There are many ways to evaluate commercial debt collection agencies. The objective of your evaluation is to hold your agency partner accountable by clearly establishing your working models, KPIs, and your SLA to create a full scope of work. You'll consider a variety of performance factors, both quantitative and qualitative, and hold these up against your own expectations as well as defined industry standards.
Ultimately, the bottom-line benefit you receive from your collection agency partner will outweigh any single evaluation factor or KPI. This is a partnership between the agency and the client, and the client will have to hold the agency accountable for recovery rate and times, data reporting, and how the overall partnership is going.
With that said, the following metrics are certainly important to consider when determining who your ideal collections partner will be.
Recovery Rate & Times
Likely the most obvious evaluation factor will be a collection agency's demonstrated recovery times and rates. In other words, how long does it take for your agency to recover outstanding debts, and what percentage of outstanding debts are recovered from delinquent accounts?
These factors may vary based on the size and nature of the debts as well as the quality and quantity of the information you have to provide to your agency about your delinquent accounts.
Data is a huge consideration in the debt collections industry. As a client, you should expect your collection agency to deliver added value to your operations through accurate, detailed data reporting. You'll need to evaluate both how the agency reports its own metrics internally as well as how precisely and reliably they're able to report on the KPIs and metrics you require from them.
You should also expect a premier collection agency to provide some level of assistance to help ensure your team gets better at understanding your debt collection processes as well as your approach to credit screening. The bottom line is that the best collections agencies won't just report numbers to you. Instead, they'll help you go beyond raw metrics to leverage your data for ongoing operational improvement.
Client Relationship: Service, Fees, & Communications
The final factor we're exploring is more qualitative: every aspect of the overall relationship your debt collection agency provides. It starts with the speed and reliability of communications between your organizations, at every level. Can every member of your team get a timely response from key stakeholders on their team?
Overall service, support, and reputation are additional key considerations. Is your agency partner flexible to any changing requests you may have? How comfortable are you and your staff with them? Is their fee structure clear and easy-to-understand, or are you getting dinged with additional fees you didn't previously discuss? Does the agency receive more than its fair share of complaints?
You should always be able to contact your collection agency partner easily so that you are readily able to hold them accountable to the full scope-of-work on which you've agreed. If you or your staff are in any way uncomfortable with the relationship, or if your partner doesn't meet any of your requirements, then you're probably doing business with the wrong debt collection agency.
How the NSB Process Streamlines Debt Collections for Your Business Needs
National Service Bureau (NSB) has a proven history of outperforming our competitors in the debt collection arena in terms of every key qualitative and quantitative performance metric. Our debt collections process is designed to be fully compliant with state and local laws as well as being as clear and effective as possible in recovering debt from delinquent accounts of all types and sizes. The results we routinely deliver and our outstanding track record of unmatched service and support ensure each of our clients enjoy maximized quantitative performance along with a superior relationship.