By The WorkWave Partner Team and A.R.M. Solutions.
Taking the steps to find the right 3rd party collection agency partner can be a confusing time for business owners. With many different agencies, all offering different services, pricing structures, and more, deciding who to entrust with your aging accounts isn’t an easy feat. Take the guesswork out of your hunt and check out these tips from our valued collection partner A.R.M. Solutions!
Organization and Processes
Moving aging accounts from your office to a 3rd party collection agency should be streamlined and simple, but in this area, not all agencies are the same. When meeting with prospective agencies, make sure you understand how the workflow process works from the initial pass-off of an account, to reporting, follow-up, payment, and more. The sure-tell sign of a strong, reliable agency is a set system in place that minimizes the amount of work for their clients (you!). Ask if they have an online portal for ease of use and/or if you have an assigned account manager that will keep you updated on your accounts. If you don’t get a clear answer on work flow process, that probably means they don’t have one and you should avoid that agency.
Reputation and Industry
Spend some time asking other business owners or other colleagues in the same industry what agency they utilize and what their experience has been. Once you ask a friend or colleague the question, you will quickly be able to identify if they have had a positive or negative experience with their agency within the first few sentences. Ask them what communication is like with their current or previous 3rd party collection agency, what success they have seen, and if there have been any added headaches or added wins from working with that agency. When speaking with someone within your industry about their agency, ask if their current agency understands how your industry operates, bills, etc. Choosing an agency with that experience can often mean better results because they understand the nuances of what you do!
With a variety of agencies comes a variety of pricing options. Make sure you understand all of the costs and fees of passing over aging accounts BEFORE you choose your agency partner. Ask potential agencies if they offer any additional pricing options outside of the traditional methods (like a flat fee program). Ask if they can share some examples of accounts actually collected on, understanding what went back to the business owner, and what was paid to the agency. Make sure you leave the conversation fully understanding what the true cost is so that you can make a fair comparison between all agencies that you are considering.
Working with a company that has the same values as your business is a huge part of ensuring that you have a positive experience. In this area, not all agencies are the same and you want to make sure that you are turning over accounts to a business that values your customers as much as you do. Fully understand the methods and practices of each agency you are considering, making sure that they line up with your companies standards.
Still have questions about partnering with a 3rd party collection agency? WorkWave has you covered! Join us on Monday, September 24th from 3-4PM EDT for a live webinar with our valued collection partner, A.R.M. Solutions. They will share best practices on handling the 30-60-90 day collection period. Click here to register.
Also, don’t miss the chance to meet the A.R.M Solutions team at our WorkWave IFS User Conference, October 7-10 in Boston, MA! Click here for details and registration.