The Top 3 Techniques for Telephone Collections

Collections Training Resource
July 11, 2012 — 1,247 views  
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Telephone collections can be challenging, as receiving calls requesting the immediate payment of delinquent bills is rarely a pleasant experience for clients. Make the most of your telephone collections by checking out the tips below.

1. Train the customer

Be clear, concise and direct whenever you contact a client. Doing so allows you to provide an in-depth explanation of his or her balance, the length of the customer's delinquency and other important information.

It's important to enforce your company's collection policies, but you should also take the time to train the customer on billing procedures. Delivering information about any late fees that the client may incur and the consequences of being delinquent could help this customer avoid becoming a repeat offender. Meanwhile, your business will benefit if this client chooses to pay his or her bills on time in the future.

2. Speak directly to a decision maker

Research can be helpful with telephone collections, as you can make sure to reach the right person the first time you call. Ensure that you speak directly to a decision maker, as this gives you the best chance to resolve the delinquent balance.

Introductions are important when contacting a decision maker, so be sure to explain who you are and why you're calling. Full disclosure is your friend, as it allows you to stress the importance of a customer's past due invoices.

Additionally, stay calm when speaking with this client. He or she may be argumentative or confrontational, but remember that you are calling on behalf of your business. Patience plays an important role in the success of telephone collections, and working with - not against - the client might help ensure a solution that satisfies both sides.

3. Take notes

Unfortunately, customers may well hang up on telephone collections representatives when they call. A client might dispute charges or refuse to pay a delinquent account, and when emotions get the best of this customer, he or she may quickly dismiss your request.

Taking notes is important because it allows you to track the client's history. This information supports collectors' claims, as they can track when a past due customer was contacted, the client's response and whether or not a resolution was reached. Telephone collections spokespeople can be better equipped to handle a difficult customer if these representatives know about employees' past experiences. 

Collections Training Resource