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Debt collection is changing and with it we are seeing a number of new trends in the processes, handling and staffing in the industry. AYOM discusses the trends we have discovered as we evolve with the industry.
 

Debt collection is changing. With technology advancement comes better practices in what is a long standing industry. Last month, business matters looked at new trends in debt collection. Following their article, AYOM wanted to discuss trends we have adopted. With a lot of players to contend against, we strive to lead the way in reliable debt collection procedures alongside good customer service. Here are the main trends in modern debt collection according to AYOM.

Database integration

With AYOM’s growing client base, so is the average size of our clients. In the last year, AYOM has undertaken work for a number of large multinationals. Each one carries a high volume of debt cases needing action. With a portfolio of clients each with tens of thousands of debtors, IT resources will play a huge part in management of debts. In particular, database sharing and management is vital to a seamless service.

Some of AYOM’s biggest clients include banks, credit providers and not for profit companies. Not only is the database of debt plentiful, but it is also sensitive in nature. GDPR will have a huge impact quickly on those not taking good care of their data, especially if it is shared. AYOM have thankfully flourished during the emergence of this trend. With the high profile client portfolio growing, integrated databases have been a staple in managing debts of high volume.

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Digitization of strategy

We’re sure you have a view on what an average day is like in debt collection. Some agents will be drafting letters, some making phone calls, some getting ready to go out on visits. No doubt, this industry is all about communication in some form. Communication with both sides ensures money can be quickly recovered and the matter of debt set right as quickly as possible.

A lot of this communication has been assisted via digitization. The ability to automate some procedures helps the collectors manage their time better. This in turn generates the best results, faster, for clients. AYOM’s case management systems preps documents and emails for collectors before they sign off on all communication. Case management systems also allow superfast alterations to the strategy based on progress made. For example if a payment plan is set up, or a dispute is raised. While the whole process will never be fully automated, what is in place currently ensures we can do our job better.

Altered approaches to dispute resolution

Almost stereotyped, debt collectors are often referred to as ‘heavies’ or similar descriptions. One big distinction we always like to make is the following: Debt collectors are NOT bailiffs. Similarly, bailiffs are not debt collectors. That distinction is very important as we offer a much different approach to dispute resolution than simply knocking on a door and removing goods. We often have to compete with public perceptions of bailiffs including when they make the news for overly aggressive tactics.

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Bailiffs are part of our service if escalated to court proceedings. However, one thing we prefer to do is resolve a debt long before court is needed. The way we do this is by modernising our dispute resolution tactics. Backed up by in house solicitors, our team can now put simple legal standings to debtors to ensure they know where they stand. Rather than threatening them with legal action we put our case to them and ask them to seek legal advice if they wish to dispute in any way.

AYOM have developed over the past 10 years strategies which produce payments before any letters before action are needed. Debtors respect our position and our collectors handle cases with respect. Debt collection is about stating a firm position, discussion on legal position and resolving the matter. Threats, bad manners and strong-arm tactics are best left in the distant past.

Personalised strategies

Building on the new approaches, a personalised approach is now the common form of resolution. Each debt is different and a case handler knows each debt requires its own strategy. Of course, automation helps prep letters, documents, prompts calls or visits; but human judgment is needed. A case handler is responsible for recovering a debt successfully and as efficiently as possible. This changes depending on if the debt is a business debt or consumer debt. The method requires alteration depending on the credit status and relationship between debtor and client. Automation is never ‘the’ strategy; that lies in the hands of the dedicated handler.

The perfect system for debt collection is an integration of smart systems helping physical decision makers. This is what AYOM looks to provide on a consistent basis backed up by our own smart client technologies like the client portal. Supplemented by the legal team and customer services, you have a modern, successful debt collection agency.

If you’d like to learn more about our practices and what we can do for you with a single or multiple debts, get in touch today. Call us on 0800 130 3357 or email enquiries@ayom.co.uk. Alternatively simply fill in our contact form and an adviser will be in touch.