Jack Welch, legendary former CEO of General Electric, said, “Change before you have to.” It’s never too early to assess if change is necessary. If your firm has made a commitment to using non-attorney staff to perform collections, be realistic about whether or not the job is getting done, and if changes may be needed. Collections should be measured, so you can determine the ROI of your collections team.
Your collection team must have a solid understanding of the different kinds of transactions and the effective collection techniques needed to ensure payment. They must know – and have access to – the right resources for getting paid. They must understand the different payment requirements for institutional and non-institutional clients. They must be expected to handle collections on a day-to-day basis, but, equally important, they must be evaluated to insure that they are getting concrete results.
Recognize the collection staff as the “rainmakers” they can be. Although they are making rain in a different way than the attorneys, they can add equal value to the bottom line.
If your firm has experienced administrative staff in place performing collections, evaluate whether they are doing the right work the right way. Ask:
- For the accounts they are pursuing, are they regularly reporting on the age of the accounts, how much they have collected, and what they have in line for payment?
- How much they are working on actual collections, as compared to other, less important duties (i.e., generating reports, sending out reminder statements, providing information that the attorneys request, etc.)?
- Are they knowledgeable enough to provide the right information to the firm that will explain the progress of collection efforts?
Most importantly – determine if your collection staff is picking and choosing the accounts they follow up on – instead of making older, difficult accounts the focus of their collection efforts. Learn more on our web-site at http://www.clientci.com/.