The Top 10 Banks with the Most CFPB Complaints of 2017

There comes a time in your life that a bank does something nonsensical that makes you want to file a complaint. Luckily, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) runs a database that logs official consumer complaints. The CFPB typically contacts the financial institutions and tracks whether the company responded. This database has become a handy tool that can increase the accountability of powerful financial agencies on behalf of the consumer. Conscientious Americans who are interested to know about their banks can go through the thousands of CFPB complaints to decide if that financial institution is the best place for them.

In the entire year of 2017, complaints have piled up tremendously. To rank the banks, LendEDU (an online marketplace for student loan refinancing) put together a list of banks that received the most consumer complaints in 2017 by the number of complaints per billions of dollars in deposits. LendEDU made this list for the sole purpose to help educate consumers on their finances. So now comes the question, which banks had the received the most CFPB complaints relative to deposits in 2017?

Tallying up the CFPB complaints

Below are the top 10 banks with the highest level of CFPB complaints. You can see which banks have improved or declined from last year’s list, the total amount of complaints, as well as the total dollar amount in deposits.

10. Bank of America

Bank of America had 6.28 complaints per billion in deposits. The bank improved five spots in its rank from last year, receiving a total of 8,069 complaints with $1.28 trillion in deposits.

9. KeyCorp

KeyCorp had 6.48 complaints per billion in deposits. The bank fell nine spots in its rank from last year and received a total of 670 complaints with $103.45 billion in deposits.

8. Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo had 6.48 complaints per billion in deposits. The bank improved five spots in its rank from last year, receiving a total of 8,465 complaints with $1.31 trillion in deposits.

7. Comerica

Comerica had 6.57 complaints per billion in deposits. The bank fell six spots in its rank from last year, receiving a total of 380 complaints with $57.82 billion in deposits.

6. U.S. Bancorp

U.S. Bancorp had 6.82 complaints per billion in deposits. The bank remained its same rank as last year, receiving a total of 2,338 complaints with $342.59 billion in deposits.

5. Citigroup

Citigroup had 6.85 complaints per billion in deposits. The bank improved three spots in its rank from last year, receiving a total of 6,600 complaints with $964.03 billion in deposits.

4. Fifth Third Bancorp

Fifth Third Bancorp had 6.88 complaints per billion in deposits. The bank fell three spots in its rank from last year, receiving a total of 698 complaints with $101.45 billion in deposits.

3. Citizens Financial Group

Citizens Financial Group had 6.91 complaints per billion in deposits. The bank fell five spots in its rank from last year, receiving a total of 782 complaints with $113.24 billion in deposits.

2. SunTrust Banks

SunTrust Banks had 7.12 complaints per billion in deposits. The bank fell five spots in its rank from last year, receiving a total of 1,159 complaints with $162.74 billion in deposits.

Who’s the number one worst offender?

1. TCF Financial Corp.

TCF Financial Corp. remained at the top of the list with the most CFPB complaints per billion in deposits, far outpacing all other banks with its 13.59 complaints. The bank received a total of 246 complaints for its $18.11 billion in deposits.

When it comes to CFPB complaints tied explicitly to banking activity or services, TCF Bank remains at the top of the list. The CFPB sued TCF Financial Corp. last year, claiming the bank tricked customers into signing up for expensive overdraft protection program. TCF disagreed with this data, as one spokesman stated, “We take all customer feedback seriously and work with each customer to resolve their concerns in a way that meets their needs and takes into account their unique circumstances.”

In better news, LendEDU also created a list of banks who received no complaints the entire year of 2017. Centennial Bank and Bank of Hope (largest Korean-American bank in the U.S.) were the two most prominent banks (by total deposits) analyzed by LendEDU that received no complaints.

 

Check out our other blogs about the CFPB here:

CFPB’s New Leader and the Future of Debt Collection.

