This story first appeared on Sweet Startups.
David Hernandez is the Client Manager for Pacific Collection Group. The Group is a debt collection agency serving businesses and individuals that need to have their investments recouped. The Group serves a broad range of clients and takes care of each one with excellent customer service. In addition to taking care of its clients, the Group has a mission to treat debtors with politeness and respect. This does not mean that they cannot be firm when it is required, but they believe that it is more likely that a debt will be collected if the debtor is approached like a human being.
Hernandez has a background in real estate, but he wanted to do something different with his life. He soon entered the field of debt collection and found out that his skill set meshed perfectly with his job. He is involved with the Group’s proprietary debt collection software and uses it to help his clients get their money back.
Hernandez believes that it is crucial for all employees of debt collection agencies to be well-versed in the law so that costly missteps are not made. With attention to detail and the legalities of the business, Pacific Collection Group will continue to succeed.
How did you get involved in the industry?
I started out in real estate, but I soon decided that it wasn’t right for me as a career. I went looking for new job opportunities that would use my financial expertise. One of my friends from college told me that he had gotten into debt collection and he suggested that I might enjoy the work. Soon after, I applied to my current job and was accepted.
Did you ever doubt your business idea?
Of course, we had some misgivings when we started out. There were already several other debt collection companies in our area, and we feared that the market might be saturated. We were able to win ourselves a significant client base in the first few years of our business, which means that we could compete effectively with other agencies in our area. That put our fears to rest.
Did you have a mentor?
I do have a mentor. She worked at our agency longer than I have, and she showed me the ropes of taking care of clients. She has since retired, but we continue to have lunch and coffee every so often. I value her opinion about the work I have been doing, and she continues to be a big help. I hope that I can mentor a less-experienced colleague myself. I feel that I would get a lot out of that interaction.
Do you have any regrets about your career choices?
No, I don’t have any regrets. I get a great deal of satisfaction out of recovering our clients’ money. I believe it is a simple principle of fairness that people who take services or products need to pay for them. If they can’t afford them, they shouldn’t get them in the first place. Sadly, many businesses and individuals have not absorbed this lesson.
Which business leaders do you admire most?
Henry Ford is inspiring. He was able to create an entire industry through his introduction of the Model T. His designs for the modern assembly line made a huge impact on businesses everywhere.
What does the future hold for your company?
I hope that our company will continue to serve many clients and recoup their investments. We are looking into expanding our services, and I hope that we are able to increase our reach in the business community. We will need to hire some more people to do so, but I believe we have a strong plan in place to do so.
What is the most important aspect of your brand?
The most important aspect of the brand is that Pacific Collection Group provides its services with a human touch. We believe in treating debtors with respect, which isn’t often done in our industry. We believe that approaching a debtor as a human being, rather than as a simple source of money, makes a big difference in how we run our business.
What motivates you?
I am a strongly self-motivated person. The satisfaction of getting a client’s money back motivates me. I view each client interaction as a challenge, and when I am successful, I feel like I have won. It’s a great way to approach business. I am also motivated by caring for my family.
How do you unwind?
I unwind by running, listening to music, and watching movies. Running is a way for me to work off my negative feelings while making my body stronger and better able to meet the challenges of every day. It also lets me think and gets me outdoors, which is important when you work in an office setting.
Do you have any advice for our readers?
I would advise your readers to look outside the box when it comes to applying for jobs. You may not have the exact background that the employer is looking for, but your personal skills can impress an employer. I didn’t have any experience in debt collection when I started with our company, but I was able to adapt quickly.