How to Upskill as A Collector - Acing The Collections Game a

How to Upskill as A Collector – Acing The Collections Game

5 March, 2020
4 min read
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What you'll learn

  • Learn how a customer-oriented approach is necessary for an efficient Collections process
  • Get a walk-through of 6 major innovations in the field of collections
  • Learn about some of the basic skills every collector should possess
What does a collection analyst do?
Key Qualities for a Collector
Star in the Armour - Critical Thinking
Evolution with Time and Technology?
What's next for collectors and collections?
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What does a collection analyst do?

Collections have always been one of the most critical processes in the order-to-cash space. However, with the exponential growth in the number of customers and complexities in business scenarios, it's becoming more and more challenging. Traditionally, the primary role of a collector was limited to just collaborating with the customer. The collections landscape today, however, calls for a lot more - from negotiations around payment plans to capturing pre-deductions to dealing with complex parent-child scenarios to name a few. In this strenuous environment, a collector needs to upskill in order to survive and collect faster. Here is a quick guide on what qualities collections teams should look forward to while hiring, and the factors aspiring collectors should focus on to upskill.

Key Qualities for a Collector

Skills needed for collectors

  • Listening skills: If you are a collector, you must pay attention to what debtors say when trying to negotiate a repayment plan. Learning the particular situation of the debtors and how they fell into debt can help you suggest solutions.
  • Negotiating skills: It’s your job to reconcile the differences between two parties (the debtor and the creditor) and offer a solution that is acceptable to both parties.
  • Speaking skills: You should be able to speak to debtors to explain their choices and ensure that they fully understand what is being said.
  • Empathy: You must have the ability to put yourself in the customer’s shoes and build a strong rapport with the customer to successfully negotiate.

Star in the Armour - Critical Thinking

The foremost attribute you should have as a collector is critical thinking. You should be able to solve problems through rational thinking and evidence-based knowledge.
Critical thinking is important because it helps individuals and teams diagnose problems more effectively and identify possible solutions that aren’t obvious at first. Developing this kind of thinking requires a lot of scientific reasoning and analysis.

To develop a knack for critical thinking, one should be able to:

critical thinking

  • Analyze: The ability to carefully examine something, whether it is a problem, a set of data, or a text. People with analytical skills can examine information, understand what it means, and properly explain to others the implications of that information.
  • Communicate: The ability to communicate ideas, solutions, or results is indispensable to an analyst.
    Innovate: Critical thinking involves a creative eye that can take a different approach from all other approaches.
  • Optimize: ‘Making the best out of the worst’ is a vital trait that can boost the inventory of any analyst.

In the world of collections, the customer is the pivot around which the entire operations revolve. So beyond critical thinking, one should always strive towards a customer-oriented approach. Being up-to-date with market trends could serve as an important step for fine-tuning strategies and tailoring a customer-centric collections strategy.

Evolution with Time and Technology?

Change management is a systematic approach to dealing with the transition or transformation of an organization’s goals, processes, or technologies. The purpose of change management is to implement strategies for effecting change, controlling, and helping people to adapt to change.

“One of the attributes not only analysts but all employees need to have is being able to adapt to change.”

To be able to keep up with the fast-changing technologies and operational models, you should:

  • Prepare for multiple outcomes
  • Learn about the new roles and responsibilities
  • Get familiar with the updated technologies implemented
  • Have an open mind and not cling to the previous methods
  • Communicate with the concerned people
  • Maintain a positive attitude
  • Acknowledge that change is the only constant

What's next for collectors and collections?

With the advent of new technologies, collection operations have become less labor-intensive and take up very limited resources. The influx of digital technologies and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) tools has liberated collection technology in new ways that benefit both customers and clients. Some of the biggest collections tools and techniques include:

collections tools and techniques

  • Online dashboards allow clients and consumers to easily see data and respond appropriately
  • Automation improves the efficiency of daily functions
  • Automated communications that have optimized the reach across email, text, mail, and phone calls
  • Data analytics tools that let collectors analyze consumer behavior
  • Predictive analytics to predict the future likelihood of payment
  • Better security tools to improve the safety of the data housed

The next wave of collection technology includes Artificial Intelligence (AI). There is a major shift forthcoming in the method of collection operations that can significantly reduce time and manual labor.

Collections overall is a very sensitive job. The foremost concern of any collector should be to provide a wholesome customer experience. Dealing with customers on a day-to-day basis can be very tedious, collectors have to possess the ability to understand the pain point of the customer and put themselves in the shoes of the customer. These skills cannot be developed without patience and dedicated effort.

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