When collecting receivables, you must respect consumer rights. Otherwise, you risk alienating otherwise good customers or even risking a report to a federal agency for harassment or abuse. We believe that our customers want to retain their good reputations. Respecting their consumer rights during debt collection serves as the first critical step.
Double- and Triple-Check Your Data
Accurate data can stop you from making mistakes during the data collection process. For instance, if you have redundant data in your database, you might accidentally contact the same debtor numerous times in a day, which can irritate even the most understanding customers.
Repeated and continual calls are among the top mistakes debt collectors make. By contacting your debtors several times in a short time period, you may disrupt them and even impede their ability to focus on their work.
Start With Friendly Reminders
If you start the debt collection process with a friendly letter, you might avoid bad feelings that could lead to lost business in the future. Some customers actually do misplace invoices or forget to write a check. Friendly reminders give your customers the chance to make good on their promise to pay without mentioning debt collection at all.
Know the Rules and Regulations
Before you try collecting debts on your own, start by learning the rules. The federal government lists several regulations that limit behavior during debt recovery attempts, such as calling early in the morning or late at night, using threatening language, and ignoring cease and desist notifications. Many states may have their own regulations as well, so it’s important to be well versed to stay compliant.
If you don’t know the rules, or if you don’t have time to teach your staff the regulations, you might want to outsource receivable recovery. You won’t have to worry about violating the law or training employees in-house.
Adopt Important Company Values, Such as Honesty
When collecting debts on your own, adopt company values that force you and your staff to respect consumer rights. Honesty, for instance, will serve you well during the debt recovery process. Don’t tell your customers that you’re going to file a lawsuit, for instance, if you have no plans to do so.
Other values that can help you protect consumer rights include transparency, friendliness, courtesy, and patience. Spread these values throughout your organization to help maintain your brand integrity.
Respect Your Customers Who Haven’t Paid
Some people fall on hard times, struggle to pay their debts, and fail to remit payments for invoices even though they actually want to meet their obligations. When collecting debts, don’t allow employees to disparage customers, even if no one else is listening. Make it clear that you expect your staff to respect customers during every stage of the relationship.
While respecting consumer rights may seem easy, it’s actually not difficult to step over the line. If you need help getting your clients to pay, consider contacting us at Rocket Receivables. We’re dedicated to courteous debt collection for small to medium-sized businesses and other entrepreneurs. You can request info right now to get the process started.