Like many people in accounts receivable, Bethany Robertson found her career path by accident – working part time for an agency during college. Now, Vice President, co-owner, and founder of Debt Recovery Solutions of Ohio, Inc, she runs a thriving collection agency of her own.
As a long time customer of PDCflow, we wanted to highlight Robertson’s accomplishments, as well as the success her agency has experienced under her leadership. Here, she discusses her career journey, her main professional focuses, and what she has observed in the debt collection industry.
- Can you tell me about your background in the accounts receivable industry? How did you get started? What has been your path to where you are now as Vice President?
I have been in the accounts receivables industry since 1994. I started out working part time through my summer and holiday breaks at a small collection agency while I attended college. The industry and the work intrigued me.
I would stuff letters and listen to the phone calls between the agents and the consumers, listen to the office manager handle the day-to-day affairs. I quickly learned I loved the challenge of finding the consumers and talking them into paying and one thing led to another.
After I graduated college, I moved away and found myself working in the accounts receivable department of a trucking company where I applied my knowledge and experience from the collection agency. I cleaned up and developed a solid billing and collection practice for the department and moved into other areas of management.
The contact I made at the collection agency I worked for decided she wanted to start up her own agency. We partnered together over 19 years ago and here we are, Debt Recovery Solutions of Ohio. We started in the basement of her home in 2002.
She is part-time now and looking at retiring soon and the transition is going great. I have learned some invaluable lessons from her over the years and it has been a great ride.
- What is your main concern right now as Vice President of Debt Recovery Solutions of Ohio?
My main concern is increasing our brand and market share. We have a solid team with great experience and up to date technology.
As we all know, consumer engagement is harder and harder to obtain yet I believe the software we invested in over a year ago gives us a competitive edge and we are here to make our mark.
- In your opinion, what is the biggest change the coronavirus pandemic has brought to the industry?
The biggest change the coronavirus pandemic brought to the industry – I am going to answer this not about our industry specifically but overall. The biggest change is it has brought a high level of anxiety to society.
This anxiety manifests itself in our communication with consumers, employees, clients, and the community. I think addressing the element and effect of anxiety across the board is critical to the overall health of any company.
- How is Debt Recovery Solutions of Ohio preparing for Regulation F?
I am extremely thankful for our software company that ensured we were ready for Regulation F. Our company has a conservative compliance strategy, and we don’t push the limits. Our software made sure we were prepared and protected and it’s our duty to provide ongoing training for the agents.
I took the mindset that our team would approach the new regulations practically and choose to see the good in the changes instead of fighting against the regulations. The deadline came and went smoothly thanks to my team and partnership with our software vendor.
- Does DRS plan to implement text and email into your consumer communication channels?
We currently text and email our consumers. However, I want to meet the consumers where they are, and we are implementing a Unified Communication Strategy. The UCS is a seamless omni-channel workflow that provides consistency in communication to intuitively determine the most efficient and effective options for consumers.
- DRS recently updated its website. What changes did you make and has it been impactful to your business?
The changes to our website have been a process. However, we found a great marketing partner, Source Brand Solutions, to clean up and simplify our message on our website and in our email campaigns. It’s been extremely impactful for our business.
We are increasing our reach in the social media world and making connections through the marketing strategy established with Source Brand Solutions.
- What resources do you recommend for professionals in the ARM industry in order to stay up-to-date on regulations and best business practices?
HFMA, insideARM, ACA International are my top go-to sources for ARM professionals.
- What is the proudest moment in your professional career?
A proud moment in my professional career is when we were recognized as the Small Business of the Year in 2020 by our chamber of commerce.
However, the proudest moments are the day-to-day relationships we have developed with our employees, clients, consumers, vendors and throughout our community.
The people make the difference, and I am proud of the people we have connected with over the last 19 years.
- In life?
Hands down, my proudest moments are with my children, Jake and Magey. They are beautiful humans. They are 22 and 20 and I have so much respect for how they handle life and grow through the adversities. Even in their imperfections, they are still my proudest moments.
About Bethany Robertson
Vice President, co-owner, and founder of Debt Recovery Solutions of Ohio, Inc. since 2002, where her vision and passion for strategy continues to push the company to new heights.
Bethany earned her BA in Business Administration from Mt Vernon Nazarene University in Mt Vernon, Ohio while simultaneously running her own collection agency.
Her passions include her love of God and family – especially her two children, Jake and Magey. She is also dedicated to inspiring others to reach their potential and constantly working on being a better version of herself.
Growth in all aspects of her personal and professional life is her daily focus, but she truly loves the simple things in life: a stroll on the beach or in the woods, a great challenging and deep conversation, or a lazy nap on the dock. These are the ways she enjoys spending her time reflecting, living and loving.
One of Bethany’s favorite quotes is from Maya Angelou and it touches on something that she has had to rely on in her life:
“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”
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