TrueAccord Brings Collections to the Synapse Fintech Ecosystem

By on January 5th, 2022 in Company News
TrueAccord Blog

Collections-as-a-Service offering is seamlessly integrated to service customer debt accounts while delivering consumer-friendly, digital-first experiences

LENEXA, Kan., Jan. 5, 2022 — TrueAccord Corporation, a debt collection company offering ML-powered digital recovery solutions, today announced a partnership with Synapse as an expansion of its Collections-as-a-Service offering. The partnership will bring the best-in-class collection and recovery capabilities of TrueAccord to Synapse’s fintech partners and customer base, integrating collections into the customer-centric fintech ecosystem.

Given the rapid growth in fintech lending and banking-as-a-service (BaaS) and the steady rise in delinquencies, consumers are expected to fall behind on their payments and require assistance to repay their debts. Synapse, a BaaS platform that provides the infrastructure and leverages APIs to enable companies to quickly build and launch best-in-class financial services, selected TrueAccord to join their growing tech stack of fintech partners with similar approaches to financial services and customer experience to address the need for debt collection when it arises. 

“We chose to partner with TrueAccord to add debt repayment services to Synapse’s BaaS ecosystem, because it aligns with consumer preference for a frictionless, digital-first financial services experience, especially when they fall behind,” said Sankaet Pathak, Founder & CEO of Synapse. “We want to ensure our customers have a good experience across all aspects of their financial journey, and providing that in collections is just as important for customer retention as it is in origination and servicing.”

Through an API integration, TrueAccord’s Recover debt collection solution will service charged-off debt accrued through Synapse’s lending platform. This will expand the Synapse fintech suite to follow a customer from loan origination to application and all the way through to collections, if needed. Additionally, TrueAccord’s Retain solution for early-stage delinquencies will be available on a referral-basis to the fintech partners in the Synapse ecosystem as an option to help get customers back on track with payments before being sent to collections.

“As a fintech company itself, TrueAccord knows the fintech business and customer better than most, especially in debt collection,” said Mark Ravanesi, CEO of TrueAccord Corp. “We speak the fintech language of consumer communication preferences, data and machine learning-driven technology, and no credit bureau reporting, offering customers a streamlined and hassle-free way to settle their debts and get back on track with their finances.”

With open banking on the rise, more companies will look for ways to incorporate collections into their service offerings. TrueAccord’s industry-leading Collections-as-a-Service product will enable  fintech innovators to scale their businesses and offer best-in-class recovery with a customer-centric approach.

To learn more about TrueAccord, its API and built-in collections solutions, click here and follow @TrueAccord on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About TrueAccord

TrueAccord is the intelligent, digital-first collection and recovery company that leaders across industries trust to drive breakthrough results while delivering a superior consumer experience. TrueAccord pioneered the industry’s only adaptive intelligence: a patented machine learning engine, powered by engagement data from over 16 million consumer journeys, that dynamically personalizes every facet of the consumer experience – from channel to message to plan type and more – in real-time. Combined with code-based compliance and a self-serve digital experience, TrueAccord delivers liquidation and recovery rates 50-80% higher than industry benchmarks. The TrueAccord product suite includes Retain, an early-stage recovery solution, and Recover, a full-service debt collection platform.

TrueAccord Names Kelly Knepper-Stephens as Chief Compliance Officer and General Counsel

By on October 27th, 2021 in Company News, Compliance
TrueAccord Blog

Lenexa, KS – Oct. 27, 2021 – TrueAccord Corporation, a debt collection company offering AI-powered digital recovery solutions, is proud to announce the appointment of Kelly Knepper-Stephens as chief compliance officer and general counsel. TrueAccord started in 2013 as a digital-first collection agency built to fundamentally change collections into a recovery and reconciliation process. TrueAccord was the first to offer digital solutions to the sector and continuously proves itself to be a trailblazer in an industry still dominated by traditional call-and-collect agencies. Knepper-Stephens’ appointment further confirms the company’s consumer-focused mission by tapping into one of the industry’s most sought-after counsel and compliance leaders.

“​​Compliance is at the forefront of TrueAccord’s mission, and Kelly guided the development of our robust digital collection compliance systems,” said Mark Ravanesi, CEO of TrueAccord. “TrueAccord’s investment in compliance is a win-win all around: it protects TrueAccord, it protects our clients, and—most importantly—it allows us to do right by consumers.”

