Longevity: Has the agency been in business for a while and do they have an established track record? Is there some assurance they will be here for you tomorrow? Commercial collection agencies spring up everyday. Most will be reputable, but not all. Some will make it and others won't. We often receive collection matters from clients who placed past-due accounts with an upstart agency. The agency collected but did not remit. The client then places the collection agency with us, and the agency has become the debtor! This actually happens with some frequency. CST has been in business since 1927. We have served the needs of business and industry through times of prosperity and periods of deepest depression.
Credentials: Does the agency belong to any organizations that have established rules of conduct for agencies and attorneys, and support creditors' rights? If not, be wary. North America's oldest creditors' rights organization is the Commercial Law League of America. CST is a member and in 1960, we joined a small group of commercial agencies to form what is now the Commercial Collection Agency Association of the CLLA. CST is proud of the fact that it was issued the 2nd certificate of compliance, and we remain a member in good standing today.
Manpower: Does the agency have enough staff to get the job done? If you are not sure, ask! Many agencies have glamorous websites that might lead you to believe they are bigger than they really are. If you look behind the surface, you may find that the agency only has a handful of employees. Do they have enough adjustors to handle a volume of your business effectively? Do they have an adequate support staff to answer any questions or concerns you might have, or help you with special issues or requests? What about sales representatives in the field? CST maintains sales reps in or near almost every major U.S. city. They are available to meet with you to address any credit concerns you might have, and they can also knock on your debtor's door, if the situation warrants. It might surprise you to know that CST has more sales representatives on the ground than most of our competitors have employees!
Experience: How experienced are the agency's adjustors? This is key. Experience is often the difference between a recovery and an uncollectible account. The adjustor has to know what to look for, what to say and what to do, in many different situations. How many years experience do the adjustors have in commercial collections? Many agencies, especially upstart companies that offer incredibly low rates, cut corners by hiring collectors with little or no experience. We take great pride in the fact that our adjustors average 15 years commercial collection experience. During this time, they have probably encountered just about every possible collection scenario. Our clients benefit from their experience and expertise.
We feel there is some truth to the old adage that you often get what you pay for. If you are dissatisfied with the performance of your current collection agency or one of the agencies you are working with, we invite you to give CST a try. We'd greatly appreciate the opportunity to show you what our years of experience can do for you!