Debt collectors can be nice

by Bee Heller
November 13, 2013

US debt collection agency, CFS 2, is making twice the money as it’s competitors. How? By being ‘nicer’.

CFS 2 gives away free services to customers to help them get out of debt. Owner, Bill Bartmann, has a philosophy of helping customers in immediate need, getting them to a position where they can afford to pay him more money later. It’s a long term partnership rather than short term gain for CFS 2.

Bartmann creates a culture within his business that chimes with the helping nature of the services he wants to provide. He hires ‘customer care experts’ rather than ‘debt collectors’. I wonder how much even just the job title changes the way CFS 2 employees view their role? Bartmann is also known for creating company cultures that support employees to do their best work by offering free childcare, healthcare and unexpected rewards for employees meeting their performance targets.

Bartmann’s exceptional leadership and investment in employee engagement supports a distinctive customer proposition with a caring approach to service. This in turn drives business results that his competitors can only dream about. If in doubt, watch this film through to 2:00 when Bartmann shares his financial results. How many other businesses would do well to take Bartmann’s approach?


We love hearing examples of pioneering customer service like this so if you come across any send them our way and we’ll showcase them here on our blog. Here are some other pioneering stories we’ve come across:

Pioneering customer service from Netflix

London Underground’s pioneer

Floyd Lee – a pioneering cook in the US Army

The rise of the Big Mac

Our favourite pioneers at Nando’s Camberwel