There's unquestionably a stigma associated with collection agencies, and I believe it is up to people like me within the industry to change it.
Here are 6 commonplace debt collection stereotypes that business owners and AR managers should stop believing:
1. All collection agencies are the same.
While it’s true many agencies are built on very similar practices and fee structures, there are numerous differences in how they operate, train, manage files, motivate staff, communicate and perform core tasks. Most agencies have changed very little over the years, while the best employ the latest automation technologies. As you might guess, success rates range across a broad spectrum. It’s worth a careful investigation of any collection agency you are considering, because it’s your customers and brand reputation at stake. Read online reviews, check the BBB and even pay an in-person visit to an agency you’re considering.
2. Serious debt collection requires a heavy hammer.
This is a dangerous myth, and even many in the industry still abide by it. The best way to collect any debt is through collaboration and problem solving, never threats and intimidation.
3. Debtors deserve (and need) shaming.
So wrong. Debtors are generally good people facing tough problems. At my business, Respect is our mantra, and it works for us in all situations. Our job is tohelp debtors find ways to make good on their obligation, and we’re the best in the business at doing it with respect and professionalism.
4. Given time, most debtors eventually pay up.
That would be nice, but statistics tell us otherwise. With every passing day, the likelihood of collecting any debt declines significantly. Try this tool to find out in real-time what money owed to you is worth.
5. Collection agencies are sad, dead-end workplaces.
I include this one because we’re on a recruitment drive at MetCredit and are looking for bright and motivated collectors. My team and I love to shatter collection agency stereotypes, and there is nowhere we do it better than within our own offices with great administrative, management and call centre jobs in Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto and Montréal. Check out our job board for more info—or read my personal success story.
6. If a collection agency can collect it, so can I.
There is a reason top collection agencies like mine are hired by the collections departments of banks, telecommunication giants and even law firms. We are specialists at commercial debt collection and do it very, very well. In fact, we usually collect within days on accounts that have been outstanding for months.
If you’ve got a debt collection myth that needs busting, share it with me in the comments or via email. There are many, and I’ve included just a few here. In continuing to build the collection agency of the future, my mission is to constantly rise above all negative industry stigma, both real and imaginary.