Aaron Reiter By Aaron Reiter • April 18, 2018

You Don't Know What You Don't Know About Collections

2 Minutes
Have you ever heard of the chaos theory? 
 If you watched the original Jurassic Park, Jeff Goldblum’s character does a good job of explaining it.
The long and short of the theory is that everything is connected and everything is constantly changing based on how everything interacts with everything else. As it was put in the movie - a butterfly can flap its wings in China, and in Central Park you get rain instead of sunshine. 
If you believe that everything is connected and that small changes in one area can have big impacts in other areas then you’re most likely a curious person. And curiosity is good because it fuels exploration and advancement!
Collection agencies should be explorers and believers in chaos theory as well. Collection agencies should constantly be testing their strategies and decisions to make sure they are maximizing their right-party contacts and collection rates - especially as the demographics and habits of their consumers continually evolve. The only way to truly and systematically improve those areas is by making informed decisions about how to change dialing campaigns, letter campaigns, and other operational choices. 
New Call-to-actionThe chorus of agency executives who are shouting that compliance and legal rulings dictate what needs to be said on the phone and what needs to be included in a letter closes any door that could lead to experimentation can no doubt be heard around the country. But, there are a lot of areas that agencies can — and should — test. 
For example, have you ever considered looking at the most common questions that are asked when individuals call into your agency and consider how you might be able to address those questions without them ever needing to be asked? Or, have you analyzed traffic to your website and analyzed better places to put a “Make a Payment” button? Have you tested different voices within your IVR to see if the response rate changes? Have you asked people if they would like to receive text message reminders when a payment is due? 
The list of ideas that can be tested is endless. And, to be fair, some ideas are just too far out there to warrant being tested. However, creating a culture of curiosity and testing can be an essential component to building an agency that is interested in doing more than just the status quo, or what everyone else is doing.
Analysis and testing will create a culture of change within an organization, and everyone within the organization will feed off of that curiosity.