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He beat out a competitor who cost half as much... without lowering prices!

He beat out a competitor who cost half as much... without lowering prices!

August 26, 2016

What would you do if your client wanted to switch to a competitor because they would charge half of your fee?

That’s exactly what happened to my dear friend Chad Silverstein, President of the collection agency Choice Recovery. “They would cut your fee in half, Chad” said the client. “I have to go with them.” But that's not the end of the story.

I've worked with a lot of entrepreneurs but Chad and his team are really special.  Here's why.

Chad was in a bind. He knew that his teams were the best at collections… But how could he compete with a company that could low-ball his client like this? 

Choice Recovery was worth the fees it charged.  Chad knew he didn't want to win in the low price limbo game.  So Chad proposed something else.“Let Choice retain half of the client list and the new agency take half.” Chad wagered, “After 6 months, we’ll still bring in more money for your company, even while charging our higher fee.”

How was Chad so sure he could beat the competition in performance?

Because Chad knew there was one thing Choice had done that none of their competition had. This one thing bettered their performance so much that they didn’t need to compete on price. What was it?

Choice Recovery had implemented Feedback Loops.

Feedback Loops are a critical part of Freedom Teams and Freedom Systems. Choice Recovery is continuously pursuing feedback: from employees, clients, the people in collections, and outside vendors.


 

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Click the image to get our

Fast 4-Question Feedback Loop workbook!

 

 


Feedback Loops with employees increased performance for both the employee AND the company!

Chad knew that feedback loops from the top down might help improve employee performance, but they weren’t going to improve the company’s performance. And one of Choice’s core values is “Constant and Never Ending Improvement” So he created a “Feedback Up” loop. Feedback Up provided feedback from the bottom up. Lower level employees were providing feedback to their managers and company executives.  

Chad knew he was creating an uncommon employment culture, one most employees would probably be wary of.

They wouldn’t automatically have the level of trust he was requesting. He knew new employees, in particular, would be scared to give honest feedback. So at the end of first week on the job, the New Employee Trainer and Chad ask for feedback. They beg for it. They have to get the new employee to unlearn what they’ve picked up from other jobs.

On day one, Chad says to a new hire, “It’s your job to give us feedback. If you don’t, you’re really working against us. Your fresh feedback helps us improve the training process the most.”

Here’s how Chad does it:

  1. Ask 10,000 times for feedback from the get-go
  2. Expect “crickets” (not honest answers)
  3. Take it a step further and give the new employee feedback too.

A recent new hire did give valuable feedback. Her trainer was getting distracted by month-old employees asking continual questions.The trainer had to connect the relatively new hires to others in the organization and wean them off of herself. Problem solved with quality feedback.

Chad didn’t just implement feedback loops with new hires…

Another “Feedback Up” technique he uses are anonymous employee surveys. In one, the company’s pay structure was brought up. Their current practice was to issue employees’ commission checks mid-month and the salary check at the first of the month.

The feedback they got was that employees wanted a different pay structure. “Help me budget better! Please restructure my pay plan so I can balance my expenses better.”

Chad said, “It would have been easier to tell them to just learn how to budget their money better. But acting on an employee’s need is a huge Win for our culture.” So they did it.


 

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Click the image to get our

Fast 4-Question Feedback Loop workbook!

 

 


Feedback Loops also improve your performance as a leader.

Chad takes a unique approach to getting his employees to give him honest feedback about his own performance.

During monthly meetings, Chad will sometimes use a role play technique to get employees comfortable with approaching him with feedback. He’ll have a team member act as though he or she is Chairman of the Board respectfully questioning, and demanding accountability from him as a CEO.

Chad says, “If team members see others doing this in role play, they’ll feel more confident coming to my office to give me input. They know that I’m trustworthy and honest when I ask for feedback.”

Client & Potential Client Feedback Loops identify problems and pains you can solve.

One of biggest complaints Chad hears about working with companies in the collection industry is, “We never hear from our collections agency. I never know what’s going on.” Or, “I got hooked up with a sales rep and we never heard from them again.” 

Choice Recovery took this on and decided to make themselves “unforgettable” in the industry.  They implemented both annual and semi-annual meetings with clients. With about 4500 clients, this was 20-30 reviews a month: a full-time job!

So Chad hired Kathleen, whose sole job was to conduct these reviews, document the feedback, disseminate it to the entire company throughout the month, and provide individual team member feedback during the monthly meeting.

“We’re being pro-active with our clients so they won’t even think that other collections agencies can do a better job,” says Chad.  

To complete this 360 Feedback Loop, Kathleen tells Choice clients how their feedback was received by Choice Recovery’s team members.

So did Choice Recovery win the account back?

The top notch company culture Chad had cultivated with Feedback Loops drove top notch performance. The rival agency who attempted to undercut Choice couldn’t keep up.

Choice brought in 5 times the bottom line dollar amount than their competitor!

If you want a company culture that outperforms your competition, give your team outstanding relationships with clients and among each other.  Feedback Loops are a must. They create a company culture that is strong, efficient, effective and profitable.   

Feedback is key to Never Ending and Constant Improvement.

 

Taking you from where you are to where you want to be.

Jon


 

How to Tape into the Power of AR Image.png

 

Click the image to get our

Fast 4-Question Feedback Loop workbook!