Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Recycling…is it the future or a load of old rubbish?

In my last blog I talked about waste.

Like most households today, I have multiple receptacles in which to place my household waste. (And  I have the weekly ordeal of trying to remember which bin to put out for collection – is it the green bin or the grey one this week? And, why on earth, in Nottinghamshire, is the recycling bin the grey one and not green? But I digress …) 

In our personal lives, we all now accept that recycling is ‘the right thing to do’, which got me thinking about recycling in the world of debt collection. Do we need to be more discriminate around what gets recycled?

In the world of collections and recoveries, recycling means that if one debt collection agency is unsuccessful at recovering the debt, the account is passed to another agency to have another go; a single account can be recycled many times. 

What value can that process really add? Perhaps the value comes from additional data is used to make contact? Maybe, it is down to a different approach being taken by the agency to engage with the customer. Shouldn’t we assess the impact of the previous activity and decide how best to manage that account through the next stage of recoveries? Perhaps there are times when the value would be in not recycling. For instance, if we know the customer is having short term financial difficulties, isn’t it fairer to cease action until the customer is in a better position to pay, rather than to recycle the account? This is where customer journey information becomes valuable in not only ensuring the correct treatment of accounts but also to identify where it is fairer to stop pursuing the debt. This helps to reduce wasted effort, costs and ultimately is better for the customer.

One thing is for sure, recycling certainly shouldn’t be all about applying additional activity of the same type. We all know what Einstein thought about doing the same thing over and over again!
TDX Group has a vision “To make the debt industry work better for everybody” and I believe that, at least for recoveries management, smarter recycling is key to achieving that vision.

By Charlotte Mather, Senior Insight Consultant, TDX Group

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