“Suddenly they realize, that they are speaking with just a normal guy.”
Lukas – service advisor
Historically, the debt management industry has suffered from a poor reputation. This is at least partly attributable to common misunderstandings and a lack of information on part of the public. However, over the years, some debt collection agencies could undoubtedly have done with a good look at themselves and their practices, too. Although we have seen a huge number of improvements in recent years, debt collection is still associated with many negative attitudes. At OK Perintä, we believe the best way forward is to openly discuss what debt collection is really all about. By doing that, we are hoping to take the entire industry in a more open and people-centred direction.
Here to help
As debt collection is above all about customer service and helping people, we decided to ask our customer service advisor Lukas, who deals with these issues day-to-day, to talk a little bit about his work.
“Sometimes you can really tell that people have fairly negative attitudes towards collection agencies. But when you talk to them, you can often get them to change their minds. They realise that it’s just another perfectly ordinary person at the end of the phone who is there to listen and really help wherever they can,” Lukas says.
Solutions, not scare tactics
What many debtor customers might find surprising is that, far from threatening them with legal action, the collection agency will be focused on putting together a jointly agreed re-payment plan.
“People are at the heart of everything that we do. It’s important that our debtor customers feel that we are showing them that little bit of flexibility and understanding. What we do is customer service really and all of us can influence how people really see the industry as a whole.”
At OK Perintä, our customer service team consistently receives extremely positive feedback, which is perhaps partly due to the fact that people are not really expecting to receive help and understanding from a debt collection agency.
“In this job, you need to know how to listen. A little bit of sympathy goes a long way but you also need to be able to set boundaries. Part of being helpful means that you don’t offer flexibility at the wrong time. For example, if we have agreed payment deadlines together, it is really important to make sure you stick to them.”
Going for a win-win
Debt and financial difficulties are never easy or pleasant but At OK Perintä, we try to focus on the bright side. We never pass judgement on any of our debtor customers. Instead, we want to work with them to really understand their circumstances and then identify the solution that best suits them.
“My work can be challenging sometimes. The real highlight is when one of my debtor customer is able to pay off their outstanding balance. I feel relieved too, and it’s great knowing that you’ve been able to help someone move on from a difficult situation,” Lukas says.