The CFPB Proposing Changes to the Debt Collection Market

 

Read more about the TCF Financial Corporation here:

20 Banks that Consumers Loved to Hate in 2017

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE PCI COMPLIANT? 12 STEPS YOU SHOULD KNOW

Do you own or work at a collection agency? If you do, then you know how much sensitive data gets stored within your company. Protecting this data is vital to the survival of the collection agency. With today’s advancement in technology, storing sensitive data is especially important because you never know who is out there waiting to get their hands on the precious information. The PCI Security Standards Council was formed to make sure security measures are in place to protect consumer information.  “The PCI Security Standards Council is a global open body formed to develop, enhance, disseminate and assist with the understanding of security standards for payment account security.” – PCI Security Standards Council Website. If you want to learn more about them, click this link and check out their website.The PCI Security Standards Council has 12 established standards to meet various security, data management, and data access goals. These standards apply to any company that accepts credit card payment, as well as storing and processing card data. The question is, are you PCI compliant?

The PCI Security Standards Council has 12 established standards to meet various security, data management, and data access goals. These standards apply to any company that accepts credit card payment, as well as storing and processing card data. The question is, are you PCI compliant?1. Install and Maintain a Firewall Configuration to Protect Cardholder Data

1. Install and Maintain a Firewall Configuration to Protect Cardholder DataIt is up to the company to set up its own firewall to protect the cardholder data. A secure network is the first step.

It is up to the company to set up its own firewall to protect the cardholder data. A secure network is the first step.2. Do Not Use Vendo-Supplied Defaults for System Passwords and Other Security Parameters

2. Do Not Use Vendo-Supplied Defaults for System Passwords and Other Security ParametersSome vendors might give you a default password to use to safeguard your information servers. The company should create and hold its own passwords for maximum protection.

Some vendors might give you a default password to use to safeguard your information servers. The company should create and hold its own passwords for maximum protection.3. Protect Stored Cardholder Data

3. Protect Stored Cardholder DataIf your collection agency stores sensitive data, then keep it secured. It is as simple as that.

If your collection agency stores sensitive data, then keep it secured. It is as simple as that.4. Encrypt Transmission of Cardholder Data Across Open, Public Networks

4. Encrypt Transmission of Cardholder Data Across Open, Public NetworksEncrypt your data into ciphertext when passed through open networks. Anyone looking to access the data requires an encryption key.

Encrypt your data into ciphertext when passed through open networks. Anyone looking to access the data requires an encryption key.5. Use and Regularly Update Anti-Virus Software

5. Use and Regularly Update Anti-Virus software because of advanced technology, new malware constantly pops into existence. constantly scan and update your anti-virus software to protect your data.

Because of advanced technology, new malware constantly pops into existence. constantly scan and update your anti-virus software to protect your data.

6. Develop and Maintain Secure Systems and ApplicationsConstant scanning of the system can allow for the greatest chance of finding an exposure of security in the system and preventing and malware from entering.

Constant scanning of the system can allow for the greatest chance of finding an exposure of security in the system and preventing and malware from entering.7. Restrict Access to Cardholder Data by Business Need-to-Know

7. Restrict Access to Cardholder Data by Business Need-to-KnowDon’t give any employees access to sensitive data if they are not in the position to use the data. The lower amount of people who have access the cardholder information, the better.

Don’t give any employees access to sensitive data if they are not in the position to use the data. The lower amount of people who have access the cardholder information, the better.

8. Assign a Unique ID to Each Person with Computer Access

After limiting the number of people accessing collection agency data, give each authorized person and a unique ID. This allows the company to know who is accessing the data.

9. Restrict Physical Access to Cardholder Data

Increase data security by restricting physical access to sensitive information.

10. Track and Monitor All Access Points to Network Resources and Cardholder Data

If unwanted access to the data occurs, continuous monitoring will make it simple to find who entered into the data server.

11. Regularly Test Security Systems and Processes

Use ASVs or Approved Scanning Vendors to scan and test systems to keep security measures up-to-date and compliant. Large third-party ASV companies can perform external scans to make sure your company is compliant with anti-virus software, encryption, and other requirements. You can find a list of these vendors by clicking the link below.

List of Approved Scanning Vendors

12. Maintain a Policy that Addresses Information Security for All Personnel

Let your collection agency employees know about important security policies and how the agency protects sensitive data.

The data you collect is not just simple words and numbers. That data belongs to someone’s life. Jeopardizing that data will put the welfare of people’s living in danger. Make sure your security measures are up to date.

Did you find these steps helpful? Now that you’re on your way to making sure you have the most up-to-date security system, are you using the best auto dialer for your collection agency? If you’re not using Arbeit Dialer, then you’re not using the best software. We are going to give you a free trial of the best auto dialer software around to prove that with our software you can make more calls and cut costs. Click on the link below to get your free trial. I promise you’ll be glad you did.

