Tales from the Trenches of Debt Management
How old is your car? I have always delayed changing/upgrading my car for as long as possible. They lose value the second you drive them off the dealer lot. And at the end of the day, a car’s purpose is to get you from point A to point B. So long as it does that, many of us will spend whatever time and money necessary to keep our car running…and avoid buying a new one. In my many years in collections and recovery, I often thought the same way about the technology in my operation.
But the key difference between the decision to replace your car, and the decision to replace your debt management solution is who is impacted. In the case of your car, it is YOU. You may be fine continuing to spend more time with the mechanic fixing your car. I replaced my car a couple of years back (an 18-year-old car) because I wanted the technological advancements that my car did not have: GPS, Bluetooth, etc. But your debt management solution affects more than you! It affects your firm’s results, your productivity, your employees, and most importantly, your customers. And let’s be clear – maintaining an aging debt management solution is expensive, both in direct costs and opportunity costs of lost functionality, agility & flexibility.
Many of you have a debt management solution that is decades old. And it may have been the best and most innovative at the time. It’s like that brand new car you bought 20 years ago…it was shiny and had that new car smell. But ask yourself…How does it smell now? What are you missing with your debt management solution? How many of your technology resources (the mechanics of IT) are dedicated to maintaining your solution with all the bolt-on software and hardware added to keep your solution running? How much compliance risk are you vulnerable to because of all the applications, software, and hardware needed to run your operation each day? And what about your employees? How much toggling, screen scrolling, etc. do they need to do to complete their work? How much productivity is lost? What are the opportunity costs of ‘doing nothing’?
Most importantly, what is your customer’s experience? How many times do they need to repeat information? Can they conduct business with you in a way that meets their expectations? Is everyone in your operation well-versed in identifying the best resolution for your customer’s situation? After working with your company, what do they think of your brand? There was a time long ago when leaders did not worry about the perspective of delinquent customers, viewing them as debtors. We now know that this is not true. A customer is a customer whether they are current or past due, and their experience matters.
The biggest and inescapable issue is that as long as your solution is built on decades old architecture, your ability to be successful dwindles with each passing year. The older the system, the more likely it is that you are spending inordinate amounts of money and time to maintain it, to keep it barely functional…or going from point A to point B. Meanwhile, your tech debt continues to skyrocket, your employees are less productive, reaching your goals gets harder, and your compliance exposure increases.
As we begin 2024, is it time to look at your debt management solution and turn it in for a new, innovative solution? Is it time to look at a cloud-native solution that is configurable, and can be easily changed as your priorities change? Would your employees appreciate a solution that is easy to navigate, and has scripting ensuring your employees know what hardship assistance is available? A solution that allows you to reach your customers in their preferred channel of communication. A solution that allows you to reduce your compliance risk AND your overall technology spend.
If you are ready to get that new tech smell, we would love to hear from you. We are Telrock Systems, providers of the most innovative collections and recovery solution, Optimus.