When you have sent your customer invoice after invoice and they have yet to return with their payment, the most effective step can be reaching out to that customer by telephone. But let’s face it, few people love making collection calls.
To take the fear out of it, just remember that making a collection call is like making a customer service call. You are calling about a problem with the account and you just want to resolve it.
It should also bring some comfort to know that making collection calls is a skill you can develop. You simply have to be able to anticipate what the customer is going to say and be ready for anything, in addition to remaining in control of the call at all times.
When you make the call for payment, approach it with caution and awareness to make sure you have the most effective conversation possible. Remember, for your collection call to be a success, it must always result in agreement as to what is to be done.
- BE PREPARED – Be sure to have the paperwork in front of you and know the account history before picking up the phone. When the debtor asks you a question you need to answer immediately whenever possible. This shows the debtor that you are serious. Keeping detailed notes of every collection call will be handy for your future contacts in case of being turned over to a recovery agency or litigation firm.
- REMAIN PROFESSIONAL AT ALL TIMES – It’s imperative to remain calm, focused and professional throughout the call. Even if your customer gets upset or defensive, you need to maintain higher ground.
- SCRIPT YOUR OPENING – When you talk to a slow-paying or non-paying customer, you want to get him or her into a receptive frame of mind so your message is heard and understood. Therefore, it’s a good idea to write out your openings. Everything else you’ll say is in response to what they say, but the opener can be prepared, word for word. This way, you know it will work.
- BE NICE, BE IN CONTROL & INSTILL URGENCY – The tone of your voice can affect the way the conversation may go. An authoritative voice instills a sense of urgency, but you don’t want to be off-putting immediately forcing your customer into a defensive position. In order to have a successful collection call, you have to make sure your customer understands the immediacy of the situation while remaining helpful, positive, and empathetic.
- LISTEN MORE THAN YOU SPEAK – One of the most difficult aspect of a collection call is listening — not to what the customer is saying, but to what the customer is REALLY saying or not saying. If you let your customer do most of the talking and if you listen to them, they will usually tell you how to collect from them.
- ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR CUSTOMERS FEELINGS – If you ask for payment and your customer becomes upset, acknowledge it. Saying you shouldn’t be upset to someone who doesn’t have the money to pay you is only bound to make matters worse. Until you acknowledge their feelings, your customer is literally unable to focus rationally on logic and the reality of the debt.
- BE FLEXIBLE IN YOUR APPROACH – It’s important to listen carefully to your customers and tailor your approach depending on what you hear. Some calls will require a more sympathetic approach, while others will require a firmer approach.
Please visit Dynamic Legal Recovery’s website or call us at 877-777-7564 for your complimentary evaluation.