By Dean Kaplan
Using computer-based training (CBT) can definitely help your in-house debt collectors become more proficient and more efficient. One of the most difficult challenges for any business is ensuring employees have essential knowledge and skills. In-house training manuals can often be put together in a hurry and then never looked at or updated again. In addition, the actual training can be performed to satisfy a corporate requirement rather than used as an opportunity to truly improve internal productivity and results.
In the area of debt collections, where laws govern much of what can and cannot be done, these sub-par training manuals and sessions can have unfortunate consequences. In contrast, good collection training programs can make a huge difference in employee productivity and retention, resulting in a dramatic impact on the company’s bottom line.
Using technology to assist or even lead your in-house debt collectors training program can be accomplished through videotapes, teleconferencing and computer-based training (CBT) in both CD-ROM and web-based formats. CBT is essentially software designed to instruct employees, as well as guide them through the training process.
CBT can be a particularly effective training tool for in-house debt collectors because it employs many different teaching strategies utilizing text, graphics, audio and video to communicate important concepts and skills. One of the most powerful training aspects of CBT is its ability to use interactive methods to engage employees in their training. Good CBT can teach both basic collection procedures, as well as complicated, subtle proficiencies such as communication skills.
Any good training program should be equally effective for all employees and needs to be consistent over time. Compared to in-house training programs put on by other employees, CBT has the advantage of its varied training methodologies. By using CBT, each employee can choose a training methodology that best matches his or her learning style. In addition, unlike trainer-based programs, CBT-based programs stay consistent over time and never have a bad day.
CBT can be tailored to teach your unique business processes and can reflect exactly how you want your in-house debt collectors to operate. In addition, good CBT can be revised and updated on a regular basis to reflect changes in your business as it grows and evolves.
Good CBT engages the trainee with constant comprehension checks using quizzes and tests to measure what the trainee has learned. Trainees, particularly new hires can automatically be routed within the CBT to review a section if important questions are missed. In addition, CBT can offer trainees the opportunity to practice more complicated, subtle skills. For example, trainees can practice making mock collection calls which are recorded and can then be reviewed by a supervisor. These mock calls can also be used for ongoing performance evaluations.
One unexpected advantage of scrutinizing your existing in-house training program is that it can help you identify other weaknesses in your debt collection operation. No training, no matter how good can overcome difficult-to-use collection software or ineffective businesses practices. Before investing in any new training methodologies, make sure that your collection processes are efficient and working smoothly. When you do choose to invest, CBT can be the basis for a superior training program that yields immediate positive results for your in-house debt collectors.
The Kaplan Group is a boutique collection agency specializing in large (over $10,000) debt collections due from businesses. Founded in 1991, the company has a stellar reputation (A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau) and is recognized as one of the leading collection agencies for results on large and complex matters.