The success of your debt collection efforts can often be correlated to the effectiveness of your phone work. While following the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is a mandatory part of any debt collection process, your tone, timing, and framing of the conversation can make or break the call.
Here’s how to get the most bang for the buck when making debt collection calls.
Tips for Improving Debt Collection Calls
The most vital consideration when making debt collection calls is to follow the letter of the law dictating best practices for A/R recovery. Beyond the legal ramifications, it’s important to recognize that debt collection calls represent the company itself; handling the call in a less-than-professional manner could harm the brand. With social media so prevalent, who wants to run the risk of going viral for all the wrong reasons?
That’s why, when making debt collection calls, it’s important to stay positive yet in-control of the call. A confident tone can help improve the response of the consumer, while also helping you balance the needs of the company without destroying the client relationship.
Here are five additional tips on tone when handling debt collection calls:
- Smile during the call. While the customer obviously won’t see your face, smiling lightens your tone of voice, and they will hear the difference.
- Use the person’s name during the call, but don’t overdo it.
- Speak confidently, concisely, and never emotionally. If you need to, count to five before answering.
- Listen carefully but also use silence when necessary to keep control of the call.
- Stay calm, even if the customer gets upset.
But what about the process you use for debt collection? Are there tips that will make the debt collection call go more smoothly? What steps can help you improve the results?
Here are five suggestions:
- Make sure you have all the details on the case directly in front of you. Knowing the exact amount owed, the terms, and when the purchase was made or services rendered, will improve your effort. Having all of the data you need at hand will help you be more confident on the call.
- Ask open-ended questions to get as much information as possible from the customer.
- Focus on one thing only – the client – when making the calls. Do not multi-task, but instead, concentrate on the person at the other end of the line.
- Jot down a few goals for the calls and perhaps even script out a sentence to help the call go smoothly. While each client is different, having a series of tasks in front of you will improve your success.
- Nail down 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, getting the client to agree to something is a win for the company.
As a final step, summarize the results of the call before hanging up. It will help bring closure at the end of the debt collection call.
The team at Rocket Receivables employs these and other techniques to improve the success of your debt collection efforts. Talk to us or buy now to find out how we can help you improve your ROI.