Debt collection is effectively a sales environment, but one in which the prospect on the other end isn’t just ambivalent, but is often downright hostile to the idea of paying, making the job of debt collection agents extremely difficult. Customer resource management (CRM) tools are designed specifically to enhance lead management and the sales process, even in the most challenging environments. But, can they be effective in debt collections, and, if so, what benefits can a collections CRM offer agencies and agents when chasing down debtors and closing out accounts?
The Tools Traditionally Used by Debt Collectors
The debt collector’s number one tool is their phone. Between making outbound calls to reluctant debtors, handling inbound calls from those looking to pay, and calling third parties to track down account information, a debt collector spends most of their day on the line. As a result, anything that can help a debt collector manage and streamline the calling process is worthwhile. Unfortunately, many collectors still use traditional desktop phones, which represent a fatiguing and inefficient way to call at best, leaving a lot of room for improvement.
Skip Tracing Tools
Skip tracing is the process of doing research on debtors to gather up-to-date information on things like their addresses and phone numbers. Debt collectors use a number of tools to skip trace, including public and private databases, and specialized software. Once a debtor has been tracked down, the collector needs to ensure the new information is properly recorded in an easily accessible way so that the collections process can progress without having to constantly retrace the person of interest.
Debt Collection Software
Debt collectors use a variety of software tools to manage their workflows. While some collections agencies use advanced debt collection platforms designed specifically to automate and streamline collection, it’s shocking how many still use outdated tools like Microsoft Excel to track accounts and manage their work. It is surprising that more are not using a collections CRM in their suite of tools.
How CRMs Serve the Debt Collection Process
Collection CRMs Can Make Tracking Accounts Easier
CRMs are designed specifically to make managing a large volume of customer data easy and efficient, and that’s exactly what agencies need to manage dynamic and complex collections. With a good collections CRM, an agency can make sure that each agent always has complete situational awareness over where each open account is in the collections process, ensuring no account ever slips through the cracks. CRMs can even automatically update each debtor account as they move through the collections process, removing the burden on the agent to record every detail of every interaction manually.
One of the keys to successful collections is maintaining a schedule and contacting debtors often and consistently. With manual tracking tools or less capable software, maintaining the collections schedule falls solely on the shoulders of the collector, and under a heavy workload, the gaps between calls can easily grow longer and longer until an account has to be written off. A good collections CRM allows collections agents to build the contact schedule for each debtor right in the system, and the CRM will then automatically send contact reminders to agents as time passes. The system can also automatically send out emails or text messages directly to the debtor to maintain constant touches even when agents are busy elsewhere.
More Effective Interactions with Debtors
One of the most powerful things a CRM offers agents is the ability to quickly pull the entirety of collected information on a debtor at any time, including during pre-call preparation and while on a call. By enabling agents to record and store even the smallest details of each call in an easily accessible database, they can make each debtor feel like they’re receiving a more personalized, friendly collections process. And in a business where the “customer” is so reluctant, anything that can put a debtor more at ease or make them feel more understood can have a huge impact on close rates.
More Efficient Calling with a Collection CRM
Because collections agents spend so much time on the phone, anything that can help them make more calls each day can have a big impact on their numbers. Certain collections CRMs, like CRMDialer, include a built-in power dialer that provides agents with the ability to manage their calling from the exact same platform they use to manage their accounts. CRMDialer’s built-in dialer enables agents to build call queues and work through them automatically, with no manual dialing involved – a feature that both increases daily volume and reduces fatigue. The dialer helps agents save time with features like one-click voicemail drop, enables better training through call recordings and real-time listen-in, and provides advanced analytics to help agents and managers identify what’s working and what isn’t.
Collection CRMs Can Make Payment Faster
When an agent convinces a debtor to close out their account, getting the payment done quickly is the key to staving off second thoughts or having the debtor go AWOL again. Some collections CRMs offer built-in payment processing to allow agents to take payment by credit card right over the phone. CRMDialer includes a full payments suite that allows secure payments to be taken by credit card over the phone or on the web, and also offers ACH payments through the Paya Network, as well.
It’s clear that with the many benefits they can offer to difficult sales environments and high-volume calling operations, CRMs can be extremely effective tools for collections agencies. CRMDialer is the top customer resource management system available to collections agencies today. Its advanced lead management and sales tools, combined with its built-in power dialer and full suite of productivity-enhancing features, make it an ideal choice for agencies looking to utilize the newest technology to enhance the collections process.
If you’d like to find out more about everything CRMDialer can do for your collections agency, reach out to a member of the team or get started with your no-commitment 14-day free trial today!
CRMDialer Blog Debt Collection