Member Alert: Message from ACA International President Roger Weiss

Tips to guide you through working with your employees and consumers.

3/17/2020 10:30 AM

DailyNewsCOVID-19
Member Alert: Message from ACA International President Roger Weiss

Fellow Members,

Here we are again with adversity staring us in the face. We cannot blink or freeze. We must act. Too many people and too much depends on how we respond to this opportunity. You read that correctly.

From my perspective, we have four groups that we need to be considerate of with our decisions and actions at this time. When making decisions and taking actions, please remember to remain calm, confident, compassionate, and empathetic.

First and foremost, we must consider our employees and what they are physically, mentally, emotionally and psychologically dealing with. They may be faced with their children’s schools being closed, or with high-risk loved ones, or fear for their own well-being. I urge you to employ some generous (yet affordable) attendance policies. Whereas the government has not yet intervened, I am certain that many employees and smaller businesses will receive financial assistance. I’ve heard of companies currently offering the spectrum of options including work at home, take sick/vacation time, unpaid leave, or even additional paid leave. In any regard, if you don’t provide support and options for your employees and force them to be in an office where their every moment is laden with fear, you will not receive quality or productive work, you will demolish their morale, and you will eradicate any loyalty they currently have. Conversely, if you provide options and support you could build morale, loyalty and trust.

Additionally, this is a great time to hone some collector skills and focus on compassion and empathy as well as time management and how to maintain a positive attitude through adversity.

Consumers need to be considered. Many of them are concerned about paying for food and health care and may very well move us to an afterthought. Collectors, when speaking with consumers, need to demonstrate more compassion and empathy than ever before. This may very well be an opportunity to establish a “hardship” arrangement for 90 days then begin (or resume) larger payments. Consumers will, without a doubt, be more volatile and prone to becoming irate. Coach collectors on how to work through that anger and frustration to create a win-win for both the consumer and collector. Additionally, you may be able to extend the period prior to reporting a debt to consume reporting agencies. Explaining this to the consumer may allay their concerns and create a rapport you need to establish a repayment plan. We all need to shift our paradigm slightly to accept that even though we cannot collect the balance today, by working with the consumer, we may be able to move them into a repayment mindset and update a ton of information.

With consideration of our clients, we need to communicate with them to clarify their expectations and begin a dialogue to prepare them for the potential of diminished recovery. It’s still early in what I believe we will see, and I’ve already been asked to stop making calls in some cases; while in others I’ve been asked how we intend to continue to make calls until business as usual return. Discuss your clients’ SLAs and restrictions, and work to develop a plan that everyone is aware of and knows what to expect. Many of our clients depend on our efforts and our collections as a critical part of their revenue. They need to be communicated with as part of a team effort now more than ever.

Finally, reach out in your community. With schools closed and supply chain interruptions, I believe we have an inherent social obligation to assist those who are unable to help themselves. In my opinion, this includes children, elderly neighbors, those with high-risk health conditions and people who rely on food banks and shelters. Help them by providing a meal, some staple groceries and hygiene supplies, or simply words of encouragement through a phone call, email, text or social media message. Part of this is to respect the process that is needed to subdue the spread of the virus, so continue to practice social distancing and handwashing (new idea I know). Don’t approach this as if you are trying not to get it. Assume you have it and approach it as if you don’t want to spread it.

We will persevere this adversity and it will make us stronger. Let’s all communicate and share ideas to make one another stronger.

Be safe and stay sane.

Roger Weiss

President, Board of Directors, ACA International. 

Video: Leading and Reframing the Negademic. Featuring Mark Neeb and Jon Goldman


Follow ACA International on Twitter @ACAIntl and @acacollector, Facebook and request to join our LinkedIn group for news and event updates. ACA International members are welcome to submit news items for possible publication to comm@acainternational.org. Visit our publications page for news submission guidelines and subscriptions to ACA Daily, Collector magazine and Pulse.

Advertising is available for companies wishing to promote their products or services. Be sure to visit the ACA Events Calendar on the Education and Training page to view our listing of upcoming CORE Curriculum and Hot Topic seminars featuring critical educational opportunities for your company.


