They say collections is all about follow up. In the legal world, timely follow-up becomes critical as we move accounts through different phases of the legal collection cycle. What else would we like to see in the perfect legal collection system?
- Automation – in a mature industry, follow-up actions must be accurately scheduled by the system
- Minimal use of paper to manage account flow – paper is inefficient and slow
- Technology that will manage compliance rules at the state and city level
- The ability to manage contact frequency and number of messages left, based on client, city or state rules
- Track the many data elements that characterize legal collections
- Manage multiple responsible parties and have the system work each party separately
- The ability to import and export information between your clients and the system, preferably without custom programming
- The ability to tie documents and images to individual accounts
- To have different people work an account at different times, and to give payment credit to multiple individuals
- Due diligence must be performed by the system – As an example, accounts that are not worked as required must be forced into queues where they will be worked
And how would you design the perfect collection system? Today, collections is a numbers game. We have to work very large volumes of accounts in an environment with high turnover. Decisions have to be made after considering many data elements, historical information and prior efforts. We must do more work with the sam people…
With the changes we see in the industry, it is clear that new thinking is required and traditional collection design may not work for us today.
- Much greater focus must be placed on building a system that can make some of the decisions that were traditionally made by collection experts
- With today’s workforce, the system must be user-friendly, relaying on little memorization or manual work
- The responsibility of enforcing compliance rules must be shifted from the collector to collection system
- We must take advantage of the great power of modern computers to do more than we have ever done for the industry
- More people will always do more work. This is not what we need. Technology must help us to increase revenue per collector, without forcing us to hire people to increase revenues.
The collection industry and its technology providers face new opportunities for change. Everyone has to be committed to meaningful change that will take the industry to new levels of productivity. We need the collection system of our dreams.