TCN’s Top Takeaways from the ACA’s Committee of 100 Meeting
ACA’s International Committee of 100 meeting provides invaluable insights into the collections industry. During the 2023 C100 event, attendees were given the opportunity to evolve leadership, engage in dialogue and enhance team productivity through sessions designed to improve organizations. While in attendance, TCN found five top takeaways that stuck out.
The changing landscape of mergers and acquisitions
Collection agencies are among the many negatively impacted by the changes running throughout the economy. While mergers and acquisitions have played a significant part in the collections industry to help companies grow and expand while allowing others to continue functioning as they are acquired, these economic changes have significantly impacted this industry. For years, larger businesses have traditionally acquired smaller organizations to grow their influence and bottom line. Often, these acquisitions cannot be made with cash deals, so credit has been the failsafe for these organizations needing to make a quick purchase. As access to money has grown scarce, companies’ ability to acquire assets has diminished.
Larger companies are losing out on much-needed growth without the opportunity to obtain smaller companies and take on their clients and staff. In contrast, smaller businesses have to close their doors as they cannot get enough money through merging as they would have in the past.
Omnichannel isn’t optional
Everyone has seen a shift in communication preferences among consumers in recent years. Contact center agencies are beginning to realize multichannel contact methods are no longer optional, but are instead the price of admission and are beginning to adopt them more widely. Though these advancements are necessary and help lead contact centers in the right direction, there is much frustration surrounding SMS and emails not getting through to consumers as well as call labeling and blocking. All contact centers can do is make sure they comply with all regulations and utilize every tool available to them to connect with their consumer.
The road to regulating compliance
As regulations continue to change, the overall regulatory landscape remains unfavorable to the ARM industry. Collection agencies should expect an ever-growing list of restrictions and regulations that must be addressed and strictly followed to protect their business from penalties and lawsuits. Now more than ever, it is vital to have a robust compliance suite, like TCN’s, to create and maintain a defense against the unyielding hammer of compliance that threatens to collapse any organization that stands non-compliant.
Medical debt, further complicating collections
Collections has always been a challenging field, especially for the agents making the collections. These agents need every tool available to them to complete collections and help customers close their balances. The much-needed tools for collection agents are growing scarce as regulatory bodies such as the CFPB creates rules and restrictions that hinder collectors.
Medical debts are one of the most prominent marks against individuals financially and, in the past, heavily affected their FICO and Vantage scores. Because of recent changes, medical debt no longer impacts Vantage scores and has a very minimal effect on FICO scores. Hence, collectors can no longer use this information to motivate consumers to make their payments. Essentially, these CFPB overreaches render collectors less effective and allow consumers to be wildly irresponsible.
Collaboration and advocacy for collections
The collections industry is a vast organization that spans the globe and has many unique facets, like direct competitors coming together and collaborating freely to benefit the industry as a whole. There are few other industries, if any, that can claim to have a united front to not only improve their industry but to protect their collective clientele. One of the essential things for promoting this continued collaboration is advocacy. Advocacy is key to the longevity and well-being of the industry. It is not enough to sit and wait for rules to be presented, regulations put in place or legislation to be written. When this occurs, the industry suffers, and the businesses are the collateral.
When businesses do not act, they hurt themselves. Who will stop destructive regulations from being put in place if not them? It is not enough to try and address the wound after the fact; businesses must fight the fight. If you don’t get paid, you will go out of business, and there is no one to blame but yourself. Advocate for the things that are right for your business, and the industry will be better for your intervention.
Start improving your contact center’s compliance, increasing collections and improving your customer service with TCN today. Request a demo to learn how TCN’s solutions make a difference.