How Do You Start A Collection Agency? These 5 Tips Will Help You

You’ve made your decision; you’re going to start a collection agency. Excited by your new change you stop and think to yourself, where do I even begin? What do I do? Well, the people at Arbeit have you covered. We have five great tips that you can use to help start your new collection agency.

1. Figure Out What Type of Agency You Want to Start

There are different types of collection agencies. It’s important to decide which type of agency you want to run. For example; you can buy debt and collect, have debt placed with your agency by a broker, or have a business directly place their debt with you. Deciding the best type of agency is paramount to your future success.

A Tip from our CEO:

When deciding which type of agency to start, it’s important to find an untapped sector. It’s important to find something that most people are not already collecting on. You have a better shot succeeding if you are one of the few collecting on something. For example, collecting on bail bonds.

2. Learn Debt Collection Laws

In the collection industry, you can only succeed if you are compliant. The collection industry is highly regulated. Studying debt collection laws is a great way to keep your agency away from potential TCPA lawsuits. Agencies must get a license for every state in which they are collecting. For more ways to ensure compliance, check our blogs, 5 Way’s to Avoid a TCPA Lawsuit and 5 Tips to Call Compliance.

A Tip from our CEO:

Start small and get licensed in a few areas, establish yourselves in those markets and then grow organically. As your business continues to grow, start to branch out to a few more markets. Don’t spread your business everywhere from the start as this could lead to costly mistakes. Take your time and grow your agency at a manageable pace.

3. Start Slow and Small

It’s important that you do not force anything when starting a collection agency. Don’t try to start a large agency right away. Start off slow and small and let the growth be natural, do not force it. This is important if you have no experience in the collection industry. Learn the bumps in the road and find out what it takes to make your agency successful.

4. Use Technology to Your Advantage

Automation makes the job easier for sure! It’s important to automate as much as possible. Automate things like payments through the website or anything else that can make the process easier. Also, using dialers like Arbeit Dialer and our TCPA Compliance manual dialing solution, Arbeit Click, will help to increase your agent’s productivity.

5. Educate Always

Knowledge is everything, especially in the collections industry. It is important to keep educating yourself on the latest news and trends in the world of collections. Even when you think you may know everything, the industry will change and keep on changing. An example of the ever-changing industry is the constant changing of debt collection laws. The law changes to meet the needs of both agencies and consumers. It’s even changing now as you read this blog.

One way you can keep up with industry-specific trends is by attending various conferences and events. The ACA International hold several events a year. These events are great for learning the newest collections news. One such event, the 2017 ACA International Fall Forum & Expo is happening very soon in November. If you want more reasons to attend ACA events, check out our blog  3 Reasons Why You Need to Attend ACA Events. Knowledge is a never-ending cycle with no finish line, so keep on learning.

Did you find these tips useful? Starting your own collections agency may be tough, but it is achievable. Just remember these five tips and your business will start off on the right track.

Want to learn more about some of the products mentioned in this post? Click on the button below to watch a video about Arbeit Click and see why it’s the perfect match for you, then give it a test run with a free demo.

The CFPB Proposing Changes to the Debt Collection Market



The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or CFPB for short is “a 21st century agency that helps consumer finance markets work by making rules more effective, by consistently and fairly enforcing those rules, and by empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives.” Richard Cordray, Director of the CFPB. But you may already know that. Did you know though that the CFPB is thinking of overhauling the debt collection market? Continue reading to find out more.

 

Many changes got proposed that would not only benefit consumers but may also help collectors in many aspects as well. These changes can really help bridge the gap between consumers and collectors, making for a more friendlier way to collect a debt. Below I outlined some of the changes proposed by the CFPB:

Collect the Correct Debt:

Collectors will have to show that they have enough information before beginning to collect. For example, collectors would need to have information such as:Full Name

  • Full Name
  • Last Known Address
  • Last Known Telephone Number
  • Account Number
  • Date of Default and Amount Owed at Default

Limit Excessive or Disruptive Communications:

Also, it is easier for a consumer to stop having a collector contact them a specific way. An example of this would be the specific number a collector was contacting a consumer with and at what time.

