Closing the Books: A Different Approach for Collection Agencies
John Erickson, President and CEO of IC System, believes there’s a compassionate way to approach the collection agency business. That model leads to higher recoveries and positive outcomes for clients.
A lot in the industry has changed in Erickson’s 20-year involvement with collections. Increased regulations, and a re-thinking of the approach, helped reduce some of the more aggressive tactics used in the collections’ process.
“How we treat people is one of our core values at IC System,” Erickson said. “How we handle all of the people we speak with on the phone – we must treat them with dignity and respect.”
Empathy training is something Erickson’s employees receive. This type of training helps provide a better understanding of what a consumer might be going through financially. Another differentiator Erickson believes makes a big difference in IC System’s success is conducting post-call surveys.
“As far as I know, we are one of the only companies in our industry that does this,” Erickson said. “All consumers are given the option of taking a survey at the end of every call.”
This approach validates consumer satisfaction with IC’s process is working.
Erickson admits skepticism from some clients who believe a more aggressive approach will lead to a higher collection rate.
“But that is not true,” Erickson said. “Our data proves that. “When we score out our calls and score well on our calls, we collect more money.”
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