From Collector: Training Tips from ACA International Member Tony Diaz

Real-world experiences from members in the field.

12/13/2019 9:30 AM

NewsCollector Magazine
From Collector: Training Tips from ACA International Member Tony Diaz

This month, Collector magazine Managing Editor Anne Rosso May talked with Tony Diaz, trainer specialist for Professional Finance Company, to learn how he turned traditional role playing on its head—taking it from a cheesy acting exercise to an immersive learning experience.

The Problem: Traditional Role Playing Can Be Ineffective and Awkward

When I first started out as a trainer, we did your everyday role playing. All trainers know the drill: You think of a situation you want to address, and then you play the role of the consumer while the trainee is the collector. But that doesn’t really mimic a real-life situation because it gives the trainee an opportunity to stop and say, “Wait, what do I do here?” And what you want to do is get them ready for life on the phone when they don’t have the ability to press pause like that all the time. Plus, at that point in the training they are used to hearing my voice—a traditional role-playing scenario doesn’t have the same impact as hearing a real consumer talk.

The Solution: Use Strategically Redacted Calls in Role-Playing Scenarios

One day when we were listening to good calls and bad calls in our review process with new hires, I came to a call and I stopped it before the collector on the call responded. I asked a trainee, “What do you think you should say here?” We went back and forth about a possible response, and then we listened to what the collector actually said. It was perfect because we got to hear a real-life situation but also engage with the call and get people actively thinking about how they would handle it. I decided to use this in all my new-hire training.

Usually I’ll take a call and use our audio tools to redact the collector’s responses so you just hear the consumer. I might pull calls where I know what was said or I might just use a random call. This gives us more real-life scenarios for trainees. They pay closer attention, too, because it’s a call they could actually get some day. In training you can’t cover every random thing that can happen on the phone, so this gives them a new perspective on what can happen on a live call. Now we do this more than traditional role playing and it’s something trainees have really responded to.

If you’re interested in training at your company, consider our Trainer Specialist curriculum. ACA’s Trainer Specialist Program, next scheduled for Jan. 21-23, 2020, recognizes and supports individuals responsible for training in their organization. As a trainer specialist, you will be equipped with the necessary tools and techniques to facilitate training for both ACA’s Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and ACA’s Essential Collection Skills and Techniques at your location. In addition, your staff will meet the necessary requirements to apply for the Professional Collection Specialist designation. Learn more and register on our events page.

ACA’s comprehensive online education, including Core Curriculum webinars, Hot Topic webinars and webinar recordings, is also now available in one affordable package for member companies through the All Access Training Zone.

Subscriptions to the Collector magazine digital edition and email notifications for each new issue are available for ACA International members by logging in to ACA International’s website here. Members and nonmembers can also purchase a print subscription. Nonmembers can create a guest profile on ACA’s website to subscribe to available publications.


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

From Collector: Training Tips from ACA International Member Tony Diaz

This month, Collector magazine Managing Editor Anne Rosso May talked with Tony Diaz, trainer specialist for Professional Finance Company, to learn how he turned traditional role playing on its head—taking it from a cheesy acting exercise to an immersive learning experience.

The Problem: Traditional Role Playing Can Be Ineffective and Awkward

When I first started out as a trainer, we did your everyday role playing. All trainers know the drill: You think of a situation you want to address, and then you play the role of the consumer while the trainee is the collector. But that doesn’t really mimic a real-life situation because it gives the trainee an opportunity to stop and say, “Wait, what do I do here?” And what you want to do is get them ready for life on the phone when they don’t have the ability to press pause like that all the time. Plus, at that point in the training they are used to hearing my voice—a traditional role-playing scenario doesn’t have the same impact as hearing a real consumer talk.

The Solution: Use Strategically Redacted Calls in Role-Playing Scenarios

One day when we were listening to good calls and bad calls in our review process with new hires, I came to a call and I stopped it before the collector on the call responded. I asked a trainee, “What do you think you should say here?” We went back and forth about a possible response, and then we listened to what the collector actually said. It was perfect because we got to hear a real-life situation but also engage with the call and get people actively thinking about how they would handle it. I decided to use this in all my new-hire training.

Usually I’ll take a call and use our audio tools to redact the collector’s responses so you just hear the consumer. I might pull calls where I know what was said or I might just use a random call. This gives us more real-life scenarios for trainees. They pay closer attention, too, because it’s a call they could actually get some day. In training you can’t cover every random thing that can happen on the phone, so this gives them a new perspective on what can happen on a live call. Now we do this more than traditional role playing and it’s something trainees have really responded to.

If you’re interested in training at your company, consider our Trainer Specialist curriculum. ACA’s Trainer Specialist Program, next scheduled for Jan. 21-23, 2020, recognizes and supports individuals responsible for training in their organization. As a trainer specialist, you will be equipped with the necessary tools and techniques to facilitate training for both ACA’s Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and ACA’s Essential Collection Skills and Techniques at your location. In addition, your staff will meet the necessary requirements to apply for the Professional Collection Specialist designation. Learn more and register on our events page.

ACA’s comprehensive online education, including Core Curriculum webinars, Hot Topic webinars and webinar recordings, is also now available in one affordable package for member companies through the All Access Training Zone.

Subscriptions to the Collector magazine digital edition and email notifications for each new issue are available for ACA International members by logging in to ACA International’s website here. Members and nonmembers can also purchase a print subscription. Nonmembers can create a guest profile on ACA’s website to subscribe to available publications.


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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