Make the Details of the Debt Clear and Understandable for Easier Disputes:

Collectors must send consumers dispute notices with “tear-off” sheets that could easily be ripped off and sent back to formally dispute their debt.

Document Debt on Demand for Disputes:

Should a consumer send back the “tear-off” sheet to dispute their debt, a collector must send them a detailed debt report substantiating the debt. The collector must send out the report to pursue the debt.

Stop Collecting or Suing for Debt Without Proper Documentation:

If a consumer disputes the debt in any way, collecting on the debt gets halted. The debt is then checked and properly validated before collectors can resume collecting the debt. Collecting on debt that lacks enough evidence that the debt is real would be prohibited.

Stop Burying the Dispute:

If a collector transfers debt that’s been disputed, then the dispute needs to get resolved before the new collector can begin to collect the debt. Collectors will need to send detailed information about the dispute to the new collector.

Debt is on the rise and with consumers and collectors at odds with one another; the CFPB is trying to change the market, leaning more toward consumer rights. But will this help ease the U.S. debt crisis? Will these changes ultimately benefit debt collectors? Time will only tell. Until then, debt collectors are the ones responsible for collecting and easing the American debt crisis. An article from The Economist, a London-based magazine talks about America’s debt and even praises third-party debt collectors. You can read the full article by clicking here. At the end of the day, collectors have a job to do and the CFPB is doing everything they can to make things easier for everyone.

Did you like this blog? If you’re looking for more interesting content in the collection industry, be sure to look for blogs on Tuesdays and learn whats going on in the collection world.

If you’re a collector and you are looking to improve your call output and minimize downtime, then our software is the solution you’ve been looking for. Arbeit Dialer will solve your phone needs. Don’t believe me? Click on the button below to request a free demo of Arbeit Dialer and see the improvements for yourself. I promise you will get hooked.

How Does Ringless Voicemail Work?

Ringless Voicemail is becoming more and more popular with collection agencies and telemarketers. What is ringless voicemail you ask? It is the practice of dropping a voicemail directly into a person’s inbox without actually ringing their phone.

There are two ways that ringless voicemail can happen. The first way is by dialing the same number twice simultaneously. When you call two numbers at the same time, one number receives a voicemail and the other number gets disconnected. However, there is a small chance that you will leave a missed call. The second way is by calling a number provided by a carrier to gain access to voicemail. Agencies call the number provided and then dial directly to the consumer’s voice mail. Carriers often attempt to make these numbers secretive so agencies are not able to find and use them to call people.

What do agencies think of Ringless Voicemail?

For collection agencies, there are many advantages to using ringless voicemail. One huge benefit to ringless voicemail is that it doesn’t violate the TCPA because no real calls are actually being made. Agencies can get their messages to customers using a predictive dialer without the risk of being hit with a TCPA lawsuit. Another major benefit that agencies enjoy with ringless voicemail is the ability to get their messages to customers with ease. Using ringless voicemail allows agencies the ability to get their message to customers without having to call them. They can go directly to voicemail, leave the message and move on to another client.

The downside of using ringless voicemail for agencies is the price. This practice of dropping voicemails is very expensive. Although the prices may vary for different reasons, typically it will cost around 10 cents per drop.

What do consumers think of Ringless Voicemail?

Many consumers are not happy with the growing use of ringless voicemail. Many people believe it is an invasion of privacy issue. Most feel as though these agencies should not have the right to drop a message directly into their voicemail without them actually receiving a call.

What does Arbeit Software think of Ringless Voicemail?

Here at Arbeit, we do not believe ringless voicemail is compliant. We strongly believe that although it is not violating the TCPA at the moment, it will be soon. The FCC is already looking into the legalities of ringless voicemail. Read this FCC article from insideARM to learn more about the FCC’s actions. When text messaging became a thing, using ringless voicemail did not violate the TCPA because it was not a call. However, the TCPA then changed the law to include text messaging. We believe the same thing will happen with ringless voicemail. The TCPA will change its laws to include ringless voicemail as violating the TCPA, even though using ringless voicemail isn’t considered calling a person.

 

At Arbeit, we make it our mission to abide by the rules and regulations of the TCPA. We want to give you the best product to meet and exceed your goals. We want you to succeed in your business and our products will help further your succession. Contact us today to learn more about our products.

