Debt Collector’s Tips for Debt Collection by Telephone
A good proportion of debt collection work is done over the telephone, talking with debtors and trying to negotiate a resolution to outstanding debt. Here are some tips from the professionals on how to make the best out of a telephone call when a payment is overdue.
Know the Customer
Make sure important facts are known before a call is made. The size of the client’s business will help determine who makes the decisions. Also check payment history. A one-off delay could indicate a dispute that needs to be resolved. Ongoing delays could signal a cash flow issue needing some proactive action to avoid future problems.
Maintain a Positive Attitude and Listen Actively
Maintain a professional and upbeat approach and try to sound enthusiastic and interested in the call. Listen carefully to what is said as well as what is not said and assess the mood of the conversation. Take notes and remain focused.
Ask Effective Questions
Keep questions specific rather than open, such as "will you be sending the cheque tomorrow?" rather than "when will you send the cheque?"
Follow Calls up Progressively
In the first call, keep an open mind and assess the situation. If subsequent payment is not made, the second call should be firmer and more assertive. If a third call is necessary, this is the time to explain the consequences of non-payment.
Take any Action Promised
Maintain credibility by taking action on the date it was promised. Otherwise customers will not take seriously what is said in the future.
Remain polite and professional at all times and do not allow angry customers to cause aggravation.
Secure a Commitment
Try not to end the call without a commitment from the customer - ideally, to pay today but if not then a promise of something to ensure the call was not wasted.
Summarise the Call
Make sure the customer leaves the call fully aware of what was discussed and agreed.
For more information, free initial advice or a general discussion, please contact AR Legal Collections on +44 (0)20 8202 0730.
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