May 4, 2020Don Murphy

I don’t want to leave anything out so just in case I’ll make my presentation bigger.  Just a few more sentences and there you go.  All things said, nothing left out, and I’ve just created a 30,000-word masterpiece that will lose readers after the first 2 paragraphs. 

In all word creations, there is a tendency to involve more words and multiple options.  But in reality, we have to pay attention to what the reader is trying to accomplish and even more importantly, what we want them to accomplish.

Sometimes too much good information is, well,…TOO MUCH!

This happens in forms too like the forms created for court installment plans.  There was a time when we went beyond the terms of the agreement of what was owed and how it would be paid and loaded in additional data just in case.  Such things as employment data.  This isn’t bad information but before you place it in your agreement you have to ask yourself, “Am I ever going to use this” and beyond that “is this information reliable?”  Many times your answer is no and no.  So why is it on your form?

Other data placed in payment plans include the liabilities of your customer.  This can be things like house loans, car payments, and credit cards.  Again, these items are not bad, just not useful.  The court payment obligation is required and how that gets paid is the most important part.

Why should we consider eliminating employment and liability information?  Because it takes time and does not contribute to your payment plan objective which is to pay off the debt through regularly scheduled payments.

Timing for your customers is also important.  By eliminating unnecessary data fields enrollment times will be reduced.   According to the St. Lucie Clerk’s office, payment plans enrollment times improved by 10 minutes per application by dropping this type of data.

Instead, their form now includes all relevant terms of the agreement along with notification information for mailing, calling, emailing, and texting. It also has acknowledgments by the customer that electronic noticing using email and texting is OK.

Have you looked at your payment plans lately?  Does the data captured remain relevant to your compliance service purpose?  If not, consider a trim.  Your processing time will improve and your customers will create better information for you to work together on.