The buzz at CRS 2023

Close-up of microphone in front of a meeting room

Back in Vegas for the Collections and Recovery Solutions 2023 conference, but we’re feeling pretty fancy because it’s at the Four Seasons.

What can we say? We’re fancy people.

But not too fancy to talk to absolutely everyone and hear what’s on their minds. Here are the top three issues everyone was buzzing about at CRS this year:

1. Cutting costs

A year ago, we were in a growth mindset. This year, we’re hearing about retraction, mitigation and cost-cutting.

A recent opinion piece in The Washington Post asked, “What the heck is going on with the U.S. economy?”, which echoes everyone’s feelings exactly.

We might not be white-knuckling our way down to a recession anymore (or maybe we are? Who knows?), but folks still feel unsettled and are bracing. We heard talk about:

  1. Layoffs affecting customers
  2. Small collections agency consolidations
  3. Nearshore hiring (shout out to all the folks on the great “Near Shore Opportunities Redefined” panel about this)
  4. Fintech’s competition to traditional borrowing and lending
  5. Increasing delinquencies

And it’s true that we’re biased, but we heard some really cool conversations about saving on business expenses by using AI.

Money-saving AI ideas people were sharing included everything from omnichannel communications and frictionless payment (we can’t help with that, but the tech is undeniably cool), and reducing manual tasks for management and agents so they can be more productive (we can totally help with that).

2. Customer experience and complaints

Complaints webinar details - click to register and for more information

Credit unions, lenders, and auto finance folks, we heard you talking about managing customer experience and complaints. With fintechs and online banks muscling in on customers, keeping customers happy is vital so they don’t even think about jumping ship. 

It’s a tricky balance. You need to know about complaints so you can track, resolve, and prevent. 

But complaints often come through customer service reps, who might be reluctant to record or escalate them in case it reflects poorly on them. And what counts as a complaint, anyway?

We’re glad you asked, because we’ve been hearing this from a lot of folks lately, so we put together a webinar to talk about the problems and hear ideas about managing the whole complaints process in consumer finance better.

Join us!

3. The FTC Safeguards Rule

No big surprise everyone was talking about this one, right? We’ve got T-minus-we-don’t-want-to-think-about-how-few days until it goes into effect, and everyone’s excited and confused.

We got some really useful information at the conference itself - thanks, legal eagles! - but we also asked folks where they were going for information on the new rule and wanted to share a handful of those:

  • The FTC is obviously the main spot and they have a main page on the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA if you want to sound cool at parties), but this page in particular is a great starting point.

  • ACA has a GLBA resource page with everything from blog posts to webinar recordings that’s worth poking around.

  • The National Auto Dealers Association has resources specifically around auto finance.

  • Eide Bailly LLP has a great webinar (there are more links on this page too) that explains not only what you need to do but why it’s important. Stick around for the Q&A.

And yes, Prodigal is compliant with the FTC Safeguards Rule. That extends to your data and protects your customers, too. Give us a shout - we’re ready to help.

Headed home

Gotta head to the airport and see if we can spend a little quality time on the Dolly Parton slot machine before we take off, but a huge thank you and congratulations to Mark Naiman for putting on one of the best conferences we’ve attended. 

Thanks for having us, Mark! See you next year.