An expert in debt collection law, Knepper-Stephens joined TrueAccord in 2018 as vice president of legal and compliance, where she has focused on civil litigation, government regulation, and compliance.  During her tenure, TrueAccord secured federal court victories showcasing TrueAccord’s legal compliance in two of the main FDCPA court decisions involving the use of email in debt collection: Green v. TrueAccord and Zuniga v. TrueAccord.

“As demonstrated in Regulation F, TrueAccord is the industry leader in email compliance,” Knepper-Stephens said, “I’m excited to join the mission-driven executive leadership team as TrueAccord continues to lead best practices for digital collections and beyond—empowering consumers to resolve their accounts according to their preferences.” 

Knepper-Stephens started her career in the collection space in 2011. Collections Advisor Magazine named her as one of the top 25 Women in Collections in 2016 and top 20 in 2018. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for RMAI, on the Steering Committee for the Consumer Relations Consortium, and as an ACA-certified instructor. She received her Juris Doctor degree from the George Washington University Law School and is currently barred in California, the District of Columbia, Illinois and Maryland.

A key benefit of TrueAccord is the scalability provided by the flexibility of code-based compliance, overseen by Knepper-Stephens and her team to ensure its programming is adjusted to new laws, regulations, and court decisions. The company’s patented machine-learning algorithm, HeartBeat, is augmented by its compliance checker software, mitigating risk by ensuring regulatory requirements are met before sending communications. 

Knepper-Stephens is a Receivables Management Association International (RMAI) certified receivables compliance professional and has earned the Credit & Collection Compliance Officer designation from the American Collectors Association (ACA). Prior to joining the industry, she worked as a Visiting Professor of Law at George Washington University Law School, teaching the Criminal Appellate Clinic, and as a San Diego Public Defender. Her long-standing dedication to helping others plays an integral part in her success.  

To learn more about TrueAccord’s mission and digital debt collection solutions, visit www.TrueAccord.com and follow @TrueAccord on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About TrueAccord

TrueAccord is the intelligent, digital-first collection and recovery company that leaders across industries trust to drive breakthrough results while delivering a superior consumer experience. TrueAccord pioneered the industry’s only adaptive intelligence: a patented machine learning engine, powered by engagement data from over 16 million consumer journeys, that dynamically personalizes every facet of the consumer experience – from channel to message to plan type and more – in real-time. Combined with code-based compliance and a self-serve digital experience, TrueAccord delivers liquidation and recovery rates 50-80% higher than industry benchmarks. The TrueAccord product suite includes Retain, an early-stage collection solution, and Recover, a full-service post-charge off recovery platform. 

TrueAccord Launches Retain, a Digital-First Solution for Early-Stage Collections

By on September 16th, 2021 in Company News, Product and Technology

The intelligent, client-branded product for delinquent accounts uses a patented, machine learning-driven decision engine to engage customers and boost recovery rates

Lenexa, KS – Sept. 16, 2021 – TrueAccord Corporation, which offers  intelligent digital recovery and communication products and services, today launched Retain, a new, client-branded product that addresses early-stage collection challenges for lenders and other organizations with customers with past-due delinquent accounts. Using the company’s patented, machine learning-based and self-optimizing decision engine, Retain uses engagement data from individual interactions to optimize the consumer experience while increasing recovery for clients. The client-branded product enables clients to improve collections, maintain customer relationships, and offer solutions to their customers that improve financial fitness. 

Powered by TrueAccord’s industry-leading tech stack, key benefits of Retain include a simple, intuitive and effortless-to-use digital platform leading to great user experience, constant A/B testing and optimization to reduce friction and boost conversion rate, infinite scalability, and second-to-none channel deliverability. Retain implements ecommerce-based innovations like the focus on digital experience and outreach, machine learning-based personalization, and deliverability at massive scale for early-stage use. 

“​​After seeing success with our late-stage collection solution, Recover, we identified an opportunity to apply the same customer-centric approach to early-stage collections. Our data and machine learning-driven engine proved unmatched for late-stage recoveries. Clients asked us to expand our product suite to address early-stage delinquency while keeping their customers in their brand ecosystem, and we were happy to oblige,” said Mark Ravanesi, CEO of TrueAccord Corp. 

