My job is to try and identify a resolution for people who can no longer afford the payments they previously agreed to - we’re probably seen as the bad guys but finding a better and affordable resolution for the customer is what makes the job rewarding. Finances can be incredibly stressful when circumstances change unexpectedly, and I completely empathise with that position.
So, let’s talk about a typical day.
For the sake of example, let’s say (hopefully) the customer phones in to speak with either our Collections team – we’re not scary debt collectors, promise! I then do my best to find out what’s going on in the customer’s life and discuss their options regarding repayment of the loan. It’s usually some change of circumstance; a lost job, a relationship breakdown, or an illness that's impacted their ability to work, to name only a few - and this may be temporary or permanent. All of a sudden, the payments they agreed to are no longer realistically affordable.
We have various techniques, tools, and questions used to understand their situation and put an appropriate outcome in place. We empathise with our customers and put ourselves in their shoes. I imagine it’s not easy being on the other end of that call or email sometimes, so we try to make it as straightforward as possible and put their mind at ease.
We also complete all the administration for customers who enter formal debt solutions, so Debt Management Plans, IVAs, Bankruptcies, that kind of thing. There can be an overwhelming amount of paperwork with this kind of thing.
Unfortunately, not all customers are quite so forthcoming when they fall behind. So we also need to reach out to our non-engaging non-payers so we can engage in the same process of finding a resolution.
Best thing about the job?
Collections provides the opportunity for us to sink our teeth in and improve things, you know, build good Collections. It’s an area of sensitivity in an industry that historically has very little of that, so I believe there’s a lot of potential for me (and Fluro) to make a positive change. I’ve been a frontline debt recovery/collections agent for nearly six years. At Fluro, I am given more autonomy than I’ve ever experienced before, and much more opportunity to learn and develop as a professional in my field.
In the mid to long term, we want to see Collections scale up big time, using cutting-edge new software to automate the repeatable work and make more intelligent use of our data. This way, the agents (like myself) can spend more time on the frontline helping people with their repayments.
Having the chance to be not just involved in that progress, but to be an SME fully engaged in making the changes, is really worthwhile and fulfilling. I’m super excited to see what the future holds for Fluro’s Collections team.