Amanda Cortes, Customer Relations Department Manager at ClaimFox, has worked in the credit and collections field for over 12 years. She began her career in the accounts receivable department of a small company and has worked her way up to her current position with ClaimFox.
Recently, Debbie Ritter, ABC-Amega Client Relationship Manager, sat down with Amanda to discuss her career in the credit field.
DR: How did you get into the credit field?
AC: Accidentally. I was working a seasonal position for a small “mom and pop” company, when my job was about the end for the season, a need arose in the company for someone to make collection calls, and I needed a job, so I gave it a shot, and I seemed to have a knack for it, so I stayed with it. That’s how I fell into the field.
DR: What challenges, if any, have you faced in this industry?
AC: The biggest challenges I’ve faced were when I was working for a smaller company and dealing directly with debtors. It can be very personal when debt is owed, and a difficult subject to discuss, so the communication with debtors has been a challenge in the past. You need to be delicate and respectful.
DR: How has the industry changed over the years?
AC: Back in the day, you would have direct contact, I would pick up the phone and call the debtor. Today, nobody wants to be on the telephone, everyone wants to communicate over email. It’s easier for people to hide behind an email, which makes it difficult to work with a debtor to make any type of arrangement to get invoices paid. When you can speak to someone on the phone, you can build a relationship, and when you have that relationship established, it’s much more efficient to work with them, and both the job of the creditor and debtor are that much easier.
DR: What are the biggest challenges facing a credit professional?
AC: Back to communication, my biggest challenge is getting people to get out from behind a screen. I want to talk to people and have them see my face. I like to use sales tactics and build the relationship the same way a salesperson does with a client. I want to be able to call a debtor anytime I need to, and I want them to feel the same way about me.
DR: In what ways do you feel the industry could or should improve?
AC: Again, I feel that the industry needs to get back to being personal. I feel like all my problems can be solved by just making a phone call. We can also improve by being compassionate and understanding. Debtors want to pay on their invoices, and if we can be more open to listen and discuss, I think the industry will benefit a great deal.
DR: What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about getting into the credit industry?
AC: You need to have tough skin, and you need to have the ability to leave work at work. Sometimes things won’t go as you planned, but you can’t dwell, or you will end up feeling defeated. This line of work is like solving a puzzle; you need to understand who you are talking to, and then figure out how to reach a reasonable outcome that will benefit your company as well as the debtors. You have to like a challenge!
ClaimFox has created an industry specifically dedicated to building customized solutions for the reproduction and release of claims information for insurance companies and third party administrators. ClaimFox has expertise in a wide array of industries. Their services are largely utilized by national auto insurance carriers for claim requests and subpoena processing including medical authorizations, arbitration, litigation, and subrogation document preparation. With extensive expertise and experience with major carriers, ClaimFox’s proven effective and efficient solutions are fully customized to meet their client’s specific needs.
Did you enjoy this interview? Read about other Women In Credit that we have interviewed!
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- Beatriz Leon: Founder and Managing Partner, La Cima International
- Christine Lipani: Senior Manager of Credit and Collections, Meredith Corporation
- Deborah Montgomery: President, Larr & Associates
- Gwen Brooks: Manager of North America Customer Financial Services, Federal-Mogul Powertrain
- Jackie Mulligan: North American Credit Operations Manager, Procter and Gamble (P&G)
- Juliana Brownell: International Credit Manager, Land O’Lakes, Inc.
- Krista Cappadocia: Loss Mitigation Manager, Wave Financial
- Lisa Tanner: Director of Global Credit and Collection, Nidec Motor Corporation
- Madeleine Féquière: Corporate Credit Chief, Domtar
- Mary Hotvedt: Credit Manager, Waupaca Foundry
- Michele Gerst: Vice President of Global Outsourcing, ABC-Amega, Inc.
- Riki-Lee Ritz: Vice President and Managing Director of International Business, ABC-Amega, Inc.
- Rose Cross: Supervisor, Credit & Collections, STERIS Corporation
- Sheri Loulache: Credit and Collections Supervisor, Optos
- Tammy Osborne: Regional Vice President, Southern – ABC-Amega
- Terri Barron: Manager of Credit, Original Equipment, US and CA, Michelin
- Val McGowan: Financial Services Business Manager, Wesco
- Vanina Negri: Collections Manager, Google
- Virginia Sheflin: Vice President of Outsourcing, ABC-Amega, Inc.