Launching and maintaining best-in-class debt collection agencies requires a tremendous effort and an ongoing commitment to compliance, certification, data security, and collections technology. Recent articles in this blog have also discussed the importance of having highly qualified people in client relations and operations.
Client relations teams are responsible for ensuring that clients are satisfied with the performance and responsiveness of the agency as well as the working relationship between the two organizations. Meanwhile, the operations side of the business is mandated with establishing collections strategies that fulfill client expectations using collections software platforms, dialer technologies, analytics, scoring models, cost-benefit analysis, a variety of reports, and last but not least, effective leadership.
The goal of these departments is to provide clients with a favorable return on investment, brand protection, and a consumer centric experience for individuals paying their debt. Two additional qualifications — multiple call centers and bilingual collectors — can further the reach of collection efforts and enhance the consumer experience.
Multiple Call Centers
A debt collection agency with multiple call centers is able to present a more seamless collection effort to national clients.
First, operating multiple call centers demonstrates a sense of scale to clients having needs that demand a significant workforce. For example, each call center may employ onsite directors, managers, supervisors and quality assurance personnel, some of which may have relevant certifications such as the Credit and Collection Compliance Officer (CCCO) from ACA International. These individuals are responsible for overseeing the productivity of what may be hundreds of collection representatives.
In addition, operating call centers in different time zone provides greater versatility to clients because collectors can contact consumers at compliant hours of the day.
According to § 805. (a) (1) Communication in Connection with Debt Collection of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), “A debt collector shall assume that the convenient time for communicating with a consumer is after 8 o’clock antemeridian and before 9 o’clock postmeridian, local time at the consumer’s location.”
Thus, for example, an agency with a call center in the Central Time Zone that is open from 7 am to 9 pm weekdays could contact consumers in the Eastern Time Zone at compliant hours. This would be accomplished by calling between 7 am and 8 pm Central Time. Those same collectors might spend the last hour of operations contacting consumers in any region west of the Central Time Zone (Mountain, Pacific, Alaska and Hawaii).
Meanwhile, the call center’s affiliate office located in the Pacific Time Zone could follow a similar pattern as it contacts consumers at compliant hours in several time zones.
And finally, maintaining call centers in regions enjoying a reasonable cost of living allows agencies to provide more competitive collection fees to clients. Thus, if a lower cost of living translates to a lower minimum wage, then agencies are able to offer lower rates for their services.
“Hispanics constituted 17.8 percent of the nation’s total population as of July 1, 2016” according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Consequently, it is important to have bilingual collectors in all call centers who can deliver the mini Miranda, confirm the debt, answer questions, and negotiate repayment plans — all in Spanish.
Furthermore, call centers having collectors who speak languages in addition to English and Spanish are exceptional.
Call Centers and Bilingual Collectors at Optio
Optio Solutions offers clients the advantages of maintaining call centers in two time zones (Central and Pacific) as well as staffing collectors who speak Spanish, French, Croatian and Standard Bosnian in addition to English.
These advantages are underlined by a commitment to compliance, certification, data security and collections technology in conjunction with longstanding experience in financial services.
Contact us today to learn about an individualized collections strategy for your organization that delivers a favorable return on investment, brand protection and customer retention.