RP Sanjiv Goenka Group

Four ways to flex your reporting muscle and strengthen debt collecting

Tim Smith
Tim Smith
SVP – Business Development, Collections
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Marv Levy is something of a hero to me and other Buffalo Bills fans. He’s a firm ‘billever’ (forgive me!) in the need to “plan your work and work your plan.” He wasn’t the first to say it, but he grabbed it, ran with it, and coached it into his winning teams.

Planning is just as critical to successful debt collection. The best organizations, like the best athletes, begin with an end in mind. They formulate a strategy to get there. They follow it, and continually monitor their progress, adapting along the way to ensure peak performance.

Shaping winning collection strategies, and knowing when and how to flex them, depends on the quality of your reporting. Here are four ways to get reporting to work harder for your business:

1. Measure everything related to debt collection

“If you can’t measure it, then you can’t manage or improve it.” More wise words. This time from inspirational management thinker Peter Drucker. Our industry is awash with KPIs, and it’s tempting to try and narrow them down to streamline focus. But experience suggests that, when it comes to data capture, more is better. What you don’t know can hurt you.

Why? Because if you don’t know exactly where you are, how can you know where you’re going? If you don’t fully understand what is and isn’t working, how can you improve?

I’m a firm believer in creative destruction. It’s only when you’re willing to look critically at every part of your debt collection process that you’re able to turn good (and sometimes the not-so-good) into great. And it’s in the detail that you uncover which levers you need to pull: The significant and subtle changes that will supercharge your debt collections.

2. Uncover debt collecting insights with intelligent analytics

The quality of your insights depends on the quantity and quality of data that you analyze. But there’s more to it than that. You need to be confident that you’re asking the right questions of that data, and that your team has the curiosity, expertise, and contextual understanding to interrogate and interpret the findings.

The best reporting combines intelligent analytics and experience to bring insights to life, time and again, and at scale. And importantly, it summarizes them in ways that make them accessible and actionable.

For those who just want the topline detail, it’s brought to life concisely in the way that works best for them — bar charts, pie charts or other graphs. For those who need to drill down to the detail, it’s available at the click of a button. In a climate of ever-changing regulations, reporting needs to make it easier for you to stay compliant too.

3. Shape up debt collections with transparent reporting

Empathetic customer service and employee engagement drive differentiation and results in debt collection. It’s important that everyone has the information and confidence they need to make informed decisions, at speed and scale.

Customers need to be able to engage with you when, where and how suits them best. Detailed segmentation and intelligent analytics will show you how to tailor and personalize your collection strategies to maximize returns.

Associates want to help customers solve their debt issues with tact and kindness. To do their best work, they need visibility into collections strategies, customer insights, and dynamic progress reports. It’s harder than ever to hold on to talent, and efficient and effective reporting needs to reach beyond the board room to empower the people on the frontline too.

Transparency isn’t just for data, it’s also critical in business partnerships. Expect transparent reports that highlight what’s working and what’s not. If you’re not confident that you’re seeing the full picture, ask why.

4. Report and respond in real time

Facts are fascinating, but facts that can’t be acted on are called history. And none of us want to be a part of that just yet.

Your business may still have a need for 30-day reporting, but it’s no longer enough. Agility is where it’s at, and we’re continually monitoring, reporting in real time, and flexing to ensure our customers’ collection strategies are nimble and match fit.

Don’t pay by report or pay extra if a strategy changes. Work with a partner with a proven understanding of how propensity to pay works, who’s motivated to adapt at the speed of need to improve your collection results, and who is committed to nurturing your customer relationships.

Is your reporting fit for purpose?

An intelligent approach to reporting will help your business solve problems in a dynamic and highly competitive consumer and regulatory environment. It’ll help you collect more, boost customer and employee experience, drive efficiencies, and power performance.

Let’s cross the goal line with a final quote from coach Marv Levy: “When it’s too tough for them, it’s just right for us.” If your current debt collection partner is struggling to deliver the results you need, or if you think your reporting could be better, please get in touch.

Featured resource

Download our whitepaper Collections of the future – A study by Everest Group to learn about the key considerations for lenders as they design a future-ready collections model.

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Tim Smith

SVP – Business Development, Collections

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