Is It Worth it to Hire a Collection Agency?
Wilson Cole | April 14, 2023
Most business owners understand the importance of collecting unpaid debts, but not everyone realizes just how important it can be to outsource that task to a third-party collection agency.
It's not always easy, or cheap, to take on the job yourself and you may not have the manpower or expertise available to do so. Hiring a professional collection agency has advantages for both businesses and consumers – if done carefully and strategically.
Knowing when it’s worth hiring an external collections agency is key; in this blog post, we will explore why hiring one can be beneficial for businesses and what factors should be taken into consideration when deciding whether or not a professional collections firm is worth it.
What Is A Collection Agency?
A collection agency, often regarded as the financial world's unsung hero, plays a crucial role in debt recovery and maintaining the economic balance between lenders and borrowers.
Serving as intermediaries between these two parties, they work tirelessly to recover overdue payments and help businesses safeguard their financial assets.
With their expertise in negotiation and legal proceedings, collection agencies employ various methods to secure payment and prevent unresolved debts from transforming into lost revenue.
Moreover, these agencies aid debtors in finding suitable payment plans and effective strategies to manage their obligations whilst promoting a healthy economic environment that benefits all parties involved.
Overall, a collection agency is an important institution that strives for sustainable financial interactions by ensuring that both businesses and consumers remain accountable for their financial commitments.
Pros of Hiring a Collection Agency
Hiring a collection agency can significantly enhance your business's approach to debt resolution with a high level of professionalism.
The expertise and efficiency provided by collection agencies not only boost the likelihood of recovering outstanding debts but also protect your business's reputation in the process.
These professionals are knowledgeable in legal matters and compliance requirements, navigating the debt recovery process with a fair and respectful demeanour that is essential for preserving client relationships.
Chasing after outstanding payments and handling delinquent accounts can be not only time-consuming but also adversely impact the productivity and focus of your staff.
By partnering with a collection agency, businesses can delegate this stressful and tedious task to experienced professionals.
These experts are well-versed in debt recovery strategies and negotiation tactics, which ultimately speed up the process of recouping unpaid debts.
As a result, companies can dedicate their precious time and resources to what truly matters – growing and maintaining their core operations – while the collection agency goes above and beyond to recover the funds owed to them.
Higher Recovery Rates
When businesses are owed money, it can be difficult to get back what they are rightfully owed. This is why hiring a collection agency is so beneficial - their profession ensures a higher rate of recovery.
In fact, the average collection agency recovers three times more than any other internal method practiced by companies alone.
Rather than dedicating an entire department to the tedious and lengthy process of debt collection, businesses can simply outsource this task and feel confident that their funds will be recovered at a higher rate than previously possible.
Such agencies employ sophisticated systems and professional debtors to ensure success in recovering outstanding debts and employers can rest assured that their time allocated toward this matter will not have gone to waste.
Cons of Hiring a Collection Agency
Collection agencies typically charge a percentage of the debt they successfully recover, which can range significantly depending on the agency and the age of the debt. In some cases, this fee can exceed 50% of the amount collected, resulting in a considerable loss of potential revenue.
Furthermore, the upfront retainer fees or additional charges for legal support may also add to the financial burden.
Therefore, businesses should carefully assess both the benefits and costs of employing a collection agency before pursuing this option to ensure they are making the most financially sound decision for their particular situation.
Loss of Customer Relationships
As collection agencies are known for their aggressive tactics, they can often erode goodwill and trust, leading to a loss of long-term business relationships.
Customers who have experienced such interactions may be left feeling mistreated, and in turn, may choose to sever ties with your company altogether. In a competitive business landscape, nurturing and preserving valuable customer connections should be a top priority.
As a consequence, before enlisting the services of a collection agency, it is crucial to carefully weigh the potential harm it may cause to your brand image and the possibility of hindering future business opportunities with your customers.
Damage to Reputation
When third-party collectors pursue your customers aggressively, it casts your organization in an unfavorable light, potentially deterring potential clients who are put off by what they perceive as a predatory approach.
Additionally, the stigma associated with utilizing a collection agency can lead to negative reviews and unfavorable word of mouth, causing long-lasting harm to your brand's image.
In order to avoid these possible repercussions, it is essential for businesses to strike a careful balance between efficient debt recovery and maintaining positive customer relationships.
Factors to Consider Before Hiring a Collection Agency
Type of Debt
Before hiring a collection agency to recover outstanding debts, it is essential to consider the type of debt you are dealing with, as it can significantly impact the agency's approach and success rate.
Different types of debts, such as commercial, consumer, or medical, require unique strategies and knowledge of specific regulations to ensure efficient and lawful debt recovery.
Therefore, it's crucial to choose an agency that specializes in the particular debt category your case falls under. Not only will this help to ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, but it can also increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome.
Age of the Debt
When contemplating the services of a collection agency, it's crucial to carefully examine several factors, one of the most important being the age of the debt. Older debts have a higher likelihood of becoming uncollectible, especially if they have passed the statute of limitations.
Determining the debt's age can help assess whether investing in a collection agency's services will yield a favorable outcome. Considering the law's implications and the debtor's willingness to repay, older debts may require a more customized approach to secure payment.
Thus, it's essential to choose a collection agency that employs experienced professionals equipped to navigate the complex dynamics of aged debt and maximize the chances of recovery.
Cost vs. Benefit Analysis
When considering hiring a collection agency to recover overdue debts, it is crucial to conduct a thorough cost vs. benefit analysis. This involves weighing the financial outlay of engaging the agency against the potential benefits of reclaiming outstanding payments.
One must examine the agency's fees and commissions while also comparing the anticipated return on collected debt.
Additionally, the agency's reputation and success rate should be taken into account, as partnering with a reliable agency can significantly improve a business's financial health in the long run.
5. Know who you are dealing with.
You might think this is basic but you would be amazed by how many times we have dealt with scenarios where the indicated business name of the client does not match their legal name.
Be careful with every detail, down to the exact punctuation marks, of your client’s business name on the contract because a slight mistake may invalidate your right to collect.
Is It Worth Using a Collection Agency?
Deciding whether or not to utilize a collection agency can be a challenging decision for businesses of all sizes.
These agencies can streamline the debt recovery process, allowing businesses to focus on their primary operations. Yet, it's crucial to consider the potential advantages and drawbacks of employing such services.
A collection agency can bring professionalism and expertise to a complicated arena, potentially increasing the likelihood of recovering outstanding payments. Conversely, there can be a cost associated with hiring a collection agency, as they typically charge fees or retain a percentage of recovered funds.
In conclusion, it's essential for companies to weigh these factors carefully and assess their unique situation before determining whether a collection agency aligns with their long-term financial and operational goals.
Wilson Cole is the founder and CEO of Adams, Evens & Ross, the nations largest credit and collection agency design exclusively for the staffing and recruiting industry. In 2008 he was inducted into INC Magazines, "INC 500" for being the CEO of Adams, Evens & Ross, the 307th fastest growing privately held company in America. This exclusive group of other INC 500 CEOs includes Bill Gates of Microsoft and Larry Ellison of Oracle.In 2007 Recruiting & Staffing Solutions Magazine's Editorial Staff named him " The Billion Dollar Man" due to the fact that he had collected or helped his clients collect more than 1 Billion dollars in past due debt over his career of almost 20 years as CEO of Adams, Evens & Ross.