ACA International recently held its Ignite! conference in Las Vegas. AccountsRecovery.net asked some of those who attended the conference to share the most important takeaway they had at the conference, or the best idea they learned there. Here are some of their answers.
HEATH MORGAN, MALONE FROST MARTIN
For me, I think the biggest takeaway is that the industry is still in the honeymoon phase with Regulation F. It’s committed to it and we have implemented the required changes, but now companies are both 1) waiting for the other compliance shoe to drop in the form of lawsuits and 2) looking at the optional changes that Reg F provides (like email and text) and trying to see if it is a fit for them.
I also saw a renewed interest in vendors to really try to understand and partner with companies to determine what their pain points are with Regulation F, and how they can help address and fix them.
KATIE BORCHERS, BEYOND GREEN SOLUTIONS
What a great week at ACA Ignite! I had two big “nuggets” of information.
- Daniel Green, Adam Parks, and Ken Peck Panel – When you can’t reach the decision maker in sales, you need to create a champion within the potential client organization for your product; ensure your goals align with his/hers, explain how your services benefit him/her, and design the pitch together.
- Beth Conklin’s Presentation – Shared tools and strategies to have fun with competition and education. One example was using gamification to test and share important training information.
Thank you to everyone who was open to connecting, sharing, and developing relationships with fellow attendees!
JON DAANE, TEC SERVICES GROUP
ACA Ignite was full of many great ideas and more importantly great people. Although there were many topics discussed and many great ideas shared, the one that stuck with me the idea that our industry is changing at a breakneck speed and unless an Agency employees the right data strategies, analytics, and technology they will never keep up with changing compliance or customer needs. With these new technologies, it is critical that we all look at our partners and decide how best to help one another be successful.
KATHERINE O’BRIEN, UNITED HOLDING GROUP
Ignite was a great, intimate conference that allowed for more detailed discussions of our industry’s Regulation F concerns now that we are a little over 100 days from the effective date. I think the best take away was that the problems we were expecting to be drowning in by now — haven’t really happened yet. This could be because our Reg F rollouts went exceptionally well, or perhaps we are collectively doing an amazing job of diligently ensuring that all our letters, programming, and training are working as expected. Or more likely, as we learned at Ignite, the Plaintiff’s Bar simply hasn’t caught up with the issues yet to file the lawsuits we expected to pour on us last December. It’s still important for everyone to be aware of what has been filed relating to Reg F, be reactive to prevent from being the next example, and stay ready for the inevitable incoming flood.
JEN WHIPPLE, COLLECTION BUREAU SERVICES
Ignite was a great conference! My best takeaways were related to hiring and retention. I’m a firm believer in treating your staff right so I always look for new nuggets that feed into that. I’m looking forward to the upcoming Washington Insights in May and the opportunity to discuss issues with our legislators.
TODD SANTA MARIA, VOAPPS
It was great to get to speak to so many people at IGNITE. One common theme I heard repeatedly was that consent will be a primary focus for 2022. Tightening up the process of obtaining consent, confirming it each time, tracking it and logging revocations seem to be top of mind for agency owners, as these days, you need consent to do just about anything but manually dial a consumer. It’s smart to take it seriously now to allow yourself the most options for efficient collections using all the cool technology that is out there. There seems to be a lot of optimism for 2022, which was good to see.
HARRY STRAUSSER, APPLIED INNOVATION
I am the president of an ARM industry technology firm and with decades in the industry I know many of the attendees at industry meetings.
I believe the single message made clear in the sessions was the strong focus on giving consumers countless options for engagement and payment negotiation.
We are becoming a very different industry and the operators and their partners that will thrive are those with open minds and willingness to embrace the changes before us today.
AARON REITER, INTERPROSE
The Ignite! conference in Las Vegas was packed with qualified speakers giving well prepared presentations within the operations, compliance and technology tracks. I found the keynote presentation by David Williams and Jon Balon particularly enlightening because of the insights they shared on consumer preferences related to payments. We are at the beginning of some very interesting times as digital wallets and payments apps replace more traditional methods of making payments. They aren’t dominant yet, but checkbooks have already become scarce and the convenience of Venmo, PayPal, GooglePay, ApplePay, etc. will continue to grow adoption and preference so the market must figure out how to accommodate it.
IRENE HOHUESLE, ACCOUNT RECOVERY SPECIALISTS
- It doesn’t matter if I am a presenter, an attendee or both, I always bring something back from and ACA event. At Ignite this year Greg Ruffino did a session on re-tooling your staff to overcome the great resignation. He talked about the grass being greener on the other side and how you can be the greener grass. I took away many things from many speakers but Greg had one of the sessions that hit home for me.
- In Dennis Barton and Kelli Krueger’s session on more retention less recruitment, Kelli offers some great examples of spreadsheets on retention risk that are easy to understand and implement right away in any agency. What a great tool!
- I thought that David Williams and Jon Balon did an awesome main event session at Ignite. They found very creative and involved ways to make the point about how most of us are not willing to take different forms of payment that are the preferred payment for our consumers. I loved their session and took so many notes on what we need to think of differently.
- Aaron Reiter and Jon Daane did a wonderful presentation on how to screw up tech implementation. They made it fun and entertaining with video clips of themselves acting as different personalities that made attendees laugh and helped it stick! They made their point on common errors we all make and I’d rather not have to re-invent the wheel, so this session had me leave with some reminders to think first and maximize a successful approach to new technology.