The further away that collectors get from the office, the more closely that they need to be monitored, although, for the most part, what they are being monitored for is largely the same as when they were in the office, according to a panel of executives who spoke on the topic recently during a webinar.
The webinar, which was sponsored by Peak Revenue Learning, offered insights and tips to help agencies monitor collectors who are working remotely as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. A recording of the webinar is available by clicking here.
“If anything, we started watching more,” said Megan Bryant from Credit Collection Partners in Illinois. “There’s a difference when you’re in the office. You can hear people on the phone. But I think once everybody was gone, our management really dug into our KPI report and said, ‘Okay, now what what do we really need to have lined up to make sure this is going to work?’ And, so far we haven’t had any issues and I’m just thankful.”
With respect to the KPIs being monitored, agencies are doing the same now as they did when collectors were in the office, with one or two subtle changes, the panelists noted. For example, the duration of the post-call wrap up portion of a call has spiked significantly after collectors started working remotely, noted Mark Boich of JP Recovery Service in Ohio.
“We would expect someone’s post-call wrap time to be under 35% of their total time on the contact platform,” Boich said. “And when, interestingly enough, some people started working from home, we saw for a couple of people, those collectors’ wrap times shot up to 60%.” The company has since adjusted its KPIs to accommodate the change in the composition of collection calls.
One of the keys to establishing the same performance levels among collectors working remotely is trying to mirror the same working conditions as the office, the panel noted. In an office, a company can restrict cell phone usage and Internet access of collectors, which is not as easy when they are working from home. Many agencies have implemented telecommuting agreements that establish requirements and boundaries for what collectors can do when working from home.
Similar to working from home, it is important for companies to celebrate the victories, such as successful collection calls, just as would be done in an office setting.
“But we do see a great level of teamwork going on,” said Greg Ruffino, the Director of Training at Williams & Fudge in South Carolina. “A lot of support. People who already crushing their goals are helping people who are just shy of their goals. And it’s really helped transform a sense of community and when we recognize those things, and it just encourages people to to keep doing So if you’re wondering how to do that, you can look at those things, you can keep an ear to the ground, but when you see these things going on, throw out an award throw an ‘Attaboy’ or an ‘Attagirl.’ Recognize people’s efforts and make sure make sure people are helping each other out or not have a private conversation with them. Get them on board.”