Collector - March 2018 - 11
they are saying they did all this work and
we query the system and see they were only
logged in for 30 minutes, that's when we
say, 'I'm sorry, this isn't an option we can
continue,'" he said.
Surveying support staff about their
nonmonetary reward preferences and
overall satisfaction rates show that you care
about their happiness.
"Perception is 90 percent of it," Smith noted.
"Explain what you're considering and ask for
their feedback. Do they find this to be a benefit
or is there something else we can do to make
your job easier? Even if most of the suggestions
they give aren't so hot, you're still selling them
on the idea that the company does care and
wants to show it. We want to make sure they
know our hearts are in the right place."
CUSTOMER SERVICE COUNTS
Randy Frierson, owner of TASC, said
that the previous owner of his collection
agency gave support staff just a fraction
of the bonuses it gave collectors. "My
wife realized right after we bought
the business that that wasn't fair and
needed to change," Frierson said. "We're
really striving to create a positive, team
atmosphere here. We want people to enjoy
what they do."
Today TASC includes support staff in its
monthly bonus structure. "It pays for itself,"
Frierson said. "You really reap the benefits
from that. The support staff is an integral
part of what we do. We would not be able to
survive without them. They take on tasks to
enable collectors to stay on the phones and
make more contacts."
Varnum agreed, noting that his support
staff appreciated being included in the
company's monthly collection contests and
worked harder as a result.
"I built this company on customer
service," Varnum said. "Everyone claims they
is April 25!
have the best collectors or collection rates,
and that is hugely important, but it doesn't
matter how much business you bring in or
how much you collect-if your customer
service is horrible, clients will move on.
That's why your support staff is very, very
important to the overall success of your
company. I have clients tell me all the time
that we have a great customer service staff,
and I always go back and relay that to my
team so they know they are valued. I've been
very vocal about letting them know when
they've done a good job."
Anne Rosso May is editor of Collector