How are you dialing consumers today? Whats your risk level?

As a consultant to the debt collection industry over the last 15 years I have seen many ways to complete the same job. Some companies are risk adverse and other companies embrace the risk. So what is your risk level with the current hurdles of calling cell phones?
Since the FCC ruling in July I’ve been talking to different people within the industry to find out how they are now making outbound calls to the cell phones in their portfolios. And I have gotten many different answers to the same question, so let’s explore a few.
So the most risk adverse companies are not even calling cell phones. They have increased thier letter campaigns and are working hard to try to understand consent and revocation of consents based on the current FCC ruling.
The next group are definitely calling but trying to do so in a way that makes more business sense but provides them some comfort with the eventuality that they will end up in court. This group is calling from a desktop phone with the hopes that when they are sued they can defend the action by standing in the court room holding up the desktop phone and stating “this is what we are dialing from”.
The next group are the ones that are not making decisions themselves, instead following the decisions of their vendors. Most of this group are doing whatever their dialer vendor or software vendor has suggested. The larger dialer companies have created new products with fancy new names that they feel are compliant but it’s still provide the dialer company with revenue.
One of the biggest vendors in this segment has told its largest clients that thier solution is the best one for them since they have to dial millions of numbers monthly. Yet several of those larger clients have come to me looking for a backup plan when the vendor solution is deemed noncompliant.
The last segment of companies are already stepping over the line in their collection policies so they have very little concern over getting sued for TCPA violations. This small segment of Agencies are focusing on collecting the money not compliance and many of them our the cause for the TCPA.
Some of the companies above are using other vendors to make those phone calls allowing them to focus on the collection process rather than be labor-intensive dialing process. By using transfer agents these companies are able to define the risk level and have the vendor make the appropriate hardware and labor changes to comply to their risk level.
The biggest issue with the recent FCC ruling is the issue regarding revocation of consent. It is the opinion of the FCC that the consumer can revoke his consent at any time in any manner and the burden of proof Will be on the calling agency not the consumer. So managing consents and revocation of consents may actually be the bigger problem for many ARM companies.
If you’re interested in learning more about solutions to issues within the debt collection industry contact me directly at Phil@lighthouseconsultinginc.com or 904-687-1687.

What three things are you likely missing to be successful?

As a consultant to the collection industry I have the opportunity to see within many companies that are performing debt collection. Many of these companies are missing three essential pieces of the puzzle to be successful some are only missing one or two but most are lacking in all three areas.

In order to be successful in today’s very volatile and changing industry you must be 100% on your game every day in every area of your business.

The most common area that I see companies lacking in is PEOPLE. Most companies have not invested well in the staff, they have hired well but not continued to develop their staff to higher levels of competency. It is very common for my clients to ask me to find them a better manager, supervisor or other key staff member. When I am consulting I’m always trying to teach my clients how to develop that staff from the staff that is already underneath them.

Unfortunately in this usually involves building a complete training program from the ground up as that what has been missing in the business model and that is why they are looking outside their own business for staff.

It is much cheaper and much more efficient to train and develop the staff you already have than to constantly churn through new staff and provide them the same minimal training as the staff you just fired. The problem is not the staff member it is management and managements inability to properly develop the staff.

The second biggest issue I see as a consultant is a lack of a clear and defined strategy for the company. Often there is no strategy and if there is one often it has not been shared with the staff. A strategy or business plan that is not shared with the staff will never have buy-in from the staff and therefore will never be successful.

The strategy that you pick for your company will be one that evolves but it must exist and be shared with the complete staff in a way that they can not only understand buy into it. The staff’s buy-in is very important in the overall success of any business strategy but it must be shared in a way that the staff can understand and see the value of.

As you plan a strategy for your company you want to involve the staff to get that by-in that is required for success. This will not only be very important to the success of the strategy but it will help you create a strategy that fits your staff, technology and office culture.

The last and most important area missing in most companies is execution. The execution of that strategy while using that highly developed staff it is what makes you successful. Companies who have great people and a great strategy but cannot execute will fail. Companies who can execute but may have lacking staff and have questionable strategies can still succeed, if they can execute properly.

Just like the athlete who has been very well-trained it is only if he can execute that the people, training and strategy will provide success.

As you begin to create a strategy to succeed make sure that you include your people so that you find a way to increase the knowledge level of those people. Then the execution will provide the success the company requires. By giving the staff and the knowledge and ability to succeed and allowing them to execute on your strategies you will also succeed