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Mistakes You Can Avoid in Collection Software

  • Written by Joshua Fluegel

Mid-Range Collection Software Roundtable

Have you ever seen someone conducting business you know is a mistake? Better yet, have you ever made a costly mistake from which you wish someone had steered you away? It’s safe to assume everyone could say yes to both of these situations. Unfortunately, mid-range (101 to 999 seats) collection professionals have made mistakes when selecting software. The software either didn’t suit the needs of the agency or these needs of the agency were never fully realized. Collection Advisor gathered the thoughts of collection software experts who have seen bad choices made by collection professionals to help prevent these costly mistakes. Also provided is what the experts see as a valuable feature in midrange collection software.

Thomas Mohr CEO of Beam Software

mohr thomasWhat is a particular mistake you have seen a collection professional make when selecting mid-range collection software?
Many collection software buyers focus on the number of features a product has and yet don’t place enough emphasis on researching the support component. They should talk to the provider’s customers, review its service agreement and even ask to read the company’s software release notes. These can provide insight and understanding and help set expectations when it comes to dealing with potential software issues and receiving service and support.

What is one feature a collection professional should require from mid-range collection software?
The single-most important feature in software is its ability to provide multi-channel communication with today’s consumers. Let’s face it, each new generation of consumers is becoming more device- oriented and less likely to talk on the telephone. Mediums like email, text and web portals make communication easier and can even help reduce a collection agency’s overhead.

Brett Menzie Director of Sales of CDS Software

menzie brettWhat is a particular mistake you have seen a collection professional make when selecting mid-range collection software?
When selecting a midrange collection software, at times, we have seen collection professionals make the unfortunate mistake of choosing software lacking key functionality in the name of saving a few bucks. Make sure you are not making the mistake of putting your business in a disadvantaged position by skimping on necessary features.

What is one feature a collection professional should require from mid-range collection software?
Collection professionals absolutely need a software that will allow them to easily access and handle their own data without being handcuffed by a gatekeeper who prevents the ability to export, backup or archive their information.

Billy Quinn Managing Director of CODIX

quinn billyWhat is a particular mistake you have seen a collection professional make when selecting mid-range collection software?
Not considering having all products (pre-collection/ preventive, early collection, late collection, legal in one only system, as well as the client web access).

What is one feature a collection professional should require from mid-range collection software?
The champion-challenger feature which allows simulations and checking of costs/results of different collection strategies.

Fritz Schulze Founder and Owner of Comtech Systems

shulzeWhat is a particular mistake you have seen a collection professional make when selecting mid-range collection software?
A particular mistake we see is agencies not properly evaluating a product. We highly recommend the agency download the trial software, enter some accounts, and work through their usual workflow to get a feel for how the system would work for their business. During a demonstration the vendor can work through their scenarios and show how the software will execute not only the functions they are used to, but also demonstrate some additional functions, flexibility and automations that the new software would provide. It is also useful for collection professionals to see what current users of the software have to say on software review sites, such as Capterra.

What is one feature a collection professional should require from mid-range collection software?
We think flexibility is the essential characteristic collection professionals should require of their collection software. Flexibility can range from the ability to customize the look of the software, to the ability to create your own reports, select from a wide range of add-on modules, select from a range of integrations and program automations to save operator time.

Jeff Dantzler President of Comtronic Systems

dantzlerWhat is a particular mistake you have seen a collection professional make when selecting mid-range collection software?
One huge mistake I frequently see is when a company decides the most affordable solution is the best solution. You’re not going to go to three doctors and get quotes from them for surgery and go with the cheapest option. You’re going to go with the best option even if that option might cost you more. Your collection software is the driving horse of your agency and having great collection software will make it that much easier for your agency to succeed.

What is one feature a collection professional should require from mid-range collection software?
A hosting option: A collection software solution that can only be used in the office is no solution at all. Now you must have access to the collection software from a number of locations and have the option for having remote agents. Also, with most agencies not having any kind of disaster recovery option in place having a hosting option takes care of that. With this kind of redundancy you can rest assured that your infrastructure is maintained so you can focus on your core business of debt collection.

Carl A. Briganti President and Founder of CSS Impact

briganti carlWhat is a particular mistake you have seen a collection professional make when selecting mid-range collection software?
Typically collection professionals fail to see the difference between price and cost. The price is just an amount of money expected for a product whereas cost is a factor of ROI. There is a big difference between these two concepts, which is often overlooked.

