Virtually every loan portfolio—across any asset class or credit spectrum—will have a percentage of customers who fall behind on payments for any number of reasons. It’s a reality that every lender—and servicer—will always face to some degree. Therefore, it’s not an overstatement to state that how you address the collections process is one of the most important factors in protecting not only the value of your portfolio, but your overall brand.

Let’s face it, the collections profession tends to get a bad rap in the public eye. We’ve all seen the few high-profile examples of overzealous—or even illegal—tactics that make their way into the news media. Yet I’m here to tell you that these dramatic examples are far from the norm. In fact, the vast majority of reputable lenders and servicers view collections as an extension of providing quality customer service.

Just take a look at some of the key collection values that we subscribe to at Servicing Solutions: respect, helpfulness, concern, empathy and trust. To the outsider, these words are rarely associated with a collections professional. However, over the years we have found that these values yield far better long-term result, and foster a superior customer experience.

At Servicing Solutions, we are impassioned to protect the value of our clients brand, portfolio and investment. Far too many collection professionals seem to leave the word brand out of this equation, forgetting that aggressive tactics will often eliminate the chance for any sort of meaningful dialogue or relationship with a customer. There is no better way to tarnish your brand than to treat a customer with anything less than respect and dignity they deserve.

None of this is to suggest that we don’t value achieving results for our client’s portfolio. In every interaction with a consumer, we train our collection professionals to be respectful while finding a reasonable and mutually beneficial solution for both parties. Providing customers with reasonable options to get their accounts current is far more effective than an iron-fist approach that will drive them further away.

Furthermore, regulatory compliance is at the very fabric of our business model. It is something that we have invested heavily in to protect our clients and their customers. When choosing a partner to service your portfolio, a primary consideration should be how the collections process is managed and monitored to achieve performance goals as well as customer satisfaction.

In future blog posts, I will share more specific tactics that our organization has found to be the most successful.