Keeping an eye on employees needs to be a top priority at any collection agency, and not just because of increased compliance risks, according to a pair of executives who spoke during a webinar hosted earlier this week.
The webinar, on the topic of monitoring employee performance, was sponsored by Peak Revenue Learning. A copy of the recording can be accessed here. The speakers were Kelly Parsons-O’Brien from CBA Credit and Chrissy Rioux from Credit Solutions.
Both Parsons-O’Brien and Rioux said they spend time on the collection floor every day, walking around and listening to calls. Parsons-O’Brien said she has a standing desk on the collection floor that she uses to do some of her work so she can be closer to the collectors making calls.
While making sure that collectors are not doing — or saying — anything they should not while on the phone with individuals is important, there are a lot of other components to a collectors’ efficacy that need to be monitored. For example, Rioux said that her agency uses a dashboard that tracked the number of incoming and outgoing calls being made by each collector, the number of right-party contacts, and the amount of secured money, among other metrics.
“Who’s on top for secured money, that’s what the collectors are looking at,” Rioux said. “They want to be on top.”
The agency’s management can also see other data that is not available to the collectors, such as the average payment, and stair-step reports on how well the agency is doing for each client.
“But what you do with the reports is the most important thing,” Rioux said.
If an employee is underperforming, Parsons-O’Brien said she will get personally involved, listening to call recordings and talking out scenarios with that individual.
“I like to look at it from the consumer perspective,” which many collectors fail to do, she said. There was one employee that Parsons-O’Brien was working with whose “talk-off sounded so good, but she wasn’t collecting any money,” she said. “But when you go in and listen to the recordings, you can see she was missing opportunities.”
The emphasis on compliance has shifted the determination of employee performance away from how much money is being collected, the speakers said. There is a right way to combine being compliant with being focused on securing a payment.
At CBA, the results of the collector’s performance audit make up 50% of the bonus for that particular period, Parsons-O’Brien said.
When it comes to executives keeping an eye on employees, consistency is important, Rioux said.
“You don’t wan the compliance manager to have an opinion that is different from the rest of the team,” she said. “It is important to communication and make sure everyone is going in the right direction. Being consistent is very important.”