Collector - February 2020 - 25

schedule. However, they may have never
thought about using their refund and are in a
position to take care of the balance."
Collectors should be especially mindful
of compliance issues if a client is allowing
settlement offers during tax time. Avoid
suggesting possible settlements that will
never be offered again, that today's offer is
the best they will receive or that an offer
won't be extended. Such statements may be
misleading and could violate the Fair Debt
Collection Practices Act. Also, avoid any
language that could overshadow consumers'
validation rights.

SPEECH ANALYTICS
Agencies using speech analytics software
can harness the technology's power for tax
season collection efforts. While collection
software packages provide analytics
measuring payment history data-whether
consumers are paying, when and how-
speech analytics technology adds the ability
to introduce data specific to what collectors
and consumers are saying.
"Speech analytics technology provides
the ability to use the audio content of phone
calls to drive your operations and compliance
decisions," said David Kleber, director of
speech analytics for Bedard Law Group.
"The data obtained from a speech analytics
platform gives you the ability to use what is
said or not said in your phone calls to make
intelligent decisions regarding your campaigns
or operations. That data can be used in many
ways once you have it."
Some examples of how agencies can use
speech analytics:
* Ensure collectors are discussing tax
refunds as payment options.
* Determine which scripts or tax-related
keywords and phrases bring in the
most payments.
* Trigger specific scripts or pop-up
reminders for collectors to use when
consumers mention tax refunds.
* Flag accounts for follow-up action
when tax refunds are discussed.
"The most important aspect of speech
analytics is the ability to mine your call
data," Kleber said. "Once you know what

COLLECTOR 02.20

"This is a long game.
People receive refunds
from January through
mid-May. You can't have
training in January and
then check back in April
to see what happened."

was said, how people talk about taxes or
respond to specific tax-time language, for
example, you can measure whether or not
particular language is beneficial. The data
enables you to measure performance not
just from payment history but from phone
conversations and how consumers respond
to particular interactions. You're able to act
on data rather than just guessing."

EXPAND YOUR TAX SEASON
Although consumers receive refunds
from late January through mid-May,
keeping tax season in mind and
discussing it with consumers throughout
the year can be beneficial.
"When collectors are speaking with people
in July, they can keep tax refunds in mind
and try to set up shorter payment plans with
the goal of a payoff during tax season," Camp
said. "That helps because collectors are always
thinking of it as a potential source of income
rather than focusing it on a short, 60-day
window. We try to have them set a temporary
arrangement for three or four months and
then take care of the balance when they get
their tax return."
Indeed, tax time can be a fruitful, positive
time for collectors and consumers alike.
Collectors have an extra tool to help increase
payments and consumers can start off the year
on the right foot-owing less, or, ideally, being
debt free.
Tim Dressen is a communications consultant
and former editor of Collector magazine.

1
2

Draft a tax season fact
sheet for your collectors.

Leverage speech
analytics software to
trigger pop-up reminders for
collectors when consumers
mention tax refunds.

3

Keep tax time in mind
throughout the year
and anticipate possible
refunds when setting up
payment plans.
25



Collector - February 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Collector - February 2020

Presidents Page
Industry News
Best Practices
FYI
Collection Tips
Overlapping Responsibilities?
Taking on Tax Time
Making Connections in D.C.
Calendar
Honor Roll
Education Spotlight
Creative Solutions
Ask the Experts: Reaching Out
Legal Liability & the FDCPA
Advocacy and Parenthood: Not So Different
Your Opinion Matters
Beyond the Boundary of the Law
ACA SearchPoint
Membership
Ad Index
Last Word
Collector - February 2020 - Cover1
Collector - February 2020 - Cover2
Collector - February 2020 - 1
Collector - February 2020 - 2
Collector - February 2020 - 3
Collector - February 2020 - 4
Collector - February 2020 - Presidents Page
Collector - February 2020 - Industry News
Collector - February 2020 - 7
Collector - February 2020 - 8
Collector - February 2020 - 9
Collector - February 2020 - 10
Collector - February 2020 - 11
Collector - February 2020 - Best Practices
Collector - February 2020 - 13
Collector - February 2020 - FYI
Collector - February 2020 - 15
Collector - February 2020 - Collection Tips
Collector - February 2020 - 17
Collector - February 2020 - Overlapping Responsibilities?
Collector - February 2020 - 19
Collector - February 2020 - 20
Collector - February 2020 - 21
Collector - February 2020 - Taking on Tax Time
Collector - February 2020 - 23
Collector - February 2020 - 24
Collector - February 2020 - 25
Collector - February 2020 - Making Connections in D.C.
Collector - February 2020 - 27
Collector - February 2020 - 28
Collector - February 2020 - 29
Collector - February 2020 - 30
Collector - February 2020 - 31
Collector - February 2020 - Calendar
Collector - February 2020 - Honor Roll
Collector - February 2020 - Education Spotlight
Collector - February 2020 - 35
Collector - February 2020 - Creative Solutions
Collector - February 2020 - 37
Collector - February 2020 - Ask the Experts: Reaching Out
Collector - February 2020 - 39
Collector - February 2020 - Legal Liability & the FDCPA
Collector - February 2020 - 41
Collector - February 2020 - Advocacy and Parenthood: Not So Different
Collector - February 2020 - 43
Collector - February 2020 - Your Opinion Matters
Collector - February 2020 - 45
Collector - February 2020 - Beyond the Boundary of the Law
Collector - February 2020 - 47
Collector - February 2020 - ACA SearchPoint
Collector - February 2020 - 49
Collector - February 2020 - Membership
Collector - February 2020 - Ad Index
Collector - February 2020 - Last Word
Collector - February 2020 - Cover3
Collector - February 2020 - Cover4
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