

  • An opportunity to help a consumer get her finances under control
  • An opportunity to earn and establish trust
  • An opportunity to recoup financial losses for our clients
  • An opportunity to be compassionate
  • An opportunity to listen
  • An opportunity to learn

Our philosophy at FH Cann is simply this: we’re working with human beings – human beings who are often in unexpected and unforeseen circumstances. Being compassionate doesn’t cost any extra, and in the long run, it can actually help an agency earn more.

As an industry we are extremely goal orientated and deadline driven. This directive permeates to the front lines of the collection floor. That said, if collectors take a too aggressive approach, it may result in a significant increase in these consumers voicing dissatisfaction with their creditors (our clients) and us. As well as a major increase in formal complaints being filed with regulatory bodies – or worse yet, lawsuits being filed.

We find ourselves swimming in unprecedented waters. We as an industry have two paths we can follow: one could result in tremendous success (albeit slightly delayed) if navigated correctly; the other with potential to result in horrific headlines that blacken the eye of our industry as a whole.

So: welcome to our blog on insideARM.com. Our goal is to share thoughts, ideas, and techniques that prove that every contact is an opportunity to get it right in an industry that is so often lambasted for getting it wrong.


Walter Steele is the Chief Operating Officer of F.H. Cann & Associates (FHC). He is a Six Sigma Black Belt with over 25 years collection experience centered on receivables management and portfolio optimization. Throughout his highly successful career Walter has held key leadership positions with companies such as the publicly traded First Marblehead Corporation (FMD), JP Morgan Chase (JPM), and BankOne.

Continuing the Discussion

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  • avatar TOM GILLESPIE says:

    Hey Walter, I totally agree with your approach.

  • avatar Walter Steele says:

    Hi Tom, I truly appreciate your feedback. Hopefully others can understand the need as an industry to “adjust” to the times. The days of the wild west have been over for a long time.

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