Retain prioritizes customer engagement and preference, which is critical to preserve the  lender-borrower relationship, with custom communications, timing and channels and a self-serve payment platform that empowers customers to easily manage their accounts. Unlike traditional call-to-collect early-stage collections, which require increased outbound call center volumes, Retain engages users more effectively and efficiently with a digital-first approach and can reduce costs by transforming call centers into productive inbound operations.

“Retain takes all the innovative customer engagement processes we’ve built and adds a brand-focused retention toolkit for our clients to easily plug and play to engage with their delinquent customers,” added Ohad Samet, co-founder and CEO of One True Holding Company, TrueAccord’s parent company. “Retain adds to our product and service offerings designed to improve the experience for consumers in debt and actually help them find a path toward a better financial future.” 

For more product information or to request a demo, please visit the product page at www.trueaccord.com

About TrueAccord

TrueAccord is the intelligent, digital-first collection and recovery company that leaders across industries trust to drive breakthrough results while delivering a superior consumer experience. TrueAccord pioneered the industry’s only adaptive intelligence: a patented machine learning engine, powered by engagement data from over 16 million consumer journeys, that dynamically personalizes every facet of the consumer experience – from channel to message to plan type and more – in real-time. Combined with code-based compliance and a self-serve digital experience, TrueAccord delivers liquidation and recovery rates 50-80% higher than industry benchmarks. The TrueAccord product suite includes Retain, an early-stage collection solution, and Recover, a full-service post-charge off recovery platform. 

About One True Holding Company

One True Holding Company is a technology company providing business- and consumer-facing solutions in the consumer debt space. Subsidiaries include TrueAccord, which offers machine learning-based, digital- and mobile-first servicing for debt in collections and recoveries, and True Life Solutions, which offers a SaaS platform that consumers can use to contact collectors and creditors digitally.

TrueAccord Announces Organizational Changes to Executive Leadership Team

By on August 3rd, 2021 in Company News
TrueAccord Blog

Digital-first debt collection fintech readies for continued B2B and B2C expansion with strategic leadership reorganization

TrueAccord Corporation, a debt collection company offering digital-first and consumer-centric solutions for resolving debts, today announced changes to its executive leadership team to support a planned expansion of products and services. The changes include Sheila Monroe, who previously served as CEO, moving to a new role as chief growth officer for TrueAccord’s parent company, One True Holding Company, with Mark Ravanesi, formerly chief revenue officer (CRO), filling the role as newly appointed CEO of TrueAccord. One True Holding Company also named a chief marketing officer (CMO), Naama Bloom, to drive integrated marketing as the company looks to engage new and different clients.

After two and a half years building and growing TrueAccord as CEO, Monroe takes on a new strategic role as chief growth officer for One True Holding Company, allowing her to tap into her vast global network and industry knowledge. She will focus on strategic opportunities to grow the organization through partnerships, regional expansion and other tactics. With more than 20 years of financial and recoveries experience, along with her ability to navigate complex regulatory environments, Monroe has been a key driver of TrueAccord’s growth and execution. 

Assuming the role of CEO at TrueAccord, Ravanesi will manage overall operations and resources while leading the development and implementation of the company’s strategy and mission. Since joining TrueAccord in 2019, Ravanesi has served as vice president of client success and CRO, playing integral roles in growing the sales organization and leading the company’s analytics and client-facing teams. He is a seasoned industry leader with more than 20 years of experience in the collections space, focusing on strategy, analytics, policies and strategies. Ravanesi’s previous roles include director and leadership positions at Barclays Bank, Discover Financial Services and GE Money.

“​​This is an important step in the evolution of TrueAccord and the whole OTHC group of companies. We will leverage Sheila’s industry expertise in a new, strategic capacity to continue our overall growth trajectory,” said Ohad Samet, co-founder and CEO of One True Holding Company, TrueAccord’s parent company. “Second, we get to apply and expand Mark’s successful mission- and results-oriented leadership in sales to the larger TrueAccord organization, accelerating the tremendous growth we’ve seen in the past years.”

One True Holding Company will continue its long-term success with new products and services targeted to a broader client and customer base, offered by TrueAccord’s sister companies. In alignment with its growth plan, One True Holding Company named Bloom as CMO to create and oversee a comprehensive marketing strategy that will promote brand recognition and deliver offerings that have value for customers, clients and business partners. Bloom brings more than 20 years of marketing experience as a brand builder, entrepreneur and business leader for Fortune 500 companies and startups.

“One True Holding Company has introduced best in class machine learning and digital-first debt collection solutions that consumers love with TrueAccord. Adding a marketing leader to our organization is an important step in doubling down on our trusted brand with clients and consumers alike,” added Samet. “Naama has tremendous experience building marketing teams and building iconic brands that consumers can trust as part of their everyday lives. I am thrilled about bringing in her leadership and expertise to connect the TrueAccord brand, among others, to our business as we move into new verticals and markets.”

The One True Holding Company leadership team also includes Gene Linetsky (chief technology officer), Noah Barr (chief financial officer), Laura Marino (chief product officer), Courtney Graham (chief people officer) and Nadav Samet (chief innovation officer), with Charles Deutsch serving as general manager of the financial services subsidiary True Life Solutions, which launched the game-changing consumer product, Engage.

Over the past year, One True Holding Company and its subsidiaries added more than 200 new hires with plans to continue expanding through 2021, with open positions across engineering, product, sales, client services, marketing, legal and operations. See all open positions and apply here: https://www.trueaccord.com/about-us/careers/  

About TrueAccord

Founded in 2013, TrueAccord’s data-driven debt collection platform is disrupting the collection industry by helping businesses collect more debt online than traditional methods. TrueAccord’s platform is powered by machine learning with a decision engine that analyzes consumer behavior and delivers personalized and empathetic consumer experiences. By communicating at the right time in the right channel with payment options that meet consumer needs, TrueAccord provides exceptional recovery rates for top 10 financial institutions, debt buyers, lenders and technology companies. TrueAccord empowers many of the estimated 77 million consumers who are in debt every year to get on a path to better financial fitness. To learn more, go to http://www.trueaccord.com.

About One True Holding Company

One True Holding Company is a technology company providing business- and consumer-facing solutions in the consumer debt space. Subsidiaries include TrueAccord, which offers machine learning-based, digital- and mobile-first servicing for debt in collections and recoveries, and True Life Solutions, which offers a SaaS platform that consumers can use to contact collectors and creditors digitally.

TrueAccord Featured in Aite Group’s Spotlight on Disruptive Fintech

By on July 1st, 2021 in Company News, Industry Insights
TrueAccord Blog

In a recent report by the Aite Group, TrueAccord was featured in the inaugural edition of the “Retail Banking & Payments Fintech Spotlight”, which highlighted disruptive fintechs with a strong focus on technologies that improve the customer experience. Analysts from Aite Group selected the six featured fintech vendors exclusively based on their level of innovation and their interesting approaches to wider business challenges facing the retail banking and payments market from both bank and customer perspectives.

The key differentiator making TrueAccord an innovative fintech disruptor? Not just taking an old system and making it digital, but using a customer-centric approach and machine learning engine that caters to each individual’s needs and seeks to fundamentally change the way consumers manage their debt. 

TrueAccord directs consumer focused messages to their preferred communication channel at the right time, all in line with federal and state requirements. With automated communications and the consumer’s ability to self-serve, TrueAccord collection agents can service 80,000 accounts at a time, compared to the typical 1,000 to 2,500 accounts that a traditional agent manages on behalf of the financial institution client. In addition, TrueAccord has found that allowing the consumer to propose their own payment arrangements within the institution’s approved parameters makes it 50% less likely that they will break that payment agreement. 

“Taking an existing process, especially one that is historically not consumer-friendly, and overhauling it from the ground up to actually benefit consumers is disruptive in the best way,” said Leslie Parrish, Senior Analyst, Aite Group. “While many companies focus on the consumer experience during the loan application process, very few bring that same attention to providing a consumer-friendly digital-first experience to the collection of that debt. TrueAccord’s unique approach to debt collection serves as a catalyst for transforming the collections industry.”

Excerpt from “Retail Banking & Payments Fintech Spotlight”:

The process of collecting on consumer debt is in need of a serious update, and TrueAccord distinguishes itself as a true stand-out in this industry. Together, the company’s three offerings provide a comprehensive solution set for both financial institutions and consumers. Consumers have significant pain points in dealing with unwanted collector calls and would much prefer to deal with these unpaid debts without having to speak with an agent. TrueAccord’s Recover and Retain platforms collectively provide financial institutions with a way to effectively communicate and collect on accounts at varying stages of delinquency in a way that is hospitable to consumers.

