Execs Share Ideas to Help Improve Collector Performance

NASHVILLE — If you could snap your fingers and immediately make one change that would attempt to make your collectors better at their jobs, what would it be?

One potential answer is to give your collectors cooties.

Greg Ruffino, the director of training at Williams & Fudge, and Roger Weiss, the president and chief operating officer of CACi, led a session at this week’s ACA International conference with the objective of providing ideas and tactics that can help collection agencies improve the performance of their collectors. One idea, shared by Weiss, is to give every collector a cootie, and every time the collector collects a payment, he or she gets to add a piece to their bug. The first collector that builds a complete cootie gets a bonus, such as $20, Weiss said.

Many of those in the audience shared ideas they had tried to varying degrees of success in their own office. One agency executive spoke about a peer-to-peer review process in her office, in which collectors reviewed and analyzed the call recordings of other collectors. So rather than hearing an assessment from a supervisor or collection manager — who is not likely making any calls — the collectors hears from their co-workers who are on the phones with them day after day. In this process, collectors review one call per week from a co-worker and then sit down with each other to talk about it.

“It’s not about judgment,” the executive said. “But to learn as a team that we can all do a better job.”

Weiss also encouraged those in the session to engage all of the senses of collectors in the office. For example, he used to clean the training room with disinfectant prior to a session where he would be talking about compliance and then he would go out and occasionally spray the disinfectant on the collection floor to subliminally remind collectors about the importance of compliance when on the phone. Weiss also said he would put posters on the ceiling on the office along with clouds to remind people that compliance is “our top goal.”

“You have to make it fun,” Weiss said.

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