As an agency, creating a positive collection call experience is not easy. The truth is these calls make many people uncomfortable. Most consumers are embarrassed by their past-due financial obligations and can react to your reach out in a negative, and potentially hostile manner. But, as difficult as it seems, collection calls are essential to your agency’s cash flow.
While there is no surefire method of debt collection, there are protocols you can put in place to help guarantee success. If you are in the ARM space, consider these tips to create a lucrative collection call.
1. Be Positive
When speaking with a consumer over the phone, an agent’s tone largely influences how they will react. It’s therefore wise to treat each conversation as if it was your first call of the best day ever. Smile when you speak, and it will reflect positive vibes. Yes, you are reaching out to collect unpaid debts, but that is never a reason to be impolite or unprofessional.
Of course, not every call will flow in a picture-perfect manner. If irritated by a recent call, take a few minutes to center yourself before continuing down your list. Always remember, individuals respond to tone, inflections, and inferences. You are in control of the calls you are placing – if you set a calm and positive environment, you are very likely to receive the same response from your debtors.
2. Speak with Authority
While speaking in a positive tone, it is still paramount to command attention and authority. You are, after all, always reaching out to obtain payment for a previously received product or service. The key to not coming off as overbearing and harmful is to practice, practice, practice.
Record a general collection call then listen to how you speak. Take notes on where you can improve. This helps you build confidence – positively and helpfully. Some additional tips to help agents speak authoritatively and professionally include:
- Speak slowly and articulate each word
- Pause occasionally
- Avoid chewing, eating or drinking while on the phone
- Pronounce ending consonants of words instead of slurring
3. Know the Facts
Before calling a debtor, ensure that you know everything about the case at hand. It appears unprofessional when a customer asks a question you can’t answer. Consumers will pick up on this and use your lack of knowledge to their advantage. Many will avoid discussing payment if you don’t have the details. In this manner, it is very easy to lose control of the conversation quickly.
If you find yourself saying, “I’ll get back to you on that,” you automatically extended their grace period without a commitment to pay. And when you reach out again, you’ll have to start from square one. To avoid this pitfall, make sure to review previously call notes, payment history, and account details before making a collection call. Doing so, helps you stay focused on the task at hand – collecting payment quickly.
4. Be Flexible
Remember there is no “one size fits all” solution in debt collection. Every consumer is different. What works well for one consumer, may lead you nowhere with another. As such, it is essential to be flexible. Don’t fixate on one method across all calls made. Listen to your debtor carefully and learn to pick up on clues of how you can best resolve the current call in the most efficient manner possible.
Making a collection call is never easy. However, the above tips will help create a healthy atmosphere to create a positive collection call. We hope you’ve found this guide helpful. Since 2010, we have helped collection agencies receive next-generation payment solutions. We’d love to be your payment partner, reach out to us today to learn more about how we can best grow your business grow.