Navigating the process of debt collection is tricky. While many perceive it as simply making calls and insisting on payment for overdue invoices, the reality is more complex.
With numerous guidelines to adhere to, engaging customers for payment recovery is a huge challenge for a collection team. Thus, collectors must be well-prepared. A reliable collection call script can serve as a valuable resource for collectors when communicating with customers.
What are Collection Calls and When to Use Them?
Collection calls are a crucial component of the payment recovery process, typically employed when customers fail to meet their financial obligations on time. These calls serve as a direct and proactive method for collection teams to communicate with customers, aiming to secure payment for overdue invoices.
Listed below are some scenarios when collection calls become necessary:
- When a customer has missed one or more payments.
- To address the overdue status and mitigate the risk of write-offs.
- When customers do not reply to multiple dunning reminders.
- To negotiate payment terms with the customer.
- To prevent legal escalations and find a common ground for settlement.
Essential Steps to Take Before Making a Collection Call
Before making a collection call, follow these six steps for an effective process:
Collect Information: Gather important information regarding the customer’s account, invoices, payment history, and previous communication.
Review Account History: Examine previous payment issues, disputes, and arrangements to tailor your approach.
Set Clear Objectives: Define the purpose of the call, whether it’s a reminder, discussing a late payment, or resolving a dispute.
Choose the Right Timing: Pick a suitable time for the call, considering the customer’s availability.
Craft Your Message: Prepare a clear script outline for effective communication.
Anticipate Objections: Consider potential objections and prepare replies that demonstrate your openness to find solutions.
Mastering Collection Calls: Proven Tips for Effective Communication
Maintaining a positive customer experience is vital for making collection calls. As a collector, the key lies in balancing empathy with control. Initiate the call with confidence and a friendly greeting to set the tone. Incorporate a human touch, like using the customer’s name or adding personal elements from past conversations. Moreover, active listening allows customers to express their concerns, fostering understanding. The key is to be patient and have the right attitude. It ensures customer satisfaction and commitment to payment.
Initiate collection activities before the due date to avoid a reactive approach. Prepare by having collection call scripts and email templates ready. Enhance your proactive approach by prioritizing high-risk customers first.
Maintain detailed records of customers’ conversations. Note call dates, promise-to-pay information, planned payment dates, required actions, and agreements. Maintain a thorough record for swift dispute resolution and smooth transitions if another collector takes over.
Incorporate empathy when educating customers about their due invoices. Standing as their partner by approaching them with friendliness, respect, and kindness. Actively listening to customers fosters positive customer relationships and enhances the payment recovery rate.
Avoid Hasty Conclusions
Identify and address underlying issues instead of reaching premature conclusions. Pose open-ended questions, scrutinize root causes, and delve into customer concerns for effective support in settling dues.
Handle Defensive Customers
Avoid getting sidetracked, refrain from arguments, and stay prepared to avoid misunderstandings from defensive customers. Maintain composure and focus on tackling the situation.
Here are a few common excuses and their suggested responses:
1. “I never received the invoice from you.” – Immediately email the invoice, confirming receipt during the call.
2. “I got busy and forgot to pay.” – Acknowledge it happens and work to secure payment or a commitment for prompt payment.
3. “We are facing cash problems right now.” – Offer a payment plan or explore the possibility of receiving a partial payment on the same day.
4. “I am not the right contact. Payments are handled by someone else.” Obtain their name and contact information. Ask the current contact to pass along your details and a call request.
Addressing these excuses with proactive solutions can help move the conversation forward and increase the chances of successful debt recovery.
Use the Right Tone
Apply the right tone of voice based on the account, customer profile, and use case. Speak assertively without being rude, considering the impact of voice pitch and maintaining a positive attitude.
Prepare Action Items
Jot down action items during calls, including expected payment dates, confirmation of overdue invoices, and any required documents. This proactive approach minimizes the need for later reconnections.
Consistency is key, so conduct timely follow-ups to serve as reminders, clarify customers about consequences, and clearly state the next steps for payment. Automate payment reminders to streamline the process.
Effective Collection Call Script
Here is a sample collection call script:
|You: Hey [Customer Name], it’s [Your Name] calling from [Your Company Name]. I’m with the Accounts Receivable team. I’m calling to check in about the invoice [Invoice Number]. |
It looks like there’s an outstanding balance of [Amount] which is about [XX] days overdue. Just making sure everything’s okay with the invoice. If it is, could you please let me know when we can expect the payment?
Customer: Oh! I was occupied with other priorities. I’ll make the payment today.
You: Awesome! Thanks for letting me know. I’ll jot that down, and we’ll keep an eye out for your payment.
Customer: There is an issue with the invoice you sent. I won’t pay until it’s fixed.
You: Got it. Let’s sort that out. What’s the problem? Depending on what it is, I’ll try to fix it now. If not, I’ll explain the next steps, and I’ll check in again to make sure it’s all sorted.
When using a collection call script, it’s crucial to remain adaptable and handle unforeseen situations. We have curated 7 effective collection call scripts that can be customized for your specific requirements. Download the scripts from the link given below to gain access to how to tackle complicated scenarios.
Reaching out to customers for payment recovery is an effective collection practice. In this blog, we aimed to cover all aspects of how to make effective collection calls. However, recognizing the uniqueness of each customer is essential. It requires careful attention to deduce the right approach for each customer during interactions.
Incorporating reminder communication workflows can enhance the efficiency of the collection process, allowing collectors to allocate their time to strategic tasks. Peakflo’s Collection Task Management Solution enables you to set up automated and manual workflows based on your collection strategy. The collections team can easily manage follow-up phone calls by making notes and following a read-to-use script from the solution. It also allows you to add collection scripts from your existing repository. With just a click, you will be able to access and execute your pending and future tasks.
Explore Peakflo’s Accounts Receivable solution to streamline collections and accelerate payment recovery.