The success of your debt collection efforts often depends on the effectiveness of your phone work. While following the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is an essential part of any debt collection process, the tone, timing, and framing of the conversation of the collection executive can make or break the call.
Having decades of experience in handling debt collection calls on behalf of our clients, Fusion has in-depth knowledge on how to improve your debt collection calls. Here we share a few tips that can help you improve your debt collection efforts:
Tips for Improving Debt Collection Calls
Things to Remember:
While making debt collection calls one must follow the letter of the law stating the best practices for A/R recovery. Apart from the legal ramifications, you must also keep in mind debt collection calls are made on behalf of your business and therefore, you should maintain the professional courtesy on the call. Remember, in this age of social media, one step out of the line can make your brand viral for all the wrong reasons.
Therefore, you must stay positive yet in-control of your debt collection calls. A confident tone will earn you a better response from your customers and help you meet the needs of your business without damaging the company-customer relationship.
So how to prepare for success while making debt collection calls? Here are some tried and tested tips: –
1. Be Proactive
following up after sending the product or providing service or one or two days prior to the due date may help you avoid non-payment. Therefore, you must proactively interact with your customers and ask them if everything was satisfactory and whether they have received the invoice. This will also help you maintain a better customer-company relationship.
2. Be Prepared
Before making the call gather and have in front of you as much information about your customer and the debt as you can, including having the file and all the invoices at hand. Fusion always advocates having all the data at the agent’s fingertip. It helps them improve the success rate of their collection calls.
3. Get Your Conversation Pointers Ready
Before making a collection call, you must jot down the pointers you want to talk about in a call. This will help you stay in control over the conversation and get back on track in case the interaction goes off the track.
4. Smile During the Call
While the customer can’t see your face, smiling can lighten your tone of voice. This way, you will sound more positive and confident. Fusion has always encouraged its collection agents to smile on call. It brings a positive impact on the call.
5. Use the Person’s Name
A person’s name is the sweetest thing to his ears and addressing by their name adds the personal touch to the call creating a better customer experience. However, overdoing it will make the customer feel irritated.
6. Speak Confidently and Concisely
Conveying a concise message in a confident tone can help you get a better response from your customers. However, you must never get emotional on collection calls or you will lose the control and the other party will take advantage of it. If you feel emotional, you should wait for a while before answering.
Sure, it is difficult to keep emotions at bay especially while dealing with tricky customers. But a tricky customer can use your emotion against you. For this reason, it is always better to outsource your debt collection service to an experienced debt collection agency.
7. Listen Carefully but also use Silence to Control the Conversation
You need to be a good listener on a debt collection call. Once you deliver your message in a concise way, you should listen to what the other party has to say in this matter. However, do not let the other party take control of the call. You can use silence to take control back as and when necessary.
8. Stay Calm, Even if the Customer Gets Upset
Not all collection calls go smoothly. During some calls, emotions run high and the customer gets upset. However, you must stay calm in such situations. If you too get emotional, the purpose of the call will be ruined and you will have to start afresh.
9. Take Notes
Documenting everything that is said, including the customer’s feedback, can help you in case of any dispute.
10. Don’t Jump to Conclusions
The initial collection call should aim to confirm that the debt has not been paid. This will ensure you are not alienating an otherwise good customer. The unpaid invoice may be a miscommunication, and not a collection issue at all, so you want to be careful. During our vast experience in providing debt collection services, we have seen that a mistake from the accounts department can lead to such problems.
11. Give Options
Suggesting options like paying in installments can help the debtor clear their dues faster. If the person you are calling agrees to pay by credit card, you must ensure that he/she signs the statement. You can fax them the authorization form and have them fax it back after signing. Do not leave anything to chances.
12. Get a Commitment
Without a commitment from a customer to pay, the call is potentially wasted. Whether it’s a partial or full payment, or a commitment to pay at a certain date is essential for a successful collection call.
13. Conclude Well
Before ending the call, you must convey the summary of the entire call to the debtor party, including how and when they will make the payment and depending on the mode of payment ask the debtor to confirm when the payment has been made.
14. Keep in Interaction Open
Someone who may not be able to pay up may be able to pay later, so keep the conversation open. You can also help them figure out how to get the money without paying big interest. This way you can carry on your negotiation and still can maintain a good relationship with your customer.
These are some of the tips that can help you make professional quality debt recovery calls. Having problems handling collection calls on your own? Fusion can help. We are a licensed debt collection services provider who has decades of experience in providing debt recovery services to numerous clients.