By and large, though, collection professionals spend their days at call centers, headsets attached, hunting down debtors in a pressure cooker of a workplace environment. Collection agents are expected to reach performance “quotas” and can lose their jobs if they don’t meet their debt recovery standards. Most also work at night and on weekends, when consumers are usually at home.
When they get to work, collections agent more or less follow the following schedule (courtesy of American Credit and Collections Blog):
- Review their “tickler file” or listing of accounts that need to be followed up with or contacted on that particular day.
- Return all calls left on answering service by debtors & clients.
- Go through postal mail for payments, post them to accounts, send out thank you for your payment letters and deposit checks.
- Start making collection calls.
- Process any dunning (collection) letters that need to be sent out that day.
- Deal with answering the phone and questions from clients and debtors.
No doubt, there is no shortage of collections agents who give the industry a black eye. They threaten, they harass, they personalize the call in a negative way, and they don’t always have their facts straight.
But far more collection professionals are just like the rest of the workforce – trying to make a buck and put food on the table for their families. Maybe we can keep that in mind the next time the phone rings from a collection agent – and a human being is on the other end of the line.
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