How they did it?
At the end of 2019, Danville Girls High decided to go with Bentley Credit Control’s then recently launched outsourced school fee service from the beginning of 2020. A wise decision by the school, in which Bentley helped the school weather the storms of 2020 far better than most schools in the country. In fact, notwithstanding the COVID-19 Lockdown and the resulting recession, the school was able to achieve increased fee collections. Bentley was part of the solution that helped ensure that the school collected more fees in 2020 than pre-COVID.
Bentley also assisted other schools during the hard lockdown, where they could not work from the school, and their staff could not work from home. These schools commended Bentley for the high collection rates during this period.
What is the Schools Outsourced Service?
Bentley tailor a package for each school that can include one or more of the following services:
- Current year’s fee collections, through concerted and continuous call and communication campaigns in the name of the school
- Management of any previous years fees being paid off directly to the school
- Sending of section 41(5) letters at cost price for public schools
- Processing exemption applications for public schools
- Bad debt hand-over recommendations and automated transfer of matters for hand-over
- Online reports on individual accounts as well as overall fee collections performance metrics
All of these services are seamlessly done in the school’s name as though it were the school’s own staff doing them.
Why it Works?
- You don’t have to train new staff on the SA Schools Act. Bentley staff already understand the SA Schools Act from a fee collection perspective. So for example, when a parent raises the fact that they have a divorce order in terms of which the other parent is liable, Bentley can deal with it and even send a letter explaining the law.
- Bentley staff are debt collection experts and are constantly trained in debt negotiations skills and their calls are recorded and subject to Quality Assurance. In addition, they are well managed by an experienced call centre manager.
- Bentley staff operate in an advanced call centre environment with software and operating systems that increase the call rates and contact rates which translates into better collection rates.
- Bentley operates 12 months a year and is not affected by school holidays and breaks.
- Bentley has systems to deal with load shedding and in 2020, Bentley were able to seamlessly switch to Bentley staff Working from Home without stopping call centre operation at any point during the year.
- Contacting parents at the beginning of the year to establish early payment is vital to successful collections but many schools have the same person dealing with school fee collection that also process exemption applications which means that that person cannot attend to this vital task as exemption applications consume their time. Bentley have two separate departments dealing with fee collections and exemptions so there is no drop in attention to these two processes at the beginning of the year.
“Do what you do best, outsource the rest.”
- Tom Peters
In the modern world, a lot of organisations are succeeding by adopting the outsourcing solution – Bentley can help you get ahead in the vital area of school fee collections.