National Collections Law Firm Leverages Its Technology to Maintain Safety and Services
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our industry like it has so many others. One law firm is utilizing its IT capabilities to enable social distancing while maintaining the highest standards of customer support.
Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP (Linebarger/Firm) has invested heavily in its IT infrastructure and support personnel to assist its government clients’ delinquent collection programs for almost 45 years. During that time, the Firm has weathered many ups and downs in the national economy, always working closely with our clients to maintain reliable performance. Faced with stay at home orders, and following the recommendations of national, state, and local health organizations to protect our employees, many Linebarger employees began working at home at the start of the pandemic. Linebarger has 47 offices across the country with over 1,000 employees.
While the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted daily, in-office work processes and customer service visits to report to clients, Linebarger’s technology and professional IT teams delivered a quick and effective solution. Within a week, the Firm’s Information Technology Group (ITG) increased VPN-capable users from 300 to 900. Firm-wide, the average number of daily VPN users went from 25 to 700 and has continued to grow. To ensure that their employees continue providing a high level of customer service, their ITG teams expanded virtual infrastructure to support remote work locations, video conferencing, collaboration tools, training, and more.
Compassionate Collections during the Coronavirus Pandemic
As local communities continue to struggle with the effects on the economy resulting from the pandemic, Linebarger has proactively instituted a “Compassionate Collections Program.” The Firm believes that now more than ever, it is imperative to conduct its collections with a greater sense of compassion, as many Americans and constituents are facing severe hardships. Linebarger understands the importance of collecting delinquent revenue that provides for essential public services. They balance that responsibility with a focus on providing a higher degree of empathy to every individual that contacts us for assistance as a result of the financial hardships they face from the pandemic. Linebarger personnel assist them with every option available, as allowed by law and tailored to requirements approved by their clients.
This robust program includes specially prepared collection tools, including both incoming and outgoing call scripts, detailed procedures and guidelines for collection of these hardship accounts, a coronavirus resource list, and specialized response letters. Everyone that receives a collection notice is urged to contact one of Linebarger’s local offices to discuss their personal circumstance. The goal is to assist them in resolving their accounts in a manner consistent with the specific client’s current policies.
Deploying Our Technology to Maintain Client Communications and Legal Services
With face to face meetings not possible to serve their clients and make court appearances, Linebarger’s collection and legal teams now conduct Zoom and Webex meetings on a regular basis. They can maintain personal contact to ensure they are responsive to their clients’ needs and to let them know that their safety and well-being are a top priority.
Linebarger’s attorneys have led virtual training seminars for clients and have represented their clients during virtual court hearings. Linebarger is very much still open for business, but with the understanding that the pandemic has changed the dynamic for collections.
As our nation continues to face the effects of COVID-19, Linebarger promises to continue supporting the communities it serves and its staff's health and wellness, while delivering exceptional customer service for its clients.