- A liaison between businesses and customers, collections agents are responsible for communicating directly with customers to collect debts and resolve outstanding balances.
- A high level of attention to detail and excellent record keeping ensures that payment plans are recorded and communication with customers is documented.
- This role requires a high level of customer service, persuasion, and negotiation skills, as well as a mind for problem-solving to work with customers to resolve their debts and collect payment.
- Collections agents also work closely with accounts receivable, sales, and legal departments to develop strategies for collecting delinquent accounts and determine when further actions are necessary.
Duties and Responsibilities
- Recognizing Focus Financial Services collection criteria set forth and adhering to follow it.
- Interacting with customers for understanding reasons for late payment and resolve customer billing disputes.
- Performing consistently to meet performance standards set by the department.
- Ensuring adherence to the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act and other compliance regulations and security policies.
- A collections agent’s primary duty is communicating with customers, usually via telephone, to resolve delinquent accounts and collect payment on debts. This requires patience and diligence as collections agents frequently deal with debtors avoiding their phone calls or quickly hanging up once they realize the call is an attempt to collect a debt.
- Additionally, some customers can be hostile or rude when dealing with a collections agency.
Negotiation and Debt Settlement:
- Negotiation is important as collections agents develop and enact payment plans that eliminate the debt and are manageable for the customer, preventing accounts from falling into delinquency again.
- Alternatively, collections agents may need to negotiate for a settlement so that the agency receives payment on a certain percentage of the debt.
- Collections agents keep detailed records of all customer communications, payment plans that customers have agreed to, and amounts paid via telephone.
- While most collections agencies use software to assist with managing customer records and maintaining oversight of debit balances and received payments, collections agents still have to ensure that records are entered and maintained accurately throughout the debt collection process.
Research and Customer Location:
- Often, collections agents have to locate debtors in order to begin the recovery process.
- This aspect of the job can involve accessing database information, pulling up credit reports, and locating other publicly-available records in adherence to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
- Collections agents are skilled at researching and processing high volumes of information to maintain accurate records of debtor addresses and phone numbers to support debt recovery efforts.
Skills and Qualifications
- Bachelor’s Degree with 1 – 2 years of works experience.
- Extensive experience in working as a collection agent within a financial institution.
- Proficient in preventing losses, controlling delinquent balances and collecting delinquent accounts.
- Sound knowledge of collection practices, regulations and procedures, and telephone mannerisms.
- Solid understanding of repayment schedules and bad debt management.
- N35,000 – N65,000 monthly.