Common pitfalls of collection strategies: part two of three

By on July 12th, 2016 in Industry Insights
Common pitfalls of collection strategies: part two of three

There are multiple reasons for adopting one strategy over the other. Every strategy has built in areas of weakness that cause it to make less money than possible, but all have common mistakes – some shared and some unique. Strategies shouldn’t be stagnant, and as new tools present themselves, strategists can continue to fine tune their strategy and improve returns.

In the following three post series, adapted from our free eBook Building a Collection and Recovery Strategy, we’ll review the top three pitfalls we see with common collection strategies. They are:

  • Under-charging when selling or over-paying when outsourcing
  • Only focusing on a small percentage of customers in an outsourced strategy
  • Losing customer relationships in a sell or litigation heavy strategy

In this second part, we’ll touch on another one of the common mistakes we see: having a narrow focus when collecting.

Traditional debt collection is difficult to scale, and heavily relies on humans making phone calls. Collection agents try to stay away from accounts that require a lot of interaction to recover. Because of the high cost of a call, agencies focus on calling accounts with the highest yield for them. Agents are also human, and humans – especially those making commission – want the home run, not the singles and doubles. Low balance accounts, accounts that cannot currently pay or ones that require a long time to convert will get less attention. That creates underserved segments and lower returns for the lender.

We think the issue is the limited set of tools offered to collection strategists. The low margin problem is inherent to call centers, and most debt collectors are exactly that: specialized call centers. They have no ability to provide the type of flexibility required by a lender that doesn’t have homogenous portfolios with high average balances. A lot of money is left uncollected in the long tail.

Want to use our tools to optimize your strategy? Visit our website to learn more.