Monday, February 29, 2016

Outsourcing Your Collection Process - First Party
Did you know that you can easily supplement your existing internal collection process by outsourcing all (or part) of your overall decline management process to a Business Process Outsource (BPO) provider. For example, at First Credit Services we have built incredibly effective ways of communicating with past-due members and collecting their past-due balance quickly..., plus we promptly point the member back to our clients' front desk for check in. Our Health & Fitness Clients truly appreciate our expertise when dealing with Member Service Issues.

No matter what, our research shows that most gyms can do much more to proactively speak with their members, and build a better relationship with members who visit the club less frequently.

By taking advantage of proven strategies, staffing, compliance, and technology, it can prove to be VERY cost effective to manage your declines more effectively through a qualified outsource provider like First Credit Services.

Programs can start right at the initial decline, or 15-30 days later depending on your internal resources. E-mails, Calls with Live Member Services Agents, Texting, Mailings, are all effective ways to keep in touch with lost members. Every consumer responds to different contact methods, so build a campaign that takes advantage of all these different possibilities. 

Members really do want you to call them and tell them that you want them back... we can help facilitate the relationship! Gyms who show their past-due members that they truly value their patronage are always more successful.

The data and trend reporting available by a BPO is extremely valuable, and quickly leads to improved and more efficient use of resources. Most BPO's can consistently achieve better results with a smaller staff.

"Consistency" is a key word here as well, since a BPO has the ability to maintain consistent results and has the ability to be much more flexible with its resources to ensure proper staff coverage without interruption. A BPO Client does not have to worry about personnel issues, absenteeism, vacations, technology, etc. and reaps the rewards of faster cash flow. 

First Party Outsourcing, A/R Management, and Collection Policies should be a top priority if you deal with a high volume of declines each month.

Health Club Membership Collections
First Credit Services has a long history as the leading and most innovative health club membership debt collection agency in the United States.  With decades of experience working closely with health and fitness club owners coupled with an experienced management team with decades of debt collection agency experience.  FCS offers the right mix to handle collections on health club membership debts with expertise and professionalism. Great Member Service is the main component of our success.  FCS manages both first and third party collections for many of the most prominent fitness brands across North America.

First Credit Services has built a department 100% DEDICATED to our Health Club Clients that require a customer service driven approach to debt collections. We offer health club collections in a way that impacts your fitness business positively.  Most Health & Fitness Club Collection Processes require a more detailed approach to ensure fewer members fall too far behind.

Your Collection agency should help save memberships, so make sure you understand your agency's core philosophy... Ask your Collection Agency Partner these simple questions:

Q. Does saving a member mean as much to you as simply collecting money? 
A. Yes, because we understand a saved member has much more value than a quick buck. We help facilitate Member Reinstatements.

Q. Do you work as an arbitrator to try and resolve issues, or are you too forceful in your collection tactics?
A. Look, customer service should always come first, and everyone loses when your agency treats your members with disrespect.

Q. What security Measures do you have in place to protect membership data?
A. FCS has the Controls in place to protect data and remain 100% Compliant. FCS is SOC 2 Type II Certified and PCI-DSS Level 1 Compliant.

Q. Do you employ enough resources to reach my members on the phone on a consistent basis?
A. Yes, FCS operates 3 Call Center Locations and employs over 300 Call Center Agents dedicated to gym membership collections.

Review your Agencies Ratings with the BBB, and CFPB.  Research Online Reputation Management to see what consumers say about the agents. Make sure your agency responds to customer inquiries and/or complaints in a prompt and efficient manner. If your agency does not respond it looks really bad, and leaves you to deal with unhappy customers.

There is a vast difference between the high and low quality debt collection agencies representing the Health & Fitness Industry.  Health Club Membership Collections does become much more successful when your agency partner has the resources in place. 

Also, if you handle the collection process internally, it could be a big mistake.  Remember, your staff needs to remain happy and friendly, and collecting past-due memberships is a very hard job.  Allow a reputable agency to assist. All health club membership collection needs to be handled in a back office away from the rest of your membership population.

Honestly, there is so much more to go over, and keep in mind that a quality agency should be able to discuss these and other issues with you, and offer back-up documentation to prove they are worthy to handle your business. In short, ask a lot of questions, and try to unmask your debt collection agency.  An Agency may not have the ability to supply you with sufficient information, which would be a red flag.

First Credit Services will be Exhibiting at IHRSA 2016

IHRSA is the best event in the Health & Fitness Industry each year. Attendees come from all over the world to find out what the next big thing will be in fitness. It's a great time to reconnect with friends and colleagues from some of the most prominent fitness brands.  As with most industries, Technology has been at the forefront the past few years, and 2016 is sure to follow that trend once again with some exciting new product developments and product enhancements.

Last year, a lot of the excitement was geared toward the smooth integration of advanced technology into indoor cycling, and I expect to see more of the same in Orlando this year. 

The Trade Show floor is always filled with new and exciting products that inspire every fitness professional to continue innovating and pushing the envelope further.

In my sliver of the fitness pie, (Billing, Collections, Member Retention) where we are responsible for communicating with the members outside of the club, we have spent the last year developing new technology which allows us to stay ahead of the compliance curve in the United States. Federal Regulations continue to stifle the way we communicate with consumers, and we continue to come up with innovative ways to feed the revenue cycle and keep a gyms bottom-line extremely healthy.

Will we see you there?

Here is a link of all exhibitors expected:

First Credit Services will be attending the 2016 Fitness Leaders Summit

Fitness Leaders Summit 2016 is going to be held at the Reunion Resort in Orlando, FL. The event will be held on March 18-19, the weekend leading up to IHRSA 2016.  So, if you are planning on attending IHRSA this year, this is a more intimate setting for some smaller regional health & fitness organizations. If you are looking for more in-depth industry knowledge from some of the most influential fitness industry veterans, here is your chance to be part of something exciting.

Learn more about the event produced by Fitness Leaders Alliance:

See you there!

About First Credit Services and FCSBPO

First Credit Services was established in 1993 as an A/R Management and Collection Company servicing several different industries including Health & Fitness, Healthcare, Auto Finance, Insurance, Utility, Direct Marketing, Education, and more.

We offer all phases of Decline Management, Billing, Collections, in a fully compliant and customer service oriented environment. We employ a large staff of experts who are trained in the most up-to-date forms of communication and strategy. 

FCS offers a very secure infrastructure including an off-site (State-of-the-Art) Data Center interconnecting our 3 strategic call center locations.  We are SOC2 Type II Certified and PCI-DSS Level 1 Complaint.

Our First Party (Outsourcing) Group offers clients a way to cut costs and rely on FCS to watch over all Staffing, Technology, Compliance, Reporting, Procedures, Customer Service, Auditing, Quality Control/Assurance, Call Monitoring, Strategy, and more to ensure best-in-class results coupled with a fully compliant solution.

Our Dashboard and CRM Tools link seamlessly with our client's current software offering a seamless integration between our staff and yours.

learn more about our services at
Health & Fitness:
First Party and Outsourcing:
Other Industries: