Debt collector services typically operate as part of the private sector, but they also hold value for municipal collections. To illustrate, look no further than your city’s water accounts.
A city of 100,000 people may have anywhere from 40,000-45,000 metered accounts. Yet that same city will only have around 1,000 employees, and only a fraction of those will focus on accounts receivable.
Over Worked, Under Resourced
For sake of round numbers, let’s assume your city has 50 people servicing all metered accounts. That means each employee is responsible for anywhere between 800 and 900 accounts.
An almost insurmountable amount. And it doesn’t even take into consideration their other job responsibilities, or what happens when an account goes delinquent.
An overworked, under-resourced staff runs the risk of allowing these accounts to go delinquent for an indefinite period of time. They increase the likelihood of a customer falling off the map and a bill never getting paid.
How a Debt Collector Can Help
Cities that contract with an outside debt collector can help ease the burden on their employees and redirect vital resources into more productive uses. Furthermore, they can provide a higher level of service to each customer.
As a municipality, the first thing you’ll want to look for from a third-party company is technological relevance. Does the company operate with the latest sophisticated hardware and software technology? Are they open to working in compliance with your IT department to make sure that proper protocols are followed, and that each transaction and interaction is trackable?
Secondly, you’ll want bilingual support. The United States always has been a nation of immigrants. In fact, diversity is one of our highest virtues. Does company staff have the training and experience to serve all customers and not just a specific type? Furthermore, are they knowledgeable enough in what they’re doing to provide fast, timely support?
Thirdly, do they use GAAP, or generally accepted accounting principles, with the proper internal controls for clarity and transparency? How “open” are their books to clients?
Also, do they have enough staff and knowledge of your area to competently handle letter mailing, payment processing, and fulfillment? Do they offer a dedicated Client Account Manager for inquiries, questions and feedback?
Use a Debt Collector to Improve Efficiency
By taking unnecessary burden away from your staff, you allow them to focus on the areas that matter while generating revenue from accounts that would otherwise go unnoticed. If you believe this is something your municipality could benefit from, consider adding Southwest Recovery Services to your team. Contact us today to get started.