Debra Ciskey, Director of Performance Development, for Afni, Inc., coached participants through the finer points of building collections help desk success at the recent American Collectors Association International 72nd Annual Convention and Expo in Dallas, TX.

Ciskey was joined by Jim Christensen, MCE, of  Array Services Group and  Tom Gavinski, IC Systems. The panel encouraged attendees to start with the desired outcome in mind when determining plans for tasking, staffing, training, tracking and documenting results. The discussion took on common collections pain points such as regulatory complaints, Better Business Bureau issues, consumer lawsuits and workplace challenges.

“Providing assistance for troubled consumers is the right thing to do in today’s environment of home foreclosures and high unemployment,” Ciskey said.  “Regulators like to see agencies going the extra mile to work with consumers and to provide extra support for collectors. This can include handling escalated calls and serving as a knowledge base for collectors, providing information, resources and support. The panelists agreed that their consumer help desks have made a positive contribution to the operation of their businesses.”

In her 30-year career in the receivables management industry, Ciskey has developed training programs, and provided training for collection agencies and credit grantors. An ACA Certified Instructor since 1983, she has taught more than 155 ACA seminars, was recognized as ACA Certified Instructor of the Year in 2005, and currently serves on the Ethics Committee, ACPAC Committee and ABD Committee.  Ciskey serves as Immediate Past President of the Illinois Collectors Association.

Afni, Inc., was founded in 1936 in Bloomington, Illinois, and is celebrating 75 years in providing customer contact solutions to some of the world’s leading companies. From its origins in collections, Afni has grown to become a leading provider of contact center solutions and outsourced business solutions for Fortune 1000 companies in telecommunications, insurance, financial services and other industries. Afni has operations centers in Illinois, Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Kentucky and Texas. For more information about Afni, its services or career opportunities, visit  Follow Afni on Twitter @afni75.

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