Your Reputation is Your Most Valuable Asset.
At Access, your reputation and the way we collect from your delinquent customer is as important as the percentage we recover. You may think, “What does Nice People Collect More have to do with my business”? the answer is – quite a bit. In today’s business environment, today’s delinquent customer can be tomorrow’s new customer. In a traditional commercial collection approach, the agency or creditor either collects the balance or litigates the debt within 90 days. Although this model has worked well for many years, it does not bode well for the ever changing dynamics of the business to business space today and slow court systems. Companies and agencies that develop a caring and consultative approach with their customers in good times and bad can anticipate problems in advance and prevent some catastrophic losses. That is the goal at Access, to create a win-win and preserve the potential for future business.
Less Litigation, More Negotiation
Access has proven that a less litigious and professional approach returns higher percentages while maintaining the goodwill in the client-customer relationship. As a result, many Fortune 500 companies have chosen Access as their collection representative. Our commercial division is staffed with experts that handle each account from start to finish. They are excellent communicators and business professionals that are well versed on the nuances surrounding various industries including: transportation, media, manufacturing, insurance, business services, software, and more. We also handle international debts successfully for many of our commercial clients. Access also has a full service legal department where necessary to manage any account through the legal process effectively. We do not fast track accounts through the legal process unless there is a fundamental reason to move quickly. When there is such a reason, we can have suit filed within a few days. These are exceptions rather than the rule. A lawsuit today gives the debtor an extended period on months or even years to address the situation and it frequently settles for pennies on a dollar on the steps of the courthouse. Our goal is to work with the debtor, educate them obn their credit, resolve any disputes and resolve the balance quickly and without additional costs.
Why Credit Matters
A better approach is negotiation. When the debtor says “Sue Me”: or “I Don’t Care”, we simply tell them that it is our responsibility to report their debt to commercial credit bureaus within 90 days if there is no “valid” dispute and they are unwilling to resolve the debt in a reasonable period. We also point them to a new website we have created, www.whycreditmatters.net. We explain that in a post 2009 environment, their personal credit and their business credit are almost one in the same. Also, we give them the facts that their credit report is being viewed at least 100 times per year by all of their creditors for behavioral scoring and credit scoring purposes. This approach is less adversarial than the legal approach which the debtor expects and in some cases prefers. The result of our less adversarial and educational approach has been greater cooperation, admission of a problem, better open communication and higher resolutions. In 2012, a less adversarial approach coupled with real credit education is the right way to resolve a higher percentage of accounts over a shorter period with less cost. It’s simple, before a debtor will pay the bill, they must understand it is really in their best interest.
Current Small Business Collection Trends and the case study for “Nice People Collect More”.
Most collection accounts placed eminate from small businesses. There are roughly 6 million small businesses in operation today – Eighty-Five percent (85%) generate less than $1,000,000 in annual revenue. These enterprises make up over 95 percent of businesses in the United States and one-fifth of total revenues. Many of these businesses are the ones feeling the most pain in our current economic downturn. For example, one of the areas Access has focused on traditionally is insurance. the insurance industry has seen a significant downturn in commercial lines “earned premium” over the last few years because typically, premiums for things like workers compensation insurance are based on payrolls. most of the business we receive from P&C companies are construction or hospitality related. These industries are clearly having difficulties.
What’s in a Name?
One of the problems for creditors over the years was that some dishonest business owners would simply open a new bank account and start a new company periodically and let the old company die a slow death. The subtle name change was transparent to their customers, but to creditors it was a problem. They would put the new company in their wife’s name, child’s name or worse. Since credit for businesses and consumers was widely available, it was easier to get credit within 30 days opening a new bank account. Personal guarantees and social security numbers were not required by the creditor and were not always required as a condition of obtaining credit. In the last few years, this practice is changing rapidly as savvy lenders view small businesses more like consumers. Without credit and business credit cards, small businesses cannot survive.
View a Small Business Customer Like a Consumer
Studies over recent years have shown the following: Small business online purchasing and payment behavior mirrors consumer behavior. On many levels, the online payment preferences of small businesses are very similar to that of consumers. Preferences begin to diverge as the small businesses annual revenue grows or as the years the small business has been in operation increase.
• Credit is an important feature of any payment method. Not surprisingly, for a majority of small businesses, corporate cards and other payment instruments tied to credit are the payment devices of choice. But there is also a growing interest by Small businesses in alternative products tied to checking products.
Our Approach Works Better
Access combines expert collection negotiation with it’s credit education programs (www.whycreditmatters.net). The result is 40% higher returns than traditional methods, (Huffington Post, June 2012), few complaints, happier customers and fewer legal expenses. If your company is concerned about its’ reputation and who isn’t, Access is the logical choice.