What is one feature a collection professional should require from mid-range collection software?
Collection professionals should demand that collection software offer a turnkey financial ecosystem platform that includes a fully integrated toolset of customizable, real-time, cloud-based, user friendly solutions such as compliance management, disaster recovery, dialer and others.

Lex Patterson President of DAKCS Software Systems

patterson lex2What is a particular mistake you have seen a collection professional make when selecting mid-range collection software?
Some challenges that companies within the mid-range size face when considering changing software platforms revolve around integration and workflow processes. From experience we have found that most companies in this range are long standing businesses with deep roots and processes that have been built over many years. When they are facing a change in software delivery, or hold the feeling of uncertainty surrounding Mergers and Acquisitions activity in the software space, they want to do business with a company who, like them, has deep roots in the industry and vast collections acumen. Having a team of problem solvers who listen and respond quickly is a key element of success. Once this has been established, they need a platform that is flexible enough to adapt to their business processes while integrating with other systems.

What is one feature a collection professional should require from mid-range collection software?
Configurability. From workflow to database flexibility, the system needs to be configurable to allow your business to adapt to opportunity. Having a solid integrated ecosystem that provides quick and easy connectivity to the many tools available, such as payment portals and self-service channels, doesn’t hurt either.

Paul Segre CEO of Genesys

segre paulWhat is a particular mistake you have seen a collection professional make when selecting mid-range collection software?
Believing all collection and recovery solutions offer the same features and functionality and driving decisions purely based upon the financial aspects of the solution being offered without understanding the true capabilities and extensibilities being proposed.

What is one feature a collection professional should require from mid-range collection software?
Business process automation is an essential component of the solution to ensure business processes are managed in a uniform standardized manner to eliminate errors and noncompliance or nonconformity to standards and business requirements. The implementation of effective process automation allows the organization to manage the exceptions to the process as opposed to the process itself.

James Dunlap CEO of Lariat Software

dunlap jamesWhat is a particular mistake you have seen a collection professional make when selecting mid-range collection software?
Tunnel vision: we’ve all done it. Focusing of features that enable you to do what you have been doing rather than focusing on whether or not a platform will enable you to improve for years to come.

What is one feature a collection professional should require from mid-range collection software?
That it be cloud based. Compliance and the growing cost of physical security are quickly rendering self-host deployments impractical.

Ranjan Dharmaraja CEO of Quantrax

dharmaraja ranjanWhat is a particular mistake you have seen a collection professional make when selecting mid-range collection software?
We often tend to try to duplicate our old system that we wanted to get away from! We do not ask the right questions, and almost always end up taking a very long time to “convert.” For many reasons, what you saw is not what you got, and this is only avoided by a more modern and practical RFP process with vendor compensation tied to performance and on-time delivery of a data conversion and working system.

What is one feature a collection professional should require from mid-range collection software?
Out of the box, the software must do 95% of what you need, without any custom code. This means you will not need the high costs, resources and challenges of maintaining a large IT department to do what you expected from your new mid-range collection software!

Chris Campbell CEO of Simplicity Collection Software

campbell chrisWhat is a particular mistake you have seen a collection professional make when selecting mid-range collection software?
The biggest mistake generally made by collection professionals is selecting collection software that charges an extravagant amount of money for their software and services and then holds the company’s data hostage (i.e. no easy or inexpensive way to export or convert their data). If you think about your long-term business game, your collection software should provide the flexibility to easily import/export data as needed without having to pay extra fees or involve development staff in the export process.

What is one feature a collection professional should require from mid-range collection software?
The answer to this question is difficult as there are lots of features that we believe are important and necessary features for collection software. If we had to narrow it down to one however, we believe adaptability would be the most important feature. Be sure the software you have selected and the support staff they employ is flexible enough to adapt to your individual business needs as well as software that is continually updating and adapting with the changing rules, regulations and collection landscape.

Tony LaMagna Partner at The Computer Manager

lamagnaWhat is a particular mistake you have seen a collection professional make when selecting mid-range collection software?
Selecting or changing collection software is a major business decision that requires all players to be involved. If not all the principals of the company are on the same page, onboarding a new production system can come up against internal conflicts that can impede the success of a new platform.

What is one feature a collection professional should require from mid-range collection software?
All collections professionals should require collection software to include automatic audit logging.