When we set out to build TrueAccord after a frustrating experience, we spent time thinking about what debt collection should be about. We came up with proactive loss management when we realized that debt collection is much more than strong-arming late customers into paying. It’s relationship management for lost relationships, trying to mend lost trust and bringing creditor and debtor back to doing business. This is also why we chose the name “True Accord”.
As we talked to more and more customers, we realized that getting people to talk was often not the main issue. Getting them to agree on what happened, who owes what and to whom, is the difficult part. Rebuilding trust is about communication, and venting one’s frustration about a product or service they weren’t happy with is an important step in the process. Through our process, companies discover that talking to defaulted customers is incredibly important: those lost dollars tell you a lot more about your business than you bargained for.
For these reasons, we provide a robust dispute resolution process at TrueAccord. Customers can dispute a charge directly from emails we send them, and start a conversation about their debt that may end up with a discount or a cancellation of the balance. Others discover that, unfortunately, they do owe money, and we help them pay it off. It’s not a one-size-fits-all process, because no collection process is 100% the same; every customer gets the treatment they need, once they choose to talk to us. It is, however, highly automated, easy to use, and incredibly non-confrontational.
Of course the dispute process is sometimes abused. This is where our automated optimization system comes into play, sorting out abusive customers from cooperative ones. If, unfortunately, we see that a customer is abusive, we may end up reporting them to credit bureaus or using any of the other levers we have. Dispute resolution isn’t about letting the bad guys win – it’s about separating legitimate complaints from abusive deflections and excuses, and rescuing the important relationships that you worked so hard to build. It must be a part of any business’s toolbox.