Want to give us a test run? Give us a try with a free trial of our product, Arbeit Click and see for yourself what we can do for you.

3 Tips to Improve Your Skiptracing for Debt Collection

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“datePublished” : “2017-08-29”, “image” : “https://www.arbeitsoftware.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Arbeit-Logo-New-One.png”, “articleBody” : “Skiptracing is a very important aspect of collections. It is the practice of gathering data on the whereabouts of someone who owes a debt. Collection agencies make their money on collecting debt, so when they are unable to find or get in contact with someone who owes a debt, it is important the collection agency locates them. However, with so much data available today, it’s difficult sometimes to sift through it all, so we wanted to help. Here are our 3 tips to improve your skip tracing.</P><P><STRONG>1. Use Google Effectively</STRONG></P><P>When trying to find someone online, Google is a great place to start. However, it is only useful if you use it effectively. Although this may seem as if it is a very obvious tip, it’s very important. When searching for someone, if you just type their name into google, you will end up with millions of results. Using Google efficiently will give you the best chances to find the person you need</P><P><EM><STRONG>Professional Licenses</STRONG></EM></P><P>One way to use Google effectively is to search for professional licenses that the person may have. In many states, you can find a professional license online. This will often lead to a state-created profile containing some of the information you may need.</P><P><EM><STRONG>Online Resumes</STRONG></EM></P><P>Like professional licenses, online resumes posted to job sites are a great way to gather information on someone. This not only gives you information on where they may work presently, but you can gather recent data if the resume was recently updated.</P><P><STRONG>2. Use Government Sources</STRONG></P><P>When you are attempting to track down someone’s whereabouts, it could be beneficial to use government sources to quickly gather information on a person’s whereabouts. One great source to use is the US Postal Service. A Post Office can supply you with a forwarding address should they have one. The State DMV is also a great place to get a person’s new address. The DMV is notified of any change of address and will have that on record.</P><P><STRONG>3. Check with the Company Who is Owed the Debt</STRONG></P><P>Often times, the company that owed the debt has a lot of the information needed to find someone. Whether this is through credit applications, contracts, personal guarantees, orders for services, online or in-store orders, and even emails. This information can supply collectors with a lot of useful data to help track down the whereabouts of the consumer. Even if this does not give you all the information needed, it’s a very useful start!</P><P> </P><P>Debt collecting is a tough job, especially when the debtor moves around frequently. It is important to use all available to you when using your skiptracing tactics. If you’re struggling with skip tracing, the 3 major tips we discussed is a great start to improving your skiptracing tactics. Be sure to check out our next Arbeit U video on the Debt Collection 101 series. We have a special interview with Eric Neal to help continue the discussion on skiptracing, premiering on Thursday, Noon Eastern Standard Time.</P><P>Now that you’ve improved your skiptracing efforts, it’s time to improve your contact efforts. Don’t let all your hard skiptracing work go to waste. Contact your consumer efficiently and effectively with the right dialer. Arbeit Dialer makes calling consumers easy. Call more consumers while saving time and money. Get a free demo of our Dialer and have access to all of its features.”, “publisher” : { “@type” : “Organization”, “name” : “Arbeit Software”,

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Skiptracing is a very important aspect of collections. It is the practice of gathering data on the whereabouts of someone who owes a debt. Collection agencies make their money on collecting debt, so when they are unable to find or get in contact with someone who owes a debt, it is important the collection agency locates them. However, with so much data available today, it’s difficult sometimes to sift through it all, so we wanted to help. Here are our 3 tips to improve your skip tracing.

1. Use Google Effectively

When trying to find someone online, Google is a great place to start. However, it is only useful if you use it effectively. Although this may seem as if it is a very obvious tip, it’s very important. When searching for someone, if you just type their name into google, you will end up with millions of results. Using Google efficiently will give you the best chances to find the person you need

Professional Licenses

One way to use Google effectively is to search for professional licenses that the person may have. In many states, you can find a professional license online. This will often lead to a state-created profile containing some of the information you may need.

Online Resumes

Like professional licenses, online resumes posted to job sites are a great way to gather information on someone. This not only gives you information on where they may work presently, but you can gather recent data if the resume was recently updated.

