Advice from the sidelines: How to win the game of collecting | IAT SmartDial® Solutions

Advice from the sidelines: How to win the game of collecting

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Have you ever asked yourself, am I using my agents effectively? Here is some advice that you may receive from some agency managers:

“Put agents on the dialer at 8:00 a.m. They can have a 5 minute potty break at 10:00 a.m. and lunch break from noon to 1:00 p.m. Then get them back on the dialer with a 5 minute potty break at 3:00 p.m. and send them home at 5:00 p.m. Tell them ‘I want to hear you talking and collecting money. I do not want to see you otherwise.’ Repeat the next day. This is the best way to utilize an agent.”

No doubt that some agencies probably operate this way, but it is not very effective. This would be like a basketball coach randomly picking 5 guys from the bench and saying “Just get out there and make baskets! I don’t want to see you until the final buzzer!” without any position assignment or guidance. While they may score some points, they will likely lose the game.

Just as the basketball coach has to choose which players to put on the floor and the position they will be playing, he also makes other adjustments throughout the game —substituting players, changing defense strategies, running different plays, etc. You get the idea. As a collection manager, you have to decide how and where to play your agents as well. Throwing them all into a cubicle and telling them to get on the phone is just like the coach telling 5 random guys to get out there and make baskets. You may score a few points, but you probably won’t win the game.

While having agents on the dialer is a key part to a winning strategy, there are additional ways you can improve this strategy. Here are a few examples of player assignments and adjustments that an IAT dialer can help you with.

  • Assign your players to take the calls best suited to them. Your 7 foot center typically is not good at shooting beyond the 3 point line; likewise the new agent that started two days ago is probably not the guy to handle a large balance account that has just called in. IAT provides skills-based routing for inbound calls (e.g.: language, large balance, etc.) and list management for outbound calls, so your agents receive the types of calls you decide are best for them.
  • Coach your players during the game. Use monitoring, coaching and conferencing tools to keep track of what your agents are doing in real-time and give them any needed assistance.
  • Provide players a way to solicit help during the game. Instant messaging feature gives agents the ability to ask managers for help while in the middle of the call.
  • Change strategies on the fly. Monitor list and agent performance in real-time and make changes to the lists being worked at a moment’s notice.
  • Allow continual play time. Build list groups so that when one list finishes the next one starts automatically, ensuring the agent stays busy and producing.
  • Keep players focused on the bigger plays. Use unattended IVR messages with an auto-pay function for low balances, leaving the agents to the bigger balances.

What are your debt collection strategies?

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This article was written by Paul