Businesses that employ a top performing debt collection agency receive time, resource and cost savings benefits as well as a favorable return on investment. Those in contract with an underperforming agency can experience less than optimal collection results and run the risk of detrimental data security breaches and or strained customer relations. To keep operations running smoothly and increase profits, it is necessary to cut ties with those that cannot satisfy business goals and replace them with a best-in-class agency.
The number of reported U.S. data breaches in 2016 exceeded the previous all-time high of 2013 according to the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC). The organization’s “2016 Data Breach Reports: 2016 End of Year Report” confirmed 1,093 U.S. data breaches which exposed over 36.6 million records.
As of June 2017, the ITRC has identified 732 breaches that have exposed over 10.5 million records this year, with the financial sector accounting for 38 breaches and 526,000 compromised records.
In 2016, hacking, skimming and phishing attacks were “the leading cause of data breach incidents” stated the ITRC, accounting for 55.5 percent of all data security breaches on record. Furthermore, the second largest cause of data security breaches in 2016 was exposure of information via “accidental email/internet” at 9.2 percent.
One compromised account or single piece of data can have significant consequences, let alone tens of thousands of exposed records. Refer to our article “Data Security at Debt Collection Agencies,” outlining five recent cases.
With the ideal number of data breach incidents at zero, businesses that delegate accounts receivable management to a debt collection agency are advised to sign with a company capable of maintaining the highest level of data security.
Ensuring the security of a business’ records requires the most advanced level of technology currently available. A sampling of leading technologies include:
- Interactive Voice Response (IVR) — efficiently connects consumers to their indented destination through automated voice messaging
- Recovery operation software providing database management, electronic payment processing and more
- Collection software offering a variety of debt management tools including workflow automation, letter generation and document storage.
Protecting the Brand and Consumer Relationships
Conducting collections while maintaining favorable relationships with indebted consumers is a must. Agencies that fail to maintain a positive image can leave businesses with a decrease in profits and customers. To adequately protect the public image of a brand, high-performing agencies implement effective brand protection techniques.
Maintaining a consumer-centric approach places a higher level of importance on the consumer experience. This focus allows businesses to send accounts to agencies with increased assurance in customer retention and brand protection.
Routinely communicating directly with consumers, debt collectors are the face of first-party collections.
A top debt collection agency is comprised of top debt collectors. It is critical to perform debt collections in a legal and professional manner to mitigate risks. In addition to possessing the necessary personality traits — a rebound personality, goal-oriented and an excellent conversationalist — debt collectors must have a sound understanding of and adhere to all federal, state and agency guidelines that govern debt collection practices. Federal laws include:
- Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
- Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
- Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
- Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)
The Right Debt Collection Agency
High-performing agencies continually succeed within each component of debt collections — data security, technology, brand protection, customer satisfaction and collection rates — using first-and third-party debt collections strategies.
For businesses considering outsourcing a portion of its accounts, fully outsourcing collections, or looking to replace an existing debt collection agency, an agency equipped with the tools and experience necessary to satisfy all company needs is required.
At Optio Solutions, we effectively manage accounts receivables with a certified collection officers (CCCO), team of top debt collectors, the latest data security and technology, and a multi-level approach to brand protection including consumer surveys to maintain customer satisfaction. Contact Optio today to learn how our agency can assist in your business success.