What is “Benchmarking”? For the purpose of this post, we will consider how Southern uses Benchmarking in two ways that can have a significant impact in positive ways on your business.
First, we like to offer an Annual Meeting with our clients and their staff to consider how things have gone, how they are going, and how we expect them to go on the future. Our Client Consultants offer to meet over lunch with our clients and look at a variety of reports and data and compare what has gone on with collections and recovery on the accounts placed for collection. We compare, or “benchmark”, these results with the history of the relationship with your company as well as considering performance with similar firms in the same industry (of course no names are shared!).
In this way, we can regularly meet and answer questions about our services, performance, and any issues in the collection process. We can also demonstrate results, look at cost analysis, and help determine if your firm is getting the most from your collection agency. And you get a free lunch! WIN-WIN!
The second version of Benchmarking I would like to share is the benchmarking group I belong to. Since 2010, I have been participating with 8 other collection agency owners in regular meetings, email chains, and phone calls about everything collections. This industry group consists of agency owners from across the country, South Carolina to Pennsylvania to the mid-west and back the west coast. We discuss EVERYTHING about running a collection agency, looking for tips and trends and improvements we can make.
I cannot tell you how valuable this group has been to Southern over the last 5+ years, as the benefits are literally not quantifiable. We meet twice each year in-person for 2 and half days, sequestered in a hotel or other meeting room talking to each other, hosting a variety of vendors and industry experts. In some cases we have been able to combine our smaller companies into one volume buying entity, saving money while getting a great service we might not otherwise have afforded. Industry experts and vendors may not make a trip to meet with me and talk about my 30 employee-firm, but they will meet with our group and talk to 9 companies and our almost 200 employees.
All of our clients have benefitted from my Benchmarking group over the last 5 years. All of our clients can benefit from a free lunch and a benchmarking review of our services!