Establishing and maintaining a favorable brand image is crucial to most companies. A single disgruntled customer who vents their frustration via social media or an internal oversight can significantly harm a firm’s reputation. Businesses performing internal debt collections without industry knowledge or failing to properly train their employees risk compliance violations, employee burnout, decreased profits and a negative brand association. Choosing a best-in-class debt collection agency can help ensure positive consumer experiences and a successful future.
In the final publication of our three-part series, the Optio editorial team discusses the need for professional accounts receivable management. Review the potential legal consequences of U.S. companies practicing “compliance defiance” in Part 1 and refer to Part 2 to discover how external collections effects employee’s mental health from the top down.
Errors Leading to a Negative Brand Image
Internal collection efforts require a detailed business plan, the re-design or addition of a work environment, compliance training, security measures, specialized technology, performance monitoring and problem solving backed by industry experience. Businesses that are not committed to establishing and operating sound internal collection departments risk the possibility of a negative brand image due to oversights by management and or their debt collectors.
Company and management errors include, but are not limited to, inadequate training of collectors, not complying with state and federal laws, disorganized account monitoring, incomplete records, impersonating a debt collection agency and not implementing safe data security standards. In addition, failure to meet collection goals, enforce company procedures, conduct a data scrub to confirm the accuracy of consumer account information, and or maintain a positive working environment will negatively impact a company’s image.
Even with adequate supervision, debt collectors may disregard company standards by failing to follow proper protocol such as reading the Mini Miranda to consumers and complying with all state and federal debt collection laws. The FDCPA states that agencies must refrain from the following practices:
- Using inappropriate and or illegal collection tactics such as harassment, foul language or threats
- Call back after a consumer has hung up
- Emailing or faxing messages without authorization from management
- Sending text messages to consumers
Consequences of Company Errors
Mistakes of any degree can tarnish positive consumer relationships. In the event of an error, companies may be faced with a social media crisis. Dissatisfied consumers who share their experiences online can reach a larger audience outside of personal connections, increasing the oversight’s impact. Media coverage of social media blunders, lawsuits and or claims filed with the CFPB also draw negative attention to a brand. A damaged reputation within a business’ community, chamber of commerce, or on a national scale can cause both current and potential customers to seek out competitors. To preserve a positive brand image, companies must ensure that its debt collection process is expertly managed.
A Consumer-Centric Approach
Effective leadership, strategies and debt collectors who possess the training, personality traits and technological literacy necessary to recover consumer debt professionally serve as the optimal solution for debt collection management.
In addition to state and federal debt collection laws including the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), and the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), reputable debt collection agencies enforce courteous and professional communication with consumers and focus on the consumer experience.
Debt collectors are instructed to address consumer complaints, build trust and negotiate payments with a considerate demeanor to maintain customer satisfaction while increasing collection rates.
Upholding a Positive Brand Image with External Collections
Choosing a best-in-class debt collection agency assures that delinquent consumers will receive the proper attention to sustain the desired collections results and a positive brand image.
Optio Solutions is dedicated to providing professional and effective services. Our agency safeguards against negative consumer experiences and media coverage by applying a consumer-centric approach along with a foundation of:
- Compliance — a strict adherence to all federal and state regulations including SSAE 16 SOC I Type II, PCI DSS 3.2, the Gramm Leach Bliley Act (GLBA) and HIPAA
- A legal team and ACA Certified Credit and Collection Compliance Officers
- Consumer Surveys — Surveys form the cornerstone of a consumer relations program that helps create a positive experience while resolving issues
- Security and technology services — an advanced technology platform from a leading revenue recovery technology provider, compliance with SSAE 16 SOC I Type II and SOC 2 Type II, Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) 3.2, employee background checks and drug screening, CCTV 24-hour security cameras, and strict badge-only access
Businesses interested in transferring internal collection accounts to a best-in-class agency, or replacing an existing agency, can contact Optio today.