Probably one of the hardest jobs at your institution is that of a collector. Working with the public can be highly stressful, especially with a job discussing a touchy subject–finances. The software they use to track their collection efforts should not be one more headache added to their already stressful job.
GOLDPoint System’s Collection Queue system is an easy-to-use tool that comes built-in to GOLDPoint Systems’ loan management software (CIM GOLD). The Collection Queue system helps organize lists of customers for collectors to contact. The biggest strength of this tool is its customizability allowing you to organize accounts for collectors with a few clicks.
As a collector works through their assigned “queue” of customers, the Collection Queue system has a myriad of tools to help them effectively reach customers, enabling them to reach higher collection rates.
This blog post shows the basics of using our Collection Queue system. If you are one of our valued clients, you may already be very aware of the following tips and tricks to using Collection Queues. You may want to share this blog post with new collectors who may not be familiar with this screen just yet.
If you are a potential client looking for a better loan management system, we hope this information will show off what we think is the best collection system on the market. Our loan management system was originally built with the collection system in mind, knowing collections is a key part of loan management. The two pair well together, like a glass of vintage wine and medium-rare steak.
Navigating Collection Queues as a Collector
The main screen a collector uses is the Collection Queue screen. This screen is found under Queues > Collection in the left tree navigation in CIM GOLD. The following example shows this screen highlighting key elements of this screen.
- The upper-left pane will show the queues you are assigned to.
- Double-click any queue and you’ll see the table to the right populate with accounts you are to follow up on within that queue.
- Single-click the first account in the list to select it. The borrower name and account number will show at the top of the screen.
- If you only want to see accounts for a specific branch (or office), enter the Branch Number and click the left arrow to filter by branch.
- The Queue Total shows the total amount of Principal Balance (column 2) of all the accounts in this list.
Working Through the Collection Queue
As a collector, once you have selected a Collection Queue from the list under your name, you’ll see the full list of accounts within that queue to be contacted.
Double-click an account on the Summary tab (or single-click an account and click the <Detail> tab) and the Marketing and Collections screen will be brought up within the Collection Queues system. This screen will have all the information collectors need on an account.
The top section has phone numbers and email addresses for contacting the account owner, as shown below.
Options for Contacting a Customer
You’ll see the phone number listed within the Details tab, but you can also send letters, emails, and even text messages all while working in your Collection Queue system.
- To send your customers letters, check out our other blog post on setting up and successfully sending letters to customers.
- To send a text to the client, right-click anywhere on the gray area in the Collection Queue Detail screen, and click Send Alert > Text (or E-Mail, of course)
This will pull up a window where you can select a text/email template for your message to the client. You can also select a wrapper, which are used for emails that include a header or footer with your company’s logo and information in the email. You may also have the option to type a message or part of a message yourself depending on your institution settings.
Making Notes and Moving to the Next Account
Once you’ve made contact (or attempted contact) with a customer, go to the Contact tab. There you’ll see this section, where notes can be made on each account. You can leave a comment here to note if a message has been left or other responses from the customer.
- You must enter a future follow-up date or time. This is required to be able to click <Process>.
- Clicking the blue list icon next to Comment Code brings up a list of possible contact explanations, such as left a message, promise to pay, or customer mailed a payment. You should select one of the codes in this list to indicate the type of contact made with the borrower. These codes are controlled by your institution. This is a very important part of the collection process. What is entered here can be tracked, if specific types of codes are selected. See the Promise Payment blog post for more information.
- Enter any additional comments in the Comment field.
- Click <Process> when finished entering comments. This will signify to the system that the account has been worked.
Once you click <Process>, the account will be marked as completed in the Disposition column on the Summary tab, as shown below. A “completed” account helps track which accounts have already been worked and which ones haven’t. The next day when the queue is generated, completed accounts will not show up.
It also allows the collector to move onto the next account, if the Restrict Collection option (described below) is set and collectors can’t randomly work on accounts.
Note: If you were unable to contact the borrower via a phone call and sent an email or text instead, you will also need to select an appropriate Comment Code and select <Process> on the Contact tab to flag the account as completed.
You can continue to move through the list of accounts in the queue by clicking the <Next> and <Previous> buttons at the top of the Detail tab.
Or you can return to the Summary screen and select the next account to follow up on from there.
You may have a situation where you find your collectors are handling the “easier” accounts first before touching the “harder” accounts. For example, you may have an incentive program, where collectors who bring in the most payments are awarded a bonus. Those are good incentive ideas for any collection business.
However, if you find that some accounts are never touched because collectors know they won’t be able to encourage a payment, you may want to consider setting up an option that requires collectors to move through the accounts in order. And if the account isn’t marked as “completed,” the collector can’t move to the next account.
This is a gentle way of forcing collectors to contact every account in their list.
As a queue administrator, you can restrict collectors to work through the queue in order. To enable this, an option called “Restrict Collector” must be selected on the Loans > System Setup Screens > Collection Institution Options screen. (Only administrators and managers have access to this screen.)
When that option is set and a collector attempts to jump around in their list, going after low-balance accounts, for example, they will receive the following message:
This can get a little tricky, however. Collectors can re-sort their list of accounts by clicking any of the top column headings. For example, if they re-sort the columns to show the lowest balances first down to the highest balances, the queue will sort as expected.
So even though the first account listed may be the account with the lowest balance, it doesn’t mean it’s the first account in the queue order. If the collector will scroll to the far right on the Summary tab, they will see an Order column, as shown in the following example:
That’s the account order collectors must work if that option is set. They would need to sort by that column to know which account must be worked next.
Note: Sorting by the Account Number column from lowest number to highest number is the same as sorting by the Order column.