As a debt collector, you've probably noticed significant changes in the debt collection industry over the years. With the rise of digital debt collections came a shift in the way collectors are able to interact with customers. As such, many employees had to shift their workflows to adjust to new standards. Let’s take a look at how you could benefit from employee training and the critical role collectors play in adopting new communication methods in this new digital era.
Benefits of employee training in numbers
Employee training is considered one of the most important processes any organization should include. In the ever-changing world of debt collection, this is truer than ever.
If you are the future-minded employers we know you are, take a look at how employee training can completely change the future outcome of your business:
- 70% of workers feel unqualified for their positions.
- 74% of workers believe they have significant unrealized potential and would benefit greatly from additional training.
- A staggering 94% of workers say they'll stay for longer with a company that invests in their training.
- Training employees results in a 21% increase in earnings for the company.
- Training programs have been shown to increase a company's bottom line by 24%.
To unlock the benefits of employee training, one must understand how to implement it effectively. And you should implement it because research indicates that businesses stand to lose as much as $13.5 million per thousand employees every year due to inefficient training. It’s 2023; we’re trying to make money, not lose it.
Here are the key components you need to focus on in order to efficiently train your team in the digital debt collection landscape.
Key Components of Employee Training in Digital Debt Collection
To make the most of digital debt collection, it's essential to provide comprehensive training to your employees, focusing on the following aspects:
Understanding digital debt collection tools and platforms
Equip your organization with an advanced collections platform like Arrears, and ensure your team is well-versed in the various digital tools surrounding it, such as CRM systems, communication channels (email, SMS, chatbots), data analytics, and reporting tools. Take advantage of account managers, resource pages, and help centers on the platforms you use. The more you know, the easier it will be to train your organization.
To optimize productivity, be sure to provide thorough training on how to integrate these tools with one another for streamlined data sharing.
Developing soft skills for digital communication
Make sure to help your employees develop the necessary soft skills to communicate effectively with customers through digital channels. This includes empathy and emotional intelligence to understand customers' needs, effective written communication to convey information clearly, active listening, and problem-solving to address customers' concerns.
You’ll also want to teach your team how to adapt their communication styles to different customer personalities and situations, enabling them to tailor their approach for improved outcomes in debt recovery.
Ensuring regulatory compliance and data security
As always, one cannot write an article on debt collection without mentioning compliance at least once. You’ve made it to that point.
It’s important to train your team on the relevant laws and regulations governing debt collection and emphasize the importance of adhering to data privacy and security protocols. This may involve familiarizing them with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and explaining the proper procedures for handling sensitive customer information.
Moreover, educate them on the specific data protection regulations applicable in different jurisdictions, ensuring that they are well equipped to handle cross-border debt collection cases and maintain compliance with international laws.
Best Practices for Employee Training in Digital Debt Collection
To create an effective training program for digital debt collection, consider implementing the following best practices:
Implementing a blended learning approach
Combine different training methods to cater to various learning styles and preferences. This may include instructor-led training sessions, online learning modules, and hands-on practice with digital tools. For instance, you can organize a workshop on using chatbots for debt collection, followed by a series of online tutorials for further learning.
Besides helping to better train your current employees, another advantage of creating shareable content is that new employees will also get up to speed with the organization’s best practices considerably faster and cheaper.
Establishing clear goals and expectations
Define success metrics and align your training program with organizational objectives. This will help your employees understand the purpose of the training and motivate them to apply their newly acquired skills in their daily work. You might set goals such as improving debt recovery rates or reducing customer complaints.
At Arrears, we use the Week-In-Progress (WIP) method, where we talk through what we did the week prior, what we want to accomplish during the week, and if there are any potential obstacles.
Encouraging continuous learning and development
Promote a culture of ongoing learning by offering regular training opportunities and providing access to industry resources, webinars, and knowledge-sharing platforms. Encourage your employees to stay informed about the latest trends and developments in digital debt collection and share their insights with their colleagues.
Measuring the Success of Employee Training in Digital Debt Collection
Graph depicting the improvement in digital debt collection metrics after employee training
To evaluate the effectiveness of your training program, consider the following measures:
Assessing employee performance
Track improvements in efficiency and effectiveness resulting from the training, and monitor customer satisfaction and feedback. For example, you can measure the reduction in average time spent on each case, or, the increase in successful debt recovery rates.
Additionally, consider monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs) such as the number of resolved disputes, the percentage of accounts collected, and employee productivity metrics.
Gathering this data will help you gain a comprehensive understanding of how well your employees are applying the skills they've learned during training and the overall impact on your organization's performance.
Monitoring compliance and risk management
Regularly review your compliance with relevant regulations and assess your risk management strategies to ensure that your employees are adhering to the best practices learned during training. You can conduct periodic audits or introduce self-assessment checklists for employees to evaluate their compliance with the FDCPA and other regulations.
Additionally, establish a robust internal reporting system for potential compliance issues and encourage employees to report any concerns or violations. This proactive approach will enable you to identify and address compliance risks in a timely manner, ensuring that your digital debt collection practices remain in line with industry standards and legal requirements.
Evaluating return on investment (ROI)
Analyze the financial impact of your training program by comparing the costs of training to the benefits achieved, such as increased debt recovery or reduced operational expenses. This will help you determine if your investment in employee training is yielding the desired results and inform any necessary adjustments to your training strategy.
Investing in employee training is crucial for successfully adopting digital debt collection methods. By equipping your team with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate the digital landscape, you can reap the numerous benefits associated with digital debt collection:
- Enhanced efficiency and effectiveness: Automated processes and tools can streamline your operations, reduce errors, and help you manage your caseload more effectively.
- Improved customer experience: Digital communication channels enable more personalized and convenient interactions with customers, increasing the likelihood of successful debt recovery.
- Reduced operational costs: By automating manual tasks and reducing reliance on traditional communication methods, you can lower your overall expenses.
- Better compliance with regulations: Digital tools can help you stay up-to-date with the latest regulations and maintain compliance more easily.
- Leveraging data analytics for decision-making: With digital debt collection, you can gather valuable insights from data to make informed decisions and improve your strategies.
Don't underestimate the potential of digital debt collection and the importance of a well-trained workforce.