Famous Contradictions

Famous Contradictions

  • If Birds of a feather flock together,” then why is it that Opposites attract”?
  • If “Clothes make the man”  is it also true that “You cannot judge a book by its cover.”?
  • I’ve always thought that “Great minds think alike” until I heard that “Fools seldom differ.”
  • Always remember: “Laugh and the world laughs with you; weep and you weep alone.” but don’t forget that “Misery loves company.”
  • When we need help, we say “Many hands make light work,” until we remember that “Too many cooks spoil the broth.”

Having Difficulty Looking at Your New Year’s resolutions?

Now that February is rapidly passing, many of us have lost sight of our resolutions and get squeamish thinking about the chocolate cake that got devoured or the extra pounds that haven’t fallen away. Maybe it’s easier to start with more kindness, to ourselves and others . . .

Tom the Turkey

“Gobble, gobble.” Translation: I’m grateful for all you veterinarians.

“Gobble? Gobble, gobble.” Translation: Did I say veterinarians? I meant to say Vegetarians.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Mundanity of Excellence

I recently read a book about the history of swimming: “Splash! 10,000 Years of Swimming,” by Howard Means.

In a chapter chronicling ever-advancing record times in competitive swimming, the following jumped out at me.

“Just as world-record times drop incrementally, with every new standard refocusing the expectations of swimmers coming behind, so individual times are mostly lowered not by sudden bursts of glory (although they may look that way to the outside world) but by focus, discipline, and attention to detail.”

The author relates the experience of sociologist David Chambliss, who in the early 1980s, attended virtually every major U.S. swimming competition – including Indoor and Outdoor National Championships, the 1984 Olympic Trials, and eventually the Games themselves – and interviewed some 120 national- and world-class swimmers and coaches.

“What he learned, basically, is that the little things count: ‘Superlative performance is really a confluence of dozens of small skills or activities, each one learned or stumbled upon, which have been carefully drilled into habit and then are fitted together in a synthesized whole. There is nothing extraordinary or superhuman in any of these actions; only the fact they are done consistently and correctly, and all together, produce excellence.’”

Chambliss called it the “mundanity of excellence.”

Excellence can be achieved through the mundane tasks we do daily.

We strive for excellence every day in helping consumers resolve their debts. This difficult task requires focus, discipline, and attention to detail. It takes well-trained people who are willing to continuously improve their skills. As evidence of our commitment to employee training and development, last year we completed 718,369 hours of training. Our agents receive ongoing coaching. In fact, our Supervisors devote 80 percent of each day to coaching their team members. By learning and practicing important skills such as active listening, asking probing questions, and expressing empathy, we achieve positive outcomes, both for our clients and for the consumers with whom we interact on a daily basis.   

I believe our team embeds these qualities in their lives and in the communities in which we live. Every single step counts.

Contributed by: John Yanny

HUMANITY in Debt Collections a MUST

I pictured a ragtag tough squad of big men with baseball bats and chewing tobacco when I started my first job as a debt collector. At social gatherings, when asked what I did for a living, I made the sea of bodies part and disappear when I stated, “I’m a bill collector.” As if I could see through any human being with my super-woman x-ray vision and know their credit score. But perception doesn’t always equal reality—it certainly didn’t in my case. I discovered the debt collection industry has many positive aspects, including a few famous alumni. Demi Moore collected debt for a living, and so did Tyler Perry (I know that about him because I worked with him in Atlanta many years ago).

As an agent of resolution, young naive me didn’t understand that people don’t always pay their bills. I learned that some folks avoid, while others forgot or cannot pay at that moment, and there are people who may never pay. Years have passed since my first collection call, regulatory agencies have tightened policies, organizations have changed the way they do business—yet approaching consumers has always remained the same for me. My neighbor, family member, fellow consumer, fellow human being is on the other end of that phone—I will be kind and I will work together with him/her to resolve their situation.

It’s nice to have spent the last eight years of my life working in an organization that shares my values. Thank you, AllianceOne team for your humanity, especially during times of Corona Virus.

Contributed by: Roni Teson

Consumer Centric

With COVID-19 taking over the world the last few months, companies have brought out buzz words such as “compassion,” “understanding,” “respect,” “humanity,” etc.  We’re all consumers, and most of us have experienced treatment from organizations that left us feeling pretty low about ourselves. In my 30 years of being in the business, I can tell you that each and every year, consumers are faced with challenges due to unforeseen circumstances and organizations need to be there for their consumers in good times and bad.

At AllianceOne, we do not just say those words during tragic events; we live by those words every day. We believe “Every Interaction Matters” and your reputation depends on a company that drives positive human interaction through its training as well as its documented policies and procedures.

Our core values drive the way we do business, NO EXCEPTIONS!!!!!

We combine human touch and high technology to deliver simpler, faster, and safer consumer interactions.

As consumers, we want options and we want the ease of doing business without giving up the right to being treated like a human being. That is why I enjoy working for AllianceOne; we are always exploring ways to support the consumer but always being there with human interaction when people need it.   

Contributed by: Tim Bolden

Confessions of a Complaint-Free Zone!

More than 90 percent of consumers recognize the Better Business Bureau (BBB) Seal and know that it stands for trust and credibility. At AllianceOne, we are proud to be BBB Accredited and hold an A+ Rating. Not all companies can claim this, especially not businesses who work with consumers on repaying their debts.

We take every complaint seriously, and work to resolve each one in a timely manner. We follow formal policies and procedures for remediating any issues. This approach stems not only from the high regulations of our industry, but because it’s the right thing to do.  AllianceOne’s collection services comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations including the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). We ensure compliance through continuous staff training and development, as well as ongoing quality monitoring. But mostly, we maintain a low complaint ratio because we understand that the voice on the other end of the phone is just as human as we are, and together we can find a way to resolution.

While complaints are often associated with the collection of debt, we are proud to note that our complaint ratio is a low 0.001 percent. For perspective, AllianceOne agents participate in more than 3 million conversations annually with consumers. This is a lot of consumer touch points, but we strongly believe that Every Interaction Matters. We train our people to actively listen in order to understand each consumer’s unique circumstances. It takes commitment and effort from every team member to achieve this low ratio.  

Contributed by: John Yanny