Phone Collection Tips
Over the last week, we’ve discussed the basics of phone collections. You can read both parts of phone collection basics here and here. Once you have the basics, it’s time to get on the phone. In today’s article, we’re going to give you some tips on how you can make the most out of your phone collections.
The Two Purposes Behind Collections
There are two purposes behind collections. Of course, first you want to get the money that is owed to you. The second reason is that it is a legitimate opportunity for you to help your clients. Going the extra mile even during collections can help solidify a loyal customer base. You may be wondering why you’d want to go out of your way for someone who owes you money. It’s because most people who fall behind aren’t bad people. Often, they can and do get back on track. And they can either remain a customer for your company or they can take their future purchases to another provider. Helping someone find a solution to their financial problems can make them a lifelong customer. Also, people who are unhappy with your services (even if their account is delinquent) will tell others. That could be highly detrimental to your business. So, when you are collecting, keep in mind that this process is about more than money. Need collections help? Contact Attorney's A.R.M. to find out how you can save both time and money!
Timing Is Everything
Much like in every avenue of life, timing is everything in collections. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act dictates when you can and can’t call. Document when you’ve tried to make calls during the week. If you know that you’re trying to contact someone who works certain business hours, think about the best time to call that you might actually get them on the phone. If someone works until 9 pm Monday through Friday, you can’t call them after 9 pm. So, think about doing your collections on Saturday. Sundays are a no-no unless you couldn’t reach them on any other day of the week.
You are representing your company. That in itself should give you a certain level of confidence. Remember to review the file before you start your call. The more that you know about the file, the more confident you will feel. The more confident you are, the more control you will keep over the phone. Also, don’t let the debtor get under your skin. While most people don’t go out of their way to not pay their bills, you will, at some point, encounter the person that will call you names and tell you that they’re never going to pay you. Remember, he who angers you also controls you. Here are some tips that can help you feel more confident and in control:
- Talk with a smile on your face. We understand that you’re most likely highly unhappy at the very thought of needing to perform collections to begin with. However, smiling portrays confidence and friendliness. People can hear a smile and they are more likely to try and work with you.
- Use the right volume and tone. You certainly aren’t looking to yell, but be careful about using a volume that is too soft. Practice sitting up straight and speaking with a confidence volume and tone. Your tone should be friendly, but not make you sound like a push-over.
- Stay focused during your calls. Your total attention should be on your calls. Don’t try to listen to the debtor while you’re eating lunch or checking your emails. You could miss something important. Pay total attention to what is going on.
Use a Script
You may find, at least in the beginning, that it is easier for you to make your calls using a script. C2C Resources has a great beginning script for commercial collections located on their website. The reason why we feel it’s so great is because it’s simple, it’s short, and it can be easily modified for use for consumer collections.
Should You Leave a Voicemail?
It’s extremely common to either be sent to voicemail or to get someone’s answering machine because they are at work. One question that we’re asked is whether a message should be left. Yes, you can leave a voicemail. However, you should be careful about what you say. You don’t have to say anything negative or even mention that the person is past due. You could say something as simple as:
“Hi. This is Tom from ABC. I’m calling about your invoice. Could you please give me a call at 555-555-5555? Thanks!”
Then, of course, document the fact that you left a message.
Of course, you should have your entire collections process outlined. This includes how long collections via phone will take place before taking more drastic action such as placing it with a professional collections agency or filing a small claims suit. Think about the information that you have on hand that you can use for follow-up purposes. Did they provide their email address? If so, you could send an email stating that you’re trying to contact them about an invoice or because of a question about their account. Provide your name, your direct line, and just a bit of information. You don’t have to mention it’s about a debt.
Get Professional Help
Making your own collections calls can be tedious. It can be time consuming. If you need professional help with your debt collection, give Attorney's A.R.M. a call. We have more than 30 years of experience. We pride ourselves on using old fashioned customer service techniques with amazing technological advancements to benefit our clients. Attorney's A.R.M. works with law firms, healthcare offices, and corporations of all sizes. On average, we save our clients 40% and the time savings is invaluable. Ask about our free process review and our services designed especially for lawyers, doctors, and service based businesses. You’ll be glad that you did!