In its ongoing effort to stay on the forefront of developments in debt collection technology, Collection Advisor talks to Rick Morris, president of CallEvo. Morris discusses the challenges of today’s compliance standards and makes recommendations on how to remain TCPA compliant while maintaining productivity.
What is a current challenge in debt collection industry?
In recent months, we have seen a consistent question that to many, is their single most challenge, “How can I maintain my call volume and while remaining TCPA compliant?”
What do you see as a solution to this challenge?
We believe there are always options to address any regulatory challenge. The most effective option is the one that solves it without interrupting the business process and affecting operating costs while employing new software to resolve the regulatory change. We have seen the industry adopt business process changes, such as mobile number management and scrubbing. We have also seen the separation of mobile and home phone numbers for calling purposes; and the industry deploy multiple calling platforms expanding costs, slowing productivity, and increasing the risk of other compliance violations for recording management and time zone violations. In the end, the right place to solve TCPA is at the source of the regulation – predictive dialing. Our technology replaces predictive dialing with the only platform that eliminates the capacity to make automated calls while growing the overall outbound call volume of even the largest agencies.
Where have you recently seen significant progress in collection practice or technology?
As a technology vendor, the landscape of technology vendors is more diverse than I can ever remember. The result is new companies like CallEvo who are creating replacement products for industry standard technology that offer superior technology at affordable prices. Taking advantage of new platforms and churning outdated vendors is a huge opportunity for collection practices.
What do you see as a mistake collection professionals make?
Having been around the industry for 20 years, I have noticed there is some reluctance to really embrace new technology as a key contributor to the overall strategy of a collections operation. New software companies are an integral part of the collections ecosystem pushing incumbent providers to enhance their technology and keep up with evolving standards.
Larger software companies struggle once they reach substantial size as existing employees and customer bases are a large part of their focus. They can struggle building new products on new technologies as their developers, support teams, and exiting customers adapt to new technology. Much like a large ship in water, changes have to be made carefully and slowly so the passengers on board don’t end up falling off the boat. On the other hand, newer companies have the freedom to adopt and innovate quickly to give their customers a competitive advantage.
What do you suggest collection professionals do to avoid this mistake?
Companies should take the time to evaluate their keystone technologies on a regular basis. Any company or technology platform that is over three years old should be critically evaluated as it may be outdated. It may not be necessary to perform wholesale changes but rather augment existing technology to enhance the overall performance of the operation. Keep in mind, the goal of every software company is to keep their customer base and entice them to renew support. You should remain skeptical of on-going promises of “next generation” technology they may claim to be developing. As the rate of technology changes year after year, collections professionals can quickly find their processes and infrastructure outdated waiting for current vendors to resolve their software development issues. There is no doubt that change can sometimes result in pain but it is the greatest opportunity for increased productivity and lower costs.
What are some recent developments with CallEvo?
Replacing predictive dialers and eliminating TCPA violations is our only focus. In our opinion, every collections industry professional has the right and the desire to be compliant. We also understand they have basic needs for production and call volume. You cannot have compliance without adequate production. We understand the needs of our collections partners better than anyone and our product solves their most significant concerns around compliance and production.
What do you see occurring in the future?
At the rate TCPA violations are occurring and the rate at which lawsuits are being filed, we see TCPA suits being the single largest suit category in less than three years. At this point, there is no question that the law is not going away and the time to solve TCPA is now. We see our software as the most impactful calling platform in the collections industry since the introduction of the predictive dialer.