JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- Overdue books can cost libraries thousands, if not millions of dollars.
But in downtown Jeffersonville, there is a small company that works exclusively with 1,500 libraries throughout the world to recover overdue books, materials, fines and fees.
Richard Neal is the sales manager for Unique Managements Services, which has 70 employees.
"It is really a specific niche we work with," said Neal. "We help libraries recover their overdues."
The company uses a process it has copyrighted and calls the "Gentle Nudge."
Explains Neal, "the approach is to be gentle, kind, and respectful to the borrower and that has really been the model of unique management."
Gentle Nudge is a 120-day series of letters, calls and credit reporting. Neal says his company has a 65 percent recovery rate.
"The old adage is that you get much more with honey than with vinegar," said Neal. "It really pays off because the patron does not feel intimidated by a service calling and saying, 'Here is what you need to do.'"
He says people they reach mostly say they have simply forgotten about a book they checked out from the library -- but there are also those who come up with some pretty far-fetched excuses, everything from "a dog ate my book," to "someone stole it."
"We've even had some who have said an alien came and took the materials," said Neal.
Neal says his company has about as much as the library can get, so it has recently created a new branch that is looking to expand into other services.
"We are working with dental practices, assisting them with setting up appointments on their practice management system," said Neal.
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