Friday, 25 July 2008

Collections Redefined!

With an increasing trend of customers playing truant on their monthly credit card and other loan repayments, believe the collections teams require to perhaps think out of the box!

Being a Friday evening, thought I might contribute to some approaches that they could adopt to contact these mischevious customers!

a. Call them for an Interview : With the employment market in a lean phase, you may be able to lure these chaps with this bait quite effectively

b. We Goofed Up : Yup, just tell them your back end operations cell goofed up on the interest calculations and their outstandings have dropped drastically!

c. Matrimonial Matches and Dating Services : You'd be surprised how appealing a blind date might be to a bachelor facing a liquidity crunch ( to lift his spirits of course!)

d. GPS Transmitters : Induce their doctors to inject those neat little gps transmitters into them, and that might help you track them down a bit easier!

Now to the serious stuff......With an increasing delinquency trend across retail customers globally, the need for innovation is dire! Though customer education and sane lending practices would perhaps address some of these issues as we go forward, a couple of approaches that are perhaps worth a shot for the chaps under repayment strife:

a. Seek Collateral : Convert unsecured to secured. Some high value outstandings could be restructured if the customer were to submit collateral - Gold, Stocks, Bonds etc.....anything to get the EMIs down and get the customer to commence repayment. May require a skill set outside your competency or "defined process", but this is the time to think out of the box.....

b. Counselling : Yup....may sound radical....I've come across senior professionals who get into personal economic crisis situations, and display irrational behavior. May just serve your while to get them into a counselling session " Defaulters Anonymous!"
The other end of counselling would involve undertaking a financial planning and budgeting exercise with the client and showing possible routes.

c. Reduce your rate / Restructure: Critical to understand the line between an intentional and accidental defaulter, and drop your rate. Much better to see the inflows than writeoffs!

d. Promissory Note : Yup, before you write off the loan, take a promissory note from the customer indicating promise to pay 12 months hence. You may just have a few grateful chaps who will reappear and pay.

e. Advertise the good deeds : If your organisation has been able to work with some defaulting customers in getting them back on track, you may just like to publicize the same. Could have a positive rub off.

Look forward to hearing your views!

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