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Part 2. Separate, both Ukrainian and foreign clients

The continuation of a series of articles in which collectors talk about their experience of collecting and communicating with clients, typical misconceptions about collection activities, how to effectively collaborate with a collection company, as well as simple, sometimes funny moments from their practice.
Most of our clients are quite careful in choosing a collection company, collecting information about the founders, history, reputation, requesting recommendations and only then signing a contract. It seems logical that all this is done in order to select a suitable collection company, to completely entrust it with bad debts. But with some it was not there.

Individual, both Ukrainian and foreign clients, instead of relying on professionalism and listening to the advice of collection experts, begin to intervene in the collection process. And if, for example, we relate stoically to “advice” in the recovery process, then actions like contacting the client with the debtor will unsettle us. For a simple reason – they almost always disrupt our work.
After all, rule No. 1 for the client says – do not communicate with the debtor on the debt issue, limit all communication to the principle of “we have hired collectors, even if they are disassembled.” Unfortunately, for some reason, some customers find it completely normal to ignore this rule. We convince, register in the contract, fine – and still there is a client who quarrels with the debtor the day before the payment of the debt or tells him that he refuses the schedule for paying off the debt agreed upon the day before through us, or will threaten the court, despite the first payments of the debtor .
In most cases, the result is sad – the collection is disrupted.
Therefore, gentlemen, if you have already trusted the professionals, do not intervene and do not interfere with work, follow the rules and directions.
Another “disease” of both Ukrainian and foreign clients is the frequent demand for reports on the work done.

As previously stated, we have only one goal and the point of application of efforts is to return the money. Collectors, unlike lawyers, accountants, auditors, do not have time for complex administration and reporting. In addition, no one pays us for this. However, some customers, for a purpose incomprehensible to us, wish to receive reports almost in real time. Requesting reports several times a week, making calls with questions in the evenings and on weekends is normal. And do not think that the regularity of reporting is not spelled out in contracts and is not stipulated. It is registered: according to the standard – once a month, sometimes – once every two weeks, as an exception in special cases – on request. Does not help. Some customers still write, call, demand. What is this, an attempt to control us? For us, this is a complete mystery.

Dear customers, if everyone will demand beautiful, complete, regular reports, then all we will do is write these reports. There is no time to recover. Therefore, have patience. We work for a percentage of the result, so our desire to repay the debt is even stronger than yours. We will not sit idly by, but we also can’t waste time describing everything we do.
Although over the years almost everyone has figured out who the collectors are and what they are doing, some are still stuck in the 90s. Therefore, we still encounter situations when an emotional client wants to “punish” a debtor. Moreover, no one can answer the question of what is meant by “punish”. Over time, we learned to perceive such clients with humor. We ask: how will you pay us a percentage of the result for “punishment”?
And, do not believe it, collectors have a policy of their own security and strict rules of collection ethics. Not a single collection professional will threaten the debtor, let alone “punish”, firstly, for security reasons (after all, any action, especially forceful, causes opposition, and, very likely, also forceful), and secondly, because of for reputation risks (we serve dozens of world-famous companies; any scandal – and we lose contracts). This is not to mention the obvious illegality of such actions.
Moreover, we try to explain to customers the unethical and insecurity of force attempts to recover or “punish”. This is just money and business – they are never worth a reputation or damage to health and business. Surprisingly, most of these clients never thought about how serious the consequences could be and how unpredictable a cornered debtor.

Once again: the narrow specialization of collection companies is to prudently, professionally and impartially return money. With emotions – this is not for us.
And since we are already honestly laying out, in the end – the most unsightly “disease” that most often occurs among Ukrainian clients, although foreign ones also suffer from it. This is banal greed.
When a client calls, we often hear that he is ready to give both a third and a half of the amount collected (this is at an average rate of 15%), but everything changes dramatically when the debt is collected and the money goes to the client. Bargaining begins and claims “the debtor supposedly paid voluntarily”, “not so much work you have done to pay” …
Among corporate collectors, there is the expression “The client is debtor No. 2,” since almost every company once had to collect its remuneration from the client after collecting debt from the debtor. For 10 years of work, GCS Ukraine also had everything. There was a client who tried not to pay because he wanted to test the methods of work of collectors. I paid. He explained. He handed over to us his entire remaining debt portfolio.
Gentlemen, there is a simple rule: never try to “throw” a collector.

This is a matter of professional reputation and survival of the collection company. A collector who owes, like a shoemaker without boots. After all, if the debtor did not pay – this is normal, not all debts can be repaid, but if the client did not pay – this is a problem that needs to be solved at any cost. Even if the amount is ridiculous, even if the price is high, if it is long and difficult, even if it is the best client with a worldwide reputation, with great potential, even if far abroad, the collection company simply cannot allow anyone not to pay. To nobody. Never. Such a business.

Vitaly Shevel
GCS Ukraine