Collector - April 2018 - 30
Learn more about ways ACA members track and promote
consumer compliments in our June 2017 article, "Shout Outs"
by Anne Rosso May: http://bit.ly/2DYxueg
In the office the next day, Meeks relays
the cashier's compliment to Ms. Mora,
one of Credit Consulting Services' debt
collectors. She is proud, and tells Meeks
that Credit Consulting Services is actually
garnishing the cashier's wages to help pay
an outstanding debt.
Why in the world would someone say nice
things about a person who played a role in
taking part of his paycheck?
The answer may lie in one word:
Relief. Debt collectors wear many hats,
but essentially they are problem solvers
in what can be a stressful and scary time
for consumers. Agencies that train their
collectors to focus on achieving positive
consumer outcomes-helping them get back
on track and treating them with compassion
and respect along the way-reap results that
ripple beyond the four walls of their office.
"When you position your communication
strategies in such a way that the quality of
a consumer's experience is the priority of
your intent, compliments become the norm,"
said Jason Olson, director of production
at Alliance Collection Agencies Inc. "Our
intent has never been to be perceived
as nice bill collectors...our intent has always
been to be good people."
Olson recounted an experience that
happened a few months ago, when one
of the collectors at Alliance Collection
Agencies was working with a consumer who
had medical accounts with three separate
providers and six collection agencies. At the
end of one of these phone calls, the collector
asked, "It was my intention to be respectful
and to maintain your dignity throughout the
call. Do you feel I have done so?"
The consumer said: "Let me tell you
something-my life has not always been like
this. I was once an executive for a customer
service company, so I know how it goes. That
was some time ago and things were pretty
good then. Now life looks very different,
as you can tell from all of my medical bills.
I can tell you with great certainty that I
don't remember the last time someone-
anyone!-treated me with as much respect
as you have, to say nothing of being a bill
collector. It's like people talk at you or
through you, but rarely with you. This is the
best service I've ever received and I can't tell
you enough how much it means to me to be
treated like a person."
Comments like these, a poignant mix
of heartache and gratitude, often focus
on a debt collector's compassion and
determination to find a solution that works
for the consumer's unique situation.
Stacy Bartl, public relations director
for ConServe, said that her company's
collectors are trained to help consumers
"resolve their debt in ways that restore their
self-respect and empower them to make
a positive change in their lives. Receiving
a compliment that expresses a consumer's
relief, gratitude and peace of mind for the
help they received motivates our team."
For example, a consumer recently sent
ConServe an email saying: "I can't express
how much I appreciate the excellent service
I received from ConServe. I have dealt with
ConServe debt collectors have earned more than 50,000 consumer compliments since the company started tracking them in 2015. (Photo: ConServe.)