Tuesday, 26 November 2013

C is for Compliance

I often wondered whether my name, Chetan, has any specific meaning. This also led me to think why my parents chose to begin it with a ‘C’……..but I’ll come back to that part later……

The debt recovery industry has many links to the letter C. In recent times, the compliance journey our industry has taken - from the development of the Consumer Credit act, the generic Compliance Codes and Standards we operate under today and, more recently, the onset of these principles turning into rules that protect Customers and Conduct expectations. Debt Recovery businesses must manage Consumers fairly. Not managing Compliance properly can lead to specific cause and effects – whether that is on Collections and/or Complaints……….Is your tongue twisted yet?

So, how can Creditors do this? Traditionally Call monitoring ensured Compliance, but nowadays this has been augmented by technology  – if you have a Complete view of your Customer you can tailor your strategy to their Circumstances . That allows you to recover more of their debt, at a time and in a way which is suitable for them, and ultimately leads to happier Customers and improved debt recovery (otherwise known as Compliance). 

That sounds great, you may say, but understanding my Customer’s Circumstances isn’t easy. Actually it is now easier than ever-before.

The growth of systems and technology which allow you to segment your Customers better than ever before has been rapid. Data exchanges, data appends, online payment channels, flexible payment channels, Customer journey data, online data portals……all these systems are relatively new and are transforming the industry. We can now ensure that the most appropriate treatment is applied to each Customer at the right time, to maximise positive outcome and therefore liquidation.

Knowing more about individual payment behaviour and Circumstances also enables debt collectors to tailor their conversations by acting as a guide to help the Customer make an informed decision on the best outcome to resolve their situation. 

However, we must remember that data is only good if you use it well. Having the ability to execute and the flexibility to constantly enhance your debt collection strategies as you learn more about your Customer is key to maximising both financial and Customer experience performance.

Now back to the letter C. In Hindu Sanskrit naming culture the parents choose a specific letter of the Sanskrit alphabet which is associated with the baby’s lunar birth sign and which is supposed to be lucky for the child. This is defined by the child’s date and time of birth and the baby is then given a name starting with that letter. Mine happened to include the letter C……and there I have my answer. I was named Chetan and so it seems my parents had chosen my career path for me - from a very early stage. I was destined, it seems, to work in the world of Compliance !! There are various translations of the name Chetan, including  "Perceptive", 'Spirit Full' or 'Full of Consciousness'. And there you have it, key skills and associations that we use today to manage compliance in our industry.

By Chetan Patel, Compliance Manager, TDX Group

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