2. Use Government Sources

When you are attempting to track down someone’s whereabouts, it could be beneficial to use government sources to quickly gather information on a person’s whereabouts. One great source to use is the US Postal Service. A Post Office can supply you with a forwarding address should they have one. The State DMV is also a great place to get a person’s new address. The DMV is notified of any change of address and will have that on record.

3. Check with the Company Who is Owed the Debt

Often times, the company that owed the debt has a lot of the information needed to find someone. Whether this is through credit applications, contracts, personal guarantees, orders for services, online or in-store orders, and even emails. This information can supply collectors with a lot of useful data to help track down the whereabouts of the consumer. Even if this does not give you all the information needed, it’s a very useful start!

 

Debt collecting is a tough job, especially when the debtor moves around frequently. It is important to use all available to you when using your skiptracing tactics. If you’re struggling with skip tracing, the 3 major tips we discussed is a great start to improving your skiptracing tactics. Be sure to check out our next Arbeit U video on the Debt Collection 101 series. We have a special interview with Eric Neal to help continue the discussion on skiptracing, premiering on Thursday, Noon Eastern Standard Time.

Now that you’ve improved your skiptracing efforts, it’s time to improve your contact efforts. Don’t let all your hard skiptracing work go to waste. Contact your consumer efficiently and effectively with the right dialer. Arbeit Dialer makes calling consumers easy. Call more consumers while saving time and money. Get a free demo of our Dialer and have access to all of its features.

Helpful Hiring Tips to Find New Employees for Your Collection Agency

Your company is growing at a steady rate and the workload is increasing day by day. After much deliberation from your executive managers, your company decides that it’s time to bring in more employees. The search for new talent as begun.

But finding the right people for the job is trickier than you thought. Where do you start? What do you look for in a potential new hire? How will this affect your business? Here are four tips to make hiring a new employee a little easier.

1. Publish job postings on professional hiring websites, such as LinkedIn, Indeed, and Monster.com

When seeking out new employees, make sure you consider posting employment opportunities on professional websites such as LinkedIn, Indeed, and Monster.com. With these websites, you can specifically tailor your employment postings to make sure you target the right audience. Prospects get alerts on these websites when a new job listing posted that meets the specific qualifications you require for a new hire.

Hiring Statistics

 

2. Hire people with experience as well as no experience

It is always great to find new employees that have prior work experience in the position that you are trying to fill. It is also a plus to find employees that have experience in your company’s industry. But finding new hires with zero experience in the industry and position is great. This gives you the opportunity to build the new employee into the position and teach them everything about your company. New employees with no experience have not picked up any bad habits in the related field or industry thus making it easier to train employees. Learn more about the upsides of hiring someone with no previous collection experience from this article written by the ACA International.

3. Individuals with empathy make great sales and collection representatives

Empathy is a trait that can go a long way for sales reps. Being empathetic can help connect and create relationships with the customer giving you a greater chance of making a sale or maintaining someone’s business. Everyone knows that people don’t like taking sales calls. By talking to a consumer and understanding their needs and desires, the conversation feels genuine thus creating a relationship without making it feel like a sales call. Our own Ashley Campanella mentioned this in her interview and in her blog article Feeling Like Part of the Family with Ashley Campanella.

Note: Read our latest blog, Kill’em With Kindness: Showing Empathy to Consumers and learn how empathy affects sales calls.

4. Hire personalities that fit your company’s brand

The brand of a company is more than just the name and logo. It is the culture, environment, atmosphere, and perceptions of what the company is and how they run. Your new hires will ultimately represent your brand, so hiring people with a great work ethic and a positive attitude is crucial to your company’s success. Your employees are your brand ambassadors, make sure they represent your company in a positive light.

As your company goes through many resumes finding the right person for the job, don’t forget these tips. Potential new hires with excellent skills and great talent are hiding anywhere.

 

 

Want to learn more about Arbeit Software? Click the link and visit our website.

Are you a collection agency with many employees looking to make more money and more calls? Get a Free-Trial with Arbeit Dialer and see an increased volume of calls.

Kill’em With Kindness: Showing Empathy to Consumers

Being a collector requires a particular set of skills. A key aspect that any collector should have is exceptional people skills. Have you ever heard of the term “kill’em with kindness”? Showing empathy towards your consumers is what separates the average collector from the great collectors. Collectors are on the phone constantly throughout the day, and because of this, people skills are vital for them to succeed in their job. Like they always say; “You get more bees with honey than you do vinegar”.

