Today, Monday, August 21st, 2017, will become one of the most watched, photographed and shared moments in our history. The “Great American Solar Eclipse” will darken daytime skies along a 70-mile-wide path stretching diagonally from the west to the east coast of the United States. The moon will “appear” to completely cover the sun, like two identically sized shapes overlapping each other. This illusion will make it “appear” the moon and the sun are the same size and for a moment, day will “appear” as dusk.
Validating skip trace and data outsourcing decisions are easy to self-justify by the “apparent” results we see with our own eyes…years of experience…“proven” scientific methods and mainstream metrics. Unlike today’s rare and historic solar eclipse, we unknowingly live daily on our own path of totality…we choose a path and gauge progress by “apparent” results. We predicted the moon would overlap the sun today. From our vantage point, the moon and the sun are the same size, millions will see it with their own eyes. But in fact, the sun’s diameter is about 400 times larger than that of the moon and about 400 times farther from Earth though today that will not be apparent.
What if our data outsourcing and skip trace decisions are being undermined by illusions and firsthand experience from our own paths of totality? What if these illusions and our disillusions are holding us back from realizing our potential? Why are my competitors outperforming me on client scorecards?
I don’t pretend to have all the answers when it comes to the optimal skip tracing or data outsourcing strategies. However, I’m convinced of two things…. (1) the appearance of greatness is an illusion that will be challenged tomorrow and (2) overconfidence is the telltale sign we are deceived by the illusions we see in the skip trace path of totality.
Here are a few examples of skip trace illusions we see in the path of totality:
1. The highest right party contact rate will produce the highest number of contacts.
2. The best Return on Investment (ROI) will result in the highest profit dollars.
3. The lowest price per hit will result in the lowest expense.
4. Higher hit rates will result in more contacts.
The answers to higher levels of skip trace performance lies beyond these illusions of performance. Identifying what’s causing these illusions and seeing things as they are, not as they appear, are the first steps in making game changing gains in performance and profitability in skip tracing.
About the Author: Will Turner, Vice President of Analytics at TEC, helps organizations boost profitability and performance by enabling them to make smarter decisions on the use of third-party data and scoring vendors. Will is known as a thought leader and strategist with over 18 years in the Credit and Collections industry. He is a specialized subject matter expert in designing, implementing and managing data and analytical strategies for various applications across the account lifecycle including skip tracing, ID authentication, ID verification and fraud prevention. He consults with some of the largest banks, credit card issuers, collection agencies, debt buyers, collection law firms and data companies today.