Collector - November 2020 - 29

COVID-19 has created a lot of
uncertainty, and things are changing very
rapidly. Well-documented work instructions
can help ensure everyone on your team is on
the same page.
To create a seamless workflow and scale
an agency, leaders must also be able to
continually inspire, motivate and engage
their team members. With more team
members working remotely because of the
pandemic, many managers are expressing
how hard it is to stay on top of collectors and
reinforce training concepts.
Moving forward, it's going to be important
for agency leaders to find new ways to
engage their collectors and make mastering
new skills attractive and exciting. A quick
example is setting up weekly challenges that
push collectors to make positive shifts in
behavior and meet set goals. When collectors
are challenged to use training concepts
and techniques in real time and they're
successful, they'll want to do it again and
again. It's like a positive feedback loop.

INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY
Technology will be another important factor
in scaling your agency for a post-COVID-19
world, and the great news is that investing
in technology has never been easier or more
accessible for smaller agencies.
As ACA President G. Scott Purcell
acknowledged in his address to ACA
members at the Virtual Convention & Expo
this summer, technology can be viewed
as both a threat and an opportunity to the
collection world.
On the one hand, there could be an
increased push to replace collectors with
AI chatbots and other tools. The bestcase scenario would be the industry uses
technology to help collectors better perform
their jobs, drive down costs, improve
compliance and enhance consumers'
experiences.
Using technology, for instance, agencies
can get payment predictability scores so
collectors can prioritize accounts that are
more likely to be paid.
Technology can also help agencies
establish better call flow. Tools like voice

COLLECTOR 11.20

analytics can help agencies identify what
words are working to move calls toward
payment and what words are creating
conflict with consumers and moving calls
backward.
By and large, voice analytics can cut down
on the time spent monitoring and reviewing
calls. Supervisors can see what was said
on calls without having to listen to calls
individually and can more quickly identify
collectors who need additional coaching.
Or, they might be able to discover patterns
in consumer frustrations that could be
eliminated with improved tools, features or
responses from collectors.
There is also a benefit to allowing
consumers to choose how they want to be
communicated with and when. By making
things more convenient and less intrusivefeeling for consumers, we can encourage
more consumers to engage with us and stay
engaged until they've paid off their debts.
Of course, good call flow and industry
laws, rules and regulations will still need to
be followed. There are certain touchpoints
collectors are required to hit on collection calls,
and those will have to be upheld in the digital
channel as well. More complex conversations
are best turned over to human agents.
There is a lot of value in technology that
improves collector performance and the
consumer experience; it's important that we
include these tools in our post-COVID-19
lens.

LOOK FOR OPPORTUNITIES
As we look for ways to scale and thrive in
this new world, consider the opportunities
in these three areas: collector development,
management systems and innovative
technology.
The pandemic has affected how all of us
operate in some way. Let's use the disruption
as an opportunity to reevaluate the way we
do business. Now's the time to ask: What isn't
working at my agency, and how do I pivot?
Mary Shores is the creator of The Collection
Advantage program and the CEO of Midstate
Collection Solutions. She can be reached at
mary@maryshores.com.

1

Provide collectors
with structured
communication training that
teaches them exactly how to
build consumers' trust.

2

Well-documented work
instructions, which
should be reevaluated based
on what we've seen with
COVID-19, can help ensure
everyone is on the same
page.

3

Invest in technology
that improves collector
performance and the
consumer experience.
29



Collector - November 2020

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

Collector - November 2020 - Cover1
Collector - November 2020 - Cover2
Collector - November 2020 - 1
Collector - November 2020 - 2
Collector - November 2020 - 3
Collector - November 2020 - 4
Collector - November 2020 - 5
Collector - November 2020 - 6
Collector - November 2020 - 7
Collector - November 2020 - 8
Collector - November 2020 - 9
Collector - November 2020 - 10
Collector - November 2020 - 11
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