Subscribe to ACA Daily NEWSROOM

Member Alert: Message from ACA International President Roger Weiss

Fellow Members,

Here we are again with adversity staring us in the face. We cannot blink or freeze. We must act. Too many people and too much depends on how we respond to this opportunity. You read that correctly.

From my perspective, we have four groups that we need to be considerate of with our decisions and actions at this time. When making decisions and taking actions, please remember to remain calm, confident, compassionate, and empathetic.

First and foremost, we must consider our employees and what they are physically, mentally, emotionally and psychologically dealing with. They may be faced with their children’s schools being closed, or with high-risk loved ones, or fear for their own well-being. I urge you to employ some generous (yet affordable) attendance policies. Whereas the government has not yet intervened, I am certain that many employees and smaller businesses will receive financial assistance. I’ve heard of companies currently offering the spectrum of options including work at home, take sick/vacation time, unpaid leave, or even additional paid leave. In any regard, if you don’t provide support and options for your employees and force them to be in an office where their every moment is laden with fear, you will not receive quality or productive work, you will demolish their morale, and you will eradicate any loyalty they currently have. Conversely, if you provide options and support you could build morale, loyalty and trust.

Additionally, this is a great time to hone some collector skills and focus on compassion and empathy as well as time management and how to maintain a positive attitude through adversity.

Consumers need to be considered. Many of them are concerned about paying for food and health care and may very well move us to an afterthought. Collectors, when speaking with consumers, need to demonstrate more compassion and empathy than ever before. This may very well be an opportunity to establish a “hardship” arrangement for 90 days then begin (or resume) larger payments. Consumers will, without a doubt, be more volatile and prone to becoming irate. Coach collectors on how to work through that anger and frustration to create a win-win for both the consumer and collector. Additionally, you may be able to extend the period prior to reporting a debt to consume reporting agencies. Explaining this to the consumer may allay their concerns and create a rapport you need to establish a repayment plan. We all need to shift our paradigm slightly to accept that even though we cannot collect the balance today, by working with the consumer, we may be able to move them into a repayment mindset and update a ton of information.

With consideration of our clients, we need to communicate with them to clarify their expectations and begin a dialogue to prepare them for the potential of diminished recovery. It’s still early in what I believe we will see, and I’ve already been asked to stop making calls in some cases; while in others I’ve been asked how we intend to continue to make calls until business as usual return. Discuss your clients’ SLAs and restrictions, and work to develop a plan that everyone is aware of and knows what to expect. Many of our clients depend on our efforts and our collections as a critical part of their revenue. They need to be communicated with as part of a team effort now more than ever.

Finally, reach out in your community. With schools closed and supply chain interruptions, I believe we have an inherent social obligation to assist those who are unable to help themselves. In my opinion, this includes children, elderly neighbors, those with high-risk health conditions and people who rely on food banks and shelters. Help them by providing a meal, some staple groceries and hygiene supplies, or simply words of encouragement through a phone call, email, text or social media message. Part of this is to respect the process that is needed to subdue the spread of the virus, so continue to practice social distancing and handwashing (new idea I know). Don’t approach this as if you are trying not to get it. Assume you have it and approach it as if you don’t want to spread it.

We will persevere this adversity and it will make us stronger. Let’s all communicate and share ideas to make one another stronger.

Be safe and stay sane.

Roger Weiss

President, Board of Directors, ACA International. 

Video: Leading and Reframing the Negademic. Featuring Mark Neeb and Jon Goldman


Follow ACA International on Twitter @ACAIntl and @acacollector, Facebook and request to join our LinkedIn group for news and event updates. ACA International members are welcome to submit news items for possible publication to comm@acainternational.org. Visit our publications page for news submission guidelines and subscriptions to ACA Daily, Collector magazine and Pulse.

Advertising is available for companies wishing to promote their products or services. Be sure to visit the ACA Events Calendar on the Education and Training page to view our listing of upcoming CORE Curriculum and Hot Topic seminars featuring critical educational opportunities for your company.


Subscribe to ACA Daily NEWSROOM

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