A new species of collector—do you know what it is? | IAT SmartDial® Solutions

A new species of collector—do you know what it is?

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This is a guest blog post from ClientAccessWeb.

In today’s fast-paced, technology driven society consumers are looking for the quickest, most convenient way to do…well, just about everything. Have you thought about how convenient and accessible it is for a consumer to make a payment to you?

Not everyone wants to come into an office to make a payment or take the time on the phone; and with online bill pay, mailing a check is almost becoming a thing of the past. A recent FiSite Research Study found that debtors prefer using the web to handle their delinquent accounts 4 to 1 compared to talking to a person over the phone.

Combining the fact that consumers simply prefer the internet for convenience and the fact that historically the word “collector” comes with a bad connotation, the internet is going to be the consumer’s preferred way of resolving overdue accounts. Instead of fighting to make a right party contact, encourage your consumers to contact you in a secure venue that runs 24×7.

Traditional methods of collecting can be expensive. Speaking of 24/7, do you have a collector that can work those kinds of hours? I am willing to bet that you don’t. With a virtual collector, you can drastically reduce your cost to collect. According to Salary.com, the average monthly salary of a Collector is $3,008.00. Through the efforts of that collector —all the letters sent, phone call attempts etc. — they might actually get 10 to 15 arrangements for payment in a day. Once you figure in employee costs such as payroll tax, computers, rent, insurance…and that puts the cost per arrangement around $14 to $15.

Now, collectors are incredibly valuable for skip tracing and working accounts that need attention, but what about all the self-pay debtors and the consumers who avoid speaking to live collectors like a black plague? Giving them the option to explore their payment options and then make a payment arrangement at their leisure will naturally increase payments to your agency. Bottom line, we all want to reduce our cost to collect.

New methods of collecting are less expensive and cater to the online consumer. Virtual Collectors, Online Payment Negotiators, 24/7 Collectors, Web Based Settlement tool—no matter what they are referred to as, they all are designed to reduce your cost to collect and get debtors online for convenient payments. A couple items to look for when comparing different virtual collectors are as follows:

  • Security: How is the consumer’s account and payment information protected? Is the information encrypted and kept safe?
  • Control: Can you control who is allowed to make payments and what payment options they receive? Do you have control over the fees applied and the disclaimers displayed?
  • Tracking: How do you know who is logging into the site? How do you know who has logged on but not made a payment?

Asking yourself these questions and knowing which are most important for you, your company and your consumers will help in selecting the proper online payment portal. Whether we will admit it or not, technology is changing the game every day. It is up to us to stay competitive by leveraging these revolutionary new tools…or not.

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This article was written by Trista White

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