I recently had lunch with a friend of mine. As we talked, he shared his concern that the deduction specialist he had hired about a year ago was not working out. He dreaded the idea of firing her because he did not want to take the time necessary to train someone to replace her. Based on the details he provided, I guessed that he was using the deduction specialist position as the entry level position in credit and collections. He confirmed this was true. When asked, he told me that the deduction specialist was trained by one of the collectors, and agreed that her training was focused more on collection practices than on dispute resolution. I asked if there was any formal training program for the deduction specialist position. The answer was no. I asked if he had created operating procedures and working instructions. Again the answer was no.
Since he asked for my comments, I told him that I thought hiring an entry level person to handle deductions for his department was a recipe for disaster. I added that reconciling customer deductions and resolving them through customer payment, credit or write off is far more complicated that collecting undisputed past due invoices – which while more complicated than simply dialing for dollars does not reach the same level of complexity as researching and resolving deductions.
I suggest that the person selected as the deduction specialist should be promoted from among the collectors meaning this should never be an entry level position. Given how complicated the deduction resolution process can be, I think that processes, policies and procedures along with work instructions must be developed for and provided to the deduction specialist. Anything less will result in less than optimal results. Anyway, that’s my opinion. What’s yours?
Michael Dennis’ Covering Credit Commentary. Michael’s website is www.coveringcredit.com.
The opinions presented are those of the author. The opinions and recommendations do not necessarily reflect the views of CMA, or their Officers and Directors. Readers are encouraged to evaluate any suggestions or recommendations made, and accept and adopt only those concepts that make sense to them.