To read the full TrueAccord spotlight, download a copy of the report here.

TrueAccord continues to grow rapidly in Lenexa, KS

By on October 7th, 2020 in Company News
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Back in 2019, TrueAccord pledged to hire 50 new Lenexa team members every year until reaching our goal of 150. 

But thanks to a huge growth in business, TrueAccord has accelerated its hiring, adding 84 employees working remotely across the nation and from its Lenexa, Kansas office since the beginning of March alone. 

Overall, the Lenexa office has grown from 12 employees to over 118 people in under two years, and we’re still actively hiring across many functions. Lenexa is home to many team members across various roles, ranging from customer engagement, finance, operations, legal & compliance to engineering. 

TrueAccord has been particularly well positioned to adapt quickly when it came to shifting our employees to work from home by being a technology-forward company. Like many companies across the nation, our employees had to undergo major changes in their daily routines when adapting our workforce to operate during COVID-19. The majority of Kansas-based employees work from home, while those who need to come into the office are able to do so with appropriate social distancing.

“While the pandemic has disrupted so many people’s livelihoods across the country,” says CEO Sheila Monroe, “I continue to be proud of TrueAccord’s commitment to change the experience for consumers in debt for good. We’re driven by our mission to improve the customer experience for everyone throughout the credit lifecycle, and recent events have only strengthened the need for the way we do business.” 

TrueAccord is hiring across the board—in Lenexa and remotely. Check out our open positions here.

3 Sessions We’re Excited to (Virtually) Attend at Lendit Fintech USA 2020

By on September 24th, 2020 in Company News, Industry Insights

The LendIt Fintech USA 2020 conference is just around the corner on September 29 through October 1, with an exciting lineup of industry experts from leading traditional banks, fintech platforms, and tech companies discussing innovations in lending, digital banking, embedded finance, and more. Here are the three sessions we’re most excited to attend:

1. The Next Level of Fintech: Building your Customer Ecosystem

When: September 29, 11:30am-12:00 pm EDT

The speakers: Craig Boundy, CEO of Experian North America, and Peter Renton, Chairman at Lendit Fintech

Why we’re excited: Customer loyalty and meaningful engagement matter more than ever as the landscape of consumer fintech products and services becomes increasingly crowded. Experian North America CEO Craig Boundy will discuss how his team leverages data and technology innovation beyond just customer acquisition but to also earn consumers’ loyalty for the long haul.

2. New Approaches to Collections in Times of Crisis

When: September 29, 4:20-5:00 pm EDT 

The speakers: Ohad Samet, CEO of TrueAccord, Jacob Corlyon, CEO of Capital Collection Management, Hersh Shah, Sr. Director – Transaction Advisory at RSM US LLP and Praveen Kombial, Global Product Head of Business Applications at EdgeVerve

Why we’re excited: As the economic ripples of the pandemic continue, the collections industry is facing unique challenges. We’re looking forward to our CEO Ohad Samet sharing how TrueAccord has adapted to consumer needs during these times as well as learning from the other panelists on how they’ve rolled out new initiatives spurred by this crisis.

3. New Insights into Consumer Financial Resiliency Amidst Current Market Dynamics

When: September 30, 2:00-2:30 pm EDT

The speaker: Dave Shellenberger, VP of Product Management, Scores and Analytics at FICO

Why we’re excited: While we have insight into our consumer behavior in response to COVID-19, we’re interested in learning more from FICO on how they’ve developed a new analytical framework that can be used across the consumer lifecycle to better understand consumer financial resiliency. 

TrueAccord Welcomes Laura Marino, Chief Product Officer, and Charles Deutsch, General Manager of Financial Services

By on July 27th, 2020 in Company News
TrueAccord Blog

As the US is starting to understand the impact of COVID-19 and its aftermath on our economy, more consumers are expected to default and find themselves dealing with debt. Banks, lenders, and other financial players are accelerating their digital transformation roadmaps, shortening years’ worth of development into mere months, in an attempt to service consumers at scale while managing the complexities of our new normal and the limitations of outdated infrastructure.