Being empathetic while on the phone is very important to collectors. Most consumers end up with unforeseen circumstances which ultimately leads to financial burden and debt. It is important to listen to consumers and find a way to relate to them. However, showing empathy is more than just listening. Collectors need to place themselves in the consumer’s situation and try to understand the predicament.  If collectors are able to understand how the consumer feels, they are more likely to find a plan that will work.

Never forget to smile! Although it may sound crazy, you can hear a smile over the phone.  While making calls, it is important to always been smiling and stay upbeat.  Smiling, happiness and a great attitude can make a world of difference. Collectors have to show these traits on their calls because it can transfer to a consumer.

Kindness, empathy, and people skills are also important when it comes to staying compliant.  Complaints often do not come when someone is in a good mood, they come when people are upset.  When collectors “kill’em with kindness” consumers will be in a better mood during the call which may help to decrease complaints.

If you want to find out more ways to stay compliant, check out our blog 5 Tips to Call Compliance. There are some excellent tips that you can use to stay compliant on your calls.

Practice compliance on every call with Arbeit’s auto dialer software. It’ simple and easy to use. Don’t believe me

6 General IT Tips for Collection Agencies

Working in IT can be a tough and stressful job. There are so many components to handle and they all require constant attention. You have to keep your website up and running, your servers must be operating at optimal efficiency, the co-worker’s computers must be kept up to date and running so the business can function and you need to keep data safe. In the collections field, this is no different. In fact, it may even be a bit more stressful because you need to worry about keeping sensitive information safe.

Here are 6 IT tips that any collection agency can use to make sure everything is running smoothly:

1. Have your computers secured with a password

It is vital to a collection agency to make sure that all information such as call lists and client info is kept secure in their systems. The most effortless way to protect this information is to password lock all computers.

2. Make sure a policy is in place to automatically lock the computers after inactivity

A smart way to ensure security when inactive is to auto-lock the computers after a certain period of time. If an agent has to leave his/her desk for a few minutes, there should be a policy implemented where the computer will automatically password lock again so only that specific agent can get back into their computer.

3. Never reopen an excel file once it has been saved as a CSV. (Doing this will corrupt columns such as account number, and routing number, etc.)

Once an .xlsx file is saved as a CSV, it must stay as a CSV and not be opened again in excel. If that happens, numbers (such as bank account numbers or routing numbers) can be changed or skewed, which can lead to failed payments and so on. Excel likes to simplify numbers for ease of access for the user which can mean usually using different notation. Once a number is turned into an alternate notation than its original, it cannot be changed back (or if it is, ill will be an incorrect number).

4. Avoid using excessive streaming from employees

Allowing employees to use these services such as soundcloud, spotify, youtube, and pandora on the office network can cause slow downs and poor call quality. Perhaps it would be smart to create a database solely dedicated to music downloads for your agents to listen to. Streaming uses a considerable amount of bandwidth and can really slow down or hinder the network connection in the agency, and a bad connection means poor call quality. The condition of the internet connection in the office sets the standard for the call quality as well as the quality and speed that the work can be completed. Knowingly doing anything to slow down the connection can significantly decrease the capacity for work being done.

5. Make sure you have a strong internet connection

Continuing with number four, internet connections in the office are of utmost importance to a collection agency. If the connectivity is poor operations will be poor and things like call quality, which is the base of operation for an agency, can hinder the performance of the agents and the office as a whole. Most issues in a collections office will stem from a poor internet connection.

6. Regularly  check your numbers for bad reviews

Phone numbers can be checked for reviews by customers on multiple sites online. If there are multiple 800 numbers in your call list, you may want to check them for reviews or a manager or someone might prompt an agent to check it out and make sure it’s not a waste of time to call. Eliminating these types of numbers from call lists can lead to elevated answer rates.

 

Just by following these 6 tips, you will be able to improve the overall quality of the work environment. At the end of the day, the business needs to bring in revenue and making sure that all equipment is operating at peak performance is IT’s primary role.

 

Want to learn more about Arbeit Software and what we do? Visit our website at www.arbeitsoftware.com or call us and learn more.