Contact us

Our clients tell us that we are open, honest and approachable. Please do not hesitate to contact us, we will respond to all enquiries.

Why training your collections teams has never been so important 20 JANUARY 2022

Why training your collections teams has never been so important
3 minute read

As we continue to live with the COVID pandemic, recent press coverage indicates that the government is considering plans to remove some of the restrictions. Whilst this is encouraging news, one thing we have learnt during the last two years is that uncertainty will remain.

In this blog, we take a look at how the crisis has impacted the way collections teams deal with their customers, and why this means organisations need to reassess their teams – are they the right size and do they have the right skills, particularly where there may have been a recruitment drive to handle increased customer demand?

How are creditors expected to treat customers differently now?

We know the high cost of failure – not to treat customers fairly and not acting with due skill, care and diligence – and in the last couple of years we’ve witnessed the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) imposing substantial fines on organisations that have failed to meet acceptable standards.

During the pandemic specifically, the FCA has focused even more on customer outcomes and set expectations around supporting customers struggling financially due to COVID (including the introduction of the Debt Respite Scheme last year). Creditors are expected to:

  • Provide support before payments are missed
  • Use a range of short and longer-term options (e.g., zero or reduced payments)
  • Allow a reasonable amount of time to repay what is owed
  • Signpost to support for debt advice or help with a vulnerability
  • Establish sustainable repayment plans that consider the customer’s wider financial situation
  • Prevent debt from escalating, with a focus on interest suspension/reduction and cancellation of any fees or charges

Additional rules and advice around this topic are also expected in 2022:

  • The FCA are currently consulting on ‘The Consumer Duty’ and their output is due in July
  • The Cabinet Office continue with their review into debt collection practices in the central and local government space, with a key focus on ‘Fairness in Debt Management’

What do these changes mean for you and your collections teams?

Put simply, collections teams need to be able to deal with customers in a different way than before and training is a critical component of this.

Never has it been more important to get it right for your customers in their time of need, to ensure processes, policies, procedures and technology have customers at the heart of your organisation, and especially to arm colleagues with the skills to provide the right solutions for customers.

Training has become more challenging, especially with many staff working from home, but it’s critical to invest in your people, particularly with large volumes of new agents and existing staff needing continuous refresher training.

Arum has been working with leading brands across financial services, utilities, telcos, and public sector, for over 23 years, to help them achieve better customer outcomes, including training collections teams.

Arum can deliver this agent training on-site or remotely, helping your collections teams with interactive training delivered by experienced collections practitioners who themselves have been on the front-line and managed collections teams. Typically Arum collector training includes:

  • Use skills to aid the conversation and relationship build with your customers so they are open about their circumstances
  • Understand the importance of fair treatment for customers and why getting it right first time is critical to your organisation
  • Identify, support, and remove the potential for harm where vulnerable situations exist
  • Fact find and assess financial circumstances, understanding the current and future needs of your customers
  • Get to right outcome first time

Nick Walsh and Darren Furlong
Principal Consultant and Lead Consultant

This site uses cookies, if you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies. Click here to learn more about cookies.


Request a Callback

Sign up to receive the latest collections and recoveries thought leadership insights from Arum:

For more information on how we use your data, please view our privacy policy