This push to digitize rewards market leaders, and as a result TrueAccord is growing, and every month we serve more consumers and more financial institutions than we ever did. Growth attracts clients, funding, and world-class talent, and the latter is what we’re excited to announce today.

Laura Marino joins TrueAccord as Chief Product Officer. We work with some of the most sophisticated financial institutions in the world, and they require outstanding innovation, speed to market, and high-quality execution. Consumers need delightful experiences and a helping hand on their way back to financial stability. Laura’s experience at Lever and other enterprise-facing technology companies will be instrumental in upleveling our product offering, meeting our clients needs, and articulating a roadmap that combines an understanding of regulations, robust architecture, and an ever-evolving, high-performing servicing capability that supports financial institutions and consumers alike.

Charles Deutsch joins us as General Manager of Financial Services. TrueAccord offers low-friction, easy-to-use repayment tools for consumers who are ready to tackle their debt repayment journey and improve their financial stability. Regardless, many consumers can’t pay their debts because of financial difficulties. Charles will draw on his vast experience in running fintech businesses to build tools to help consumers improve their financial situation, and as a result, their ability to repay debt.

Laura Marino and Charles Deutsch join a world-class team composed of company Founder and CEO of TrueAccord Group, Ohad Samet, Sheila Monroe as COO and CEO of TrueAccord Corp, Gene Linetsky as CTO, Noah Barr as CFO, and Nadav Samet as CIO and General Manager of True Life Solutions, which launched the game-changing consumer product, Engage.

New Report: Consumer Debt in the Age of COVID-19

By on July 7th, 2020 in Company News, Industry Insights

Today, TrueAccord released Consumer Debt in the Age of COVID-19, a report exploring how debt repayment and other consumer behaviors have changed throughout the coronavirus crisis. Based on aggregated, anonymized data from 12 million U.S. consumers, the report highlights that consumers choֵse to pay off debt when provided with an infusion of cash, even during a time of unprecedented economic uncertainty. Despite an initial slowdown as the crisis worsened in the U.S, debt repayment volumes hit a record high on April 15th, the day the first wave of CARES Act checks hit bank accounts.  

Key insights and trends from the report include: 

  • Consumers chose to leverage their CARES Act cash to pay down debt. On April 15th, there was a near-instantaneous increase in debt payments as the first wave of checks hit bank accounts. Payment dollars were 25% higher than the previous tax season peak. 
  • One-time stimulus changed consumer behaviors. With stimulus checks in hand, consumers flocked toward paying off their debt in full — the rate of lump-sum payments was 50% higher than the same period last year. The ones who did sign up for payment plans chose shorter payment terms with higher monthly installments. 
  • Payments will continue to be irregular. In early March, nationwide panic led to decreased engagement and payment activity from consumers. While stimulus payments and unemployment benefits empowered consumers to pay off debt in record numbers in April and May, that trend won’t remain constant over the coming months.

“TrueAccord has always known that consumers in debt aren’t villains or victims — they’re caught in a difficult situation, trying to optimize for day-to-day survival while managing their obligations,” says Ohad Samet, CEO of One True Holding Company, the parent company of TrueAccord. “So when presented with an unexpected windfall and fewer spending opportunities, many of these consumers chose to repay debt. This trend was especially clear for a company like TrueAccord, which puts consumers in charge, by providing self-service tools, rather than coercing them into making a payment.”

With an uncertain economy and the possibility of additional stimulus packages, debt collectors must be prepared for unusual spikes in engagement and payment in the coming months. In order to best serve consumers, they must streamline their processes to make it as easy as possible for consumers to pay their debts when they choose to and to modify their plans when they can’t. The report includes four recommendations that companies collecting debt can implement to update their operations for this unusual time. 

“Consumers have learned to expect digital-first solutions from their financial service providers, and the collections industry needs to keep up,” said Sheila Monroe, CEO of TrueAccord. “Our systems and processes empower consumers to engage when they want to, where they want to, using their device and channel of choice, and provide the flexibility to set up payment arrangements that fit their irregular schedules.” 

For more information, download the full report, Consumer Debt in the Age of COVID-19, here.

