Your customers matter, even if they’ve fallen behind on payments to your business. The issue could be a temporary setback in finances or simply a missed bill. Conducting debt collections in a way that is both respectful and empathetic will ensure that the goodwill will be maintained between your company and the customer you value.
Here’s how a little empathy can go a long way when conducting debt collections.
From Healthcare to Lawncare – The Art of Debt Collections
Think of it from the customer’s perspective; most people do not want a past due bill hanging over their head or a call from an overly aggressive debt collection agent. It doesn’t matter if the past due debt is at a retail store or a lawn care company; bad debt can make everyone feel bad.
Some industries are even trickier than others. Consider healthcare as an example. People don’t choose illness; it chooses them. With today’s high-deductible insurance plans, it’s easy to understand how people can get behind on bills. But if a debt collection firm fails to understand these nuances, the delicate relationship between doctor and patient could be ruined forever.
Debt collection must be conducted in a way that protects these delicate relationships. That’s in part because social media is a window to the world on your business practices. If your debt collection agency treats your customers – even your past due customers – poorly, the chances of their spreading ill-will toward your company online is high.
How can a debt collection firm handle efforts to collect past due accounts while still protecting your company from any negative fallout from their efforts? The answer is empathy.
How to Exhibit Empathy During Debt Collections
A little kindness can go a long way in debt collections, and using empathy as part of the process will maintain your client relationship while actually improving accounts receivables. Good debt collection companies exhibit empathy in three key ways:
- They try to educate customers. Many times billing statements are confusing, even more particularly in healthcare. A debt collection representative that takes the time to explain what is owed and when the transaction occurred in a respectful way may help alleviate any negative feelings the client experiences. Helping a patient or client understand what they’re responsible for can also increase the likelihood that they’ll be willing to pay what is owed.
- They exhibit friendliness. If you’ve ever dealt with an unpleasant customer service representative, you know how uncomfortable and even irritating the experience can be. A debt collection agent must represent your company well at all times. Exhibiting empathy, respect, and kindness on every call will only increase the chances that the past due bill will be paid more quickly.
- They listen. When customers feel backed into a corner by past due bills, having a friendly and helpful person to listen to them and work with them to set them back on track to repayment can strengthen the bond with your customers, not break it.
Empathy is important in all types of customer service endeavors, including debt collection. Hiring a debt collection firm that understands empathy is imperative for your business and its customers. Click here to buy now.