Collection Industry | IAT SmartDial® Solutions - Part 30

Category archive: Collection Industry

Consider the Bright Spots

There continues to be “bad press," deserved or not, relating to the ARM industry. It seems that there is always fodder for the press to use to paint a not so favorable picture of our industry. As they say “bad news sells papers” and as a result good news doesn’t make it to press very often.

I’d like to point out some of the bright spots that I have found in my two short years working within the industry. Granted two years is not a very long time to get familiar with the industry, the people, the organizations, the laws and everything associated with it; it’s been a pretty steep learning curve. But, one thing I know for sure is that there are ample good people which earn their living within ARM.

Just to name a few, in no particular order:

Top three supervising tools for every collection manager

These days, you can’t be too careful about keeping your agents professional and within your established (and legal) bounds. And with all the training and monitoring tools available with predictive dialer systems, it’s much easier to supervise your agents and keep them properly trained. When you consider your game plan for ongoing training and success, make sure you have these three tools on your list:

<strong>Call Recording: It’s not just a legal security measure.</strong> While there seems to be a much needed focus on using call recording for legal security reasons, you can benefit from recording agent calls for training purposes, too.

Help! Whose responsibility is it anyway?

Last week I read a Blog post written by Brett Nelson titled “Financial Illiteracy Is Killing Us.” Nelson states that the financial education of our students (High School and College) is extremely poor. As an example of weak financial skills he recounts segments of the 2009 documentary “I.O.U.S.A.” where interviewed Americans couldn’t explain the “trade deficit” nor could they properly quantify the then $8.7 trillion national debt. (The latest data I’ve read indicates that the national debt is now above $13 trillion and is projected to climb to $18+ trillion by 2018.)

Whether an individual can properly explain the trade deficit or quantify the national debt is probably irrelevant in gauging their understanding of basic financial strategy…but I will leave that for another day.

The problem I have with this post and its reference to the I.O.U.S.A. documentary is their claim that the responsibility for teaching financial literacy to America’s youth rests upon the school system. The post states “….our rotting education system that ultimately led to this problem.”

Avoid the impersonator (or you’ll get what you paid for)

After hours, I paint for art galleries and teach evening oil painting classes at my art studio.

As new students sign up, I review the list of supplies needed for the class with them. I always give detailed information about what supplies to purchase and which ones to avoid, particularly with regard to oil paints. Some pigments can be very pricey, especially those that are metallic pigments such as Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Orange, Cadmium Red and Cobalt Blue. Small tubes of paint can run about $30/tube.

I can always count on several students going against my instruction because there are many paint manufactures that produce less expensive paints with the very same name or a slight change in the name of the pigment (they add the word “hue” at the end).

I Don’t Want to Pay for Your Shoes (or anything else for that matter)

I read with interest a recent editorial posted on InsideARM written by Jerry Ashton, (Guest Blog: Let’s Drive a Stake through the Heart(lessness) of Old Debt” August 17, 2010.) In a nutshell, the editorial referred to the potential “moral crisis” facing collectors and collection agencies that attempt to collect aged debt wherein the validity of the debt is uncertain because the debt has been bought and sold by third party debt collectors. In his editorial Ashton states: “As I outlined in a recent blog, “Apply the Golden Rule – or the Rule of Gold? The Creditor and Bill Collector’s Dilemma,” decisions up to this point are driven almost entirely by profit. But, at what point are these profits simply not worth the cost wreaked on beleagured and hounded debtors?”

I am a believer in the adage that there are two sides to every story.