As a debt collection agency owner, you need to run the extra mile to keep up with the ever-evolving landscape, adapting your whole operations to new practices, trends, and technologies.

In reality, if you don’t have a solid strategy that ties all these efforts together towards one single direction, they won't make the difference you are expecting them to.

There’s no such thing as a playbook on how your debt collection strategy should look like, as there are many factors that change from collection agency to collection agency, but there sure are some key elements that any debt collection strategy needs in order to succeed in today’s competitive environment.

Customer-First Operations

A customer having a great mobile payment experience

At the end of the day, the customer is the centerpiece of your operations, and your efforts need to be directed toward tearing down all barriers that are impeding them to pay their debt with ease.

The first barrier is information. It’s easier to collect a debt when your customer understands how everything works. What both parties can expect from each other, and also what they are obliged to comply with.

Crystal-clear communication will help you build trust with your customers, and erase the fear and confusion that dealing with debt might be causing them.

The second barrier is convenience, mainly in payments. You might have a well-oiled operation with personalized follow-ups that seamlessly drive clients down the conversion funnel, but if your payment options are slow, inconvenient, and insecure, you’ll be doing it all for nothing.

Making payments easy, efficient, and secure will help you collect more debt, as you take out the friction from one of the most challenging steps your customers have to go through.

Integrating mobile payment options, allowing your customers to use Apple Pay or Google Pay, and embedding payments into the user flow are all solutions that will make payments easier and faster, ending up with your agency collecting more debt.

Omnichannel Debt Collections

An Omnichannel Debt Collection Strategy

An omnichannel approach to debt collection means creating a communication and collection system synchronizing all existing channels: in-person, fax, phone, email, SMS, and social media.

It is understanding and adapting to the communication, payment, and timing preferences of your customers, while feeding all interactions into a single touchpoint where you’ll be able to organize and manage your debt collection operations with ease.

Omnichannel Debt Collection is about efficiency, as having more channels will help you reach more segments and offer them a better customer experience, while you keep full control of your operations by having a centralized system.

Companies that use an omnichannel approach to their debt collection strategy are seeing a 25% increase in their closing rates, according to Adobe, and an 89% customer retention rate.


Robot arms automating the line of work to optimize processes

To be scalable, a debt collection strategy (more so if omnichannel) needs to automate workflows, communications, and payments.

Having all repetitive tasks done by a computer allows for a cheaper, leaner collection structure. It also brings clarity to your operations as, in order to automate, first you need to step back and build a robust customer funnel, detailing all the actions and steps needed to convert debtors into clients. This will allow you to identify which of these actions can be done by a machine, and which need to rely on human labor.

Automation is not about replacing your entire team with machines. Its real objective is to free up as much time as possible for your agents to focus on dealing with your difficult debtors. This way easy-going debtors will be dealt with automatically and the difficult ones, manually, resulting in more debt collected overall.

The control automation brings to your operations, paired with a well-structured omnichannel collection system will allow you to gather crucial and reliable data, which is the last (but not least) element to discuss.

The Importance of Data

Debt Collection statistics bar chart

If gathered and used correctly, data could be decisive in your debt collection strategy success, as it can help you optimize your processes.

Through demographic and behavioral information, you can categorize your customers, understand where on the journey they are, and which are the most effective actions you need to take in order to collect their payments.

Data is also helpful to understand the overall performance of your agency and your staff. Closing rates, customer lifetime value, contact instances/debtor, channel acquisition rate, etc. are all metrics that will help you recognize the amount of effort you are putting into collections, so you can start improving the Key Performance Indicators you set for your debt collection strategy.

Plane analytics is not the only use you can give to your data. Advancements in Artificial Intelligence, specifically in Machine Learning now allow you to leverage data to predict customer behavior, growth, risks, and collection opportunities. These predictive algorithms will be constantly on the lookout for ways to optimize your operations and help you take the statistically right decision for your business, every time.


Debt collection competitiveness has stepped up in the digital era, where being up to date with the technologies is just one piece of your agency’s success.

Defining a holistic debt collection strategy that understands the big picture, builds a robust conversion funnel, and leverages technology to create the best customer experience possible, is what will make the kind of difference you are looking for.