5 Key Criteria to Keep in Mind when You are in the Market for an ARM Partner
It is an unfortunate reality that some commuters will neglect to pay for their toll violations, which in turn, inhibits toll authorities from maintaining revenue for operation and maintenance. At a certain point, affiliating with an Accounts Receivable partner will assist in recovering lost revenue on these delinquent accounts.
Choosing an Accounts Receivable Management (ARM) partner is a big decision, and it is essential to find an ARM agency that is well-suited to your needs. Not all ARM agencies are built to succeed in your industry or with your customer demographic, so it is vital to keep these five key criteria in mind when you are in the market for an ARM partner.
1. Integrity and Standards
Not all agencies are equal. Choose an agency that values integrity and your brand. Make sure they are appropriately insured and conform to a high standard of consumer relations. They should also be able to provide your consumers with the ability to easily make payments through multiple channels, establish payment plans, and provide early intervention.
Find Partners, Not Just Collectors
Your chosen partner’s performance and interactions are ultimately an extension of you, the client. Optimal performance results come from a true partnership. An ARM partner should work with you to develop a system for managing your accounts receivable to increase your bottom line.
2. Industry Specialization
Special regulatory conditions exist. Choose an agency with the appropriate knowledge, experience, and expertise in applying state and federal regulations when working with your past due accounts. Your ARM partner should also have experience in the type/age of debt that needs to be collected, as well as the average balance size.
Request performance history reports making sure the agency you are evaluating has the appropriate experience.
An ARM partner should have systems in place to reduce inefficiencies and increase returns. When assessing an agency partner, they should have the ability to tailor Omni-Channel communication strategies to the “mobile-first” consumer and provide them with easy payment options through responsive websites and payment portals.
Also, choose an ARM partner that has invested in sophisticated analytic capabilities to help determine account collectability and recovery strategies. By utilizing this data, it not only helps to improve recovery rates but also improve the customer experience.
4. Consider Total ROI
A great ARM partner maximizes the amount of money collected and returned to you on your past due accounts, is transparent in their methods and reporting, and maintains a positive relationship with your consumers.
What percentage an agency charges is just one factor to consider when choosing an ARM partner. Comparing agencies based on a percentage will be tempting, but you should also look at the results they achieve on their accounts. The lowest rate does not often yield the highest netback.
5. Value Addition
Look for a partner that provides value-add. The extras that some collection firms offer, such as training, educational newsletters, and webinars, may not seem particularly essential but don’t be quick to write those extras off when evaluating ARM partnerships. These value-adds are often an indication of an agency’s expertise, commitment to the industry, and desire to provide quality service to their clients.
Before choosing an ARM partner, make sure their goals are aligned with yours, maintain and improve the customer experience, have knowledge and expertise within your industry, utilize state of the art technology, provide value-add, and maximize recoveries through strong performance.
Chief Operations Officer
Jim has eighteen years of accounts receivable management experience and customer service within the utilities, banking, automotive, education, cable, municipalities, healthcare and communications industries.