The passage of time is a measured, passive occurrence that happens to all of us. Innovation is an active decision to make today better than yesterday. This is also the mentality of the following Innovative Agencies. These agencies have been nominated by readers of Collection Advisor, peers and industry activists as organizations that look forward and ask “why not?” for every aspect of collections. These Innovative Agencies were asked about their most recent innovations.
American Profit Recovery
Jeff DiMatteo President
We manage three platforms: Collection software to manage debtor relations, our proprietary APRweb platform allowing 3,500+ clients to communicate with us, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM providing the ability to prospect new business, service clients and tie all platforms together. Microsoft Dynamics CRM was the innovation that’s greatly improved our collection practice. CRM has also been utilized for items including tracking consumer complaints and managing talent acquisition. We are working to link all our systems into a newly developed platform.
Kenlyn T. Gretz President and CEO
Cell phone ownership. In the middle of 2015 we decided we needed to tackle telephone ownership based on the 2015 FCC order relating to the TCPA. We found a vendor who provided us with the owner name, a matching score and the carrier of the cell phone along with other attributes. We developed a process to store these attributes the fi rst day we dialed the number. Every 90 days we tested this value and did a comparison to see if the phone number ownership and attributes had changed. We built a confi dence factor algorithm to help us determine if the phone number was reassigned. This helped us comply with the TCPA and was ridiculously nice for consumers who could have been wrongly dialed.
Roger D. Weiss President
CACi sustains human empathy and compassion in the collection process. Most recently, we’ve infused technology into these qualities through Balto, a real-time call guidance and speech analytics platform that coaches collectors on every call. In addition, CACi treats lower recovery scored accounts and self-pay accounts with a couple of pretty unique approaches that elicit higher levels of cooperation from consumers and patients. Technology will continue to drive this industry, but that same technology will be driven through human interaction.
Marc A. Carter President
Recognizing the need of a multi-generational and multi-cultural communication platform, CBC LLC has taken the steps to implement a combination of artificial intelligence with an enterprise-wide platform of communication capabilities. Such capabilities include texting and emailing of debtor communications, but more importantly the introduction of Alex. Available 24/7/365, Alex is a virtual agent that creatively integrates state-of-the-art mobile, browser, cloud, and voice-recognition technologies with 8 foreign language capabilities.
CBE Companies, Inc.
Tom Penaluna Chairman and CEO
We have designed a number of innovative solutions to solve problems that we and others that collect past due accounts have been confronted with. Some examples:
• Manual Clicker Application (MCA) which is a proven solution to the challenges collectors are confronted with on the TCPA issue.
• EFT Agree, a Regulation E and e-sign act compliance for written authorizations.
• Years ago we implemented voice analytics to digest our collection calls. This improved call efficiencies, client expectations as well as compliance with collection laws.
Credit Bureau Services, LLC
Debbie Frank CEO
We reached out to a local business to help develop and manage our social media marketing. The biggest success has been Facebook Live. Our clients have the opportunity to share their accounts receivable challenges across the Internet. It’s amazing to reach over 4,000 people organically through one post. Because it’s been so successful, we have developed “The Bureau Tribe” online group. Our clients can post questions about their A/R challenges and we can respond with helpful answers.
Credit Collection Partners
Rick Bonitzer President
To me, it all starts with a modern collection platform at the center of your call center universe. If your agency is still chugging along on a “legacy platform,” you need to prioritize a conversion to something modern ASAP. Seamless integration with third-party vendors/ partners/clients/etc. is critical to working smarter, faster, better than your competition. Just make sure to schedule the conversion kick-off right after the tax season spike; you’ll want everything ironed out well before the next one.
Jeff Freedman and Saul Freedman CEO/Principal
We have learned that many customers want to be able to communicate/interact with us when it is convenient for them and, if possible, avoid having to deal directly with a live agent. In addition, customers want to interact using modern communication channels rather than older methods like the phone or snail mail. To address customer needs, we have initiated all of the following just in the last one to two years: email, text, live chat, online payment portal and voice activated IVR. Each of these communication methods have enabled more customers to communicate with us at times and means they prefer.
Southern Oregon Credit Service
Brian Watkins President
In the last year our company made a signifi cant investment into software and hardware to manage all workfl ows. This will eliminate thousands of pieces of paper, put time-checks on every process, all Q/A to verify what is done and when, and has opened doors to move staff to more critical areas we need people.
State Collection Service, Inc.
Tom Haag Chairman and CEO
We have invested significantly in new technologies to enhance the patient financial experience and client bottom lines. Real-time speech analytics has allowed us to increase patient engagement and reduce staff turnover while allowing us to more closely monitor quality and productivity. Gamification allows us to drive positive agent behavior, making work more rewarding for our staff while increasing overall performance. We’re proud to consistently find ourselves at the cutting edge of technology.