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Working with the new consumer: An interview with Mike Walsh

By on May 28th, 2020 in Company News, Industry Interviews

TrueAccord is bringing together industry experts to continue the collections revolution. Today, we’re joined by Mike Walsh, TrueAccord’s Vice President of Enterprise Sales. With over twenty years of experience in the collections industry, Mike has been an active part of the evolution of collection practices and standards. His more recent work has been focused on helping drive technological and customer-focused change, and we discuss what those changes look like for collectors and consumers alike.

Mike Walsh, TrueAccord’s Vice President of Enterprise Sales

What can you tell us about your background in collections?

I got started in the industry in 1996, right out of college. Everyone’s dream is to go into collections and sales, right? I started in a position primarily handling client servicing. Even back then I saw that people have a negative view of the industry, but my experience has been really positive. I’ve met a lot of great people in collections and continue to build great relationships. 

This really is a relationship-oriented business. The industry is based on trust, and I learned early on that your reputation is really what you’re selling. Whether you’re in client services or on the phone with consumers, you have to constantly build a reputable brand. 

Looking to bolster your brand reputation? Here are some tips to get you started.

I’m thankful that I have been able to work on teams where I really believed in the product and the people. Your reputation and your company’s reputation are directly tied together, and it’s great to feel confident in both.

You were directly involved in the collections process for many years and more recently, you’ve turned to working with companies that aim to optimize and customize others’ collections processes. Can you talk a bit about how you feel your experience working in collections management has shaped your perspective on these newer tools and services?

More than anything else I’ve seen customers change. It’s gotten more and more difficult to reach consumers over the phone; people just aren’t answering phone calls anymore. It’s part of what I call the “Amazoning of America”—consumers don’t call in to order a product or a service, they pull it up on their phone, press a button, and they’re done. 

Understanding how we as an industry help the customer in light of these changes is tough. Adjusting to these needs efficiently in an effort to provide a better user experience has always been my focus. Giving people the ability to choose is more important now than ever. You hate to tell someone “oh, we don’t do that” when they request a specific way of doing business with you. 

In order to adapt to this changing customer, I always keep my eyes open for new tools with enhanced efficiencies and use that to help guide my professional pursuits. If a product or service benefits the customer, that benefit will trickle up to the client. This is how I found VoApps, and it’s part of why I joined TrueAccord. Both companies focus on how to improve the customer experience in a way that is less intrusive to the consumer. 

Even social media channels can provide another way for consumers to find you. The more flexibility that your team can offer, the easier it is for the customer.

Every consumer-facing industry is looking for ways to be less intrusive, and, as a consumer myself, I totally understand. That evolution important to me. I have a special needs son, so my time is very valuable. If someone is calling me it had better be important, and if it isn’t, my first thought is “why didn’t you just text me this?” 

Going off of that: it’s clear that you see the value in emerging technologies and changing behaviors in the industry. What are some patterns that you’ve seen develop in your career that have driven these changes, and why is now the time for these new approaches to collecting?

The development of customer-focused and customer supported technologies drive changes in the industry. When I was on the phones in the 1990s working as a collector we had “hot contact times” from 6 pm to 8 pm—the best time to reach people. Then the rise in cell phones made contact centers completely rethink how they were getting in touch with people. The evening “hot contact times” didn’t exist anymore when people started carrying their phones in their pockets.

Right now there is a need to provide a collections experience focused on customer service. People rate everything. Consumers are reviewing restaurants as if they’re big-screen TVs, and they want to share that information—and share it quickly. If you’re aware of this, you can harness it. You can build your company around consumer choice and those choices, in turn, will support your brand.

In debt collection, that means developing your product based on your consumer’s needs and experimenting to determine what consumers prefer and what they do not. Consider how they want to connect and when? How do they like to do business? Then build more of what they prefer.

Did that at all impact your decision to join TrueAccord?

I couldn’t fathom that a collection agency had a positive Google Review rating until I first saw TrueAccord’s 4.8 out of 5 stars. It helps illustrate the importance of building a platform based on meeting consumers’ needs and making sure that they associate your brand with a positive experience. 

What do you think comes next for the collections space?

I’ve always been a big believer in the power of behavior science and machine learning. It doesn’t surprise me that its application to the collection industry, especially by a company focused firmly on a customer-focused approach, is disrupting one of the oldest industries in the world. The big reason I’m here is to help the team bring this customer-focused future to the rest of the industry.

Are you ready to build a customer-focused debt collection experience for your business? Talk with our team today to learn how we can help.