Helpful Tips When Calling Your Debtor

Calling a debtor can be an unpleasant experience for any company. Yet, many businesses must do it. When the due date has passed and the customer hasn’t responded positively to the emails or letters, someone must pick up the phone to try and clear the account. 

At Summit A*R, we’re a collection agency with decades of experience across various industries recovering different types of debt. We boast twice the industry average recovery rate and have helped countless people find a way to pay off their dues. We know that making that phone call can be challenging for some businesses. So, here are some helpful tips when calling your debtor:

#1 Take a Deep Breath

Most people feel uncomfortable asking for money, even when it’s rightfully owed to them or their employer. That’s why the staff at the credit department of a business usually put off making that phone call as much as they can.

If you need to call a debtor, then take a deep breath and relax before picking up the phone. At Summit A*R, collection is in our blood. Our licensed, trained, and experienced staff has a high success rate because we know how to communicate effectively with debtors.

By using our debt collection services – businesses of various sizes recover and save revenue. Instead of wasting valuable resources on training staff for an in-house collections department, they let us do the heavy lifting.

#2 Stay Professional

Your debtor may not have paid you for many reasons. Perhaps they’re facing some financial issues, or they could be unhappy with your products and services. Maybe they simply don’t want to pay even though they can. Before you make the call, know that certain debtors may react negatively because they feel pressured. Others may behave aggressively to take control of the situation.

Regardless of how a debtor speaks to you, it’s important to stay calm and professional. If they start yelling or using abusive language, then don’t respond in kind. Not only is this counterproductive, but it can cause legal problems. Instead, tell them that speaking aggressively won’t help their situation. Give such customers space to calm down. You can put the call on hold for a few minutes or call back later.

Avoid drinking, chewing gum, or speaking too fast during a call. Try to speak authoritatively, with a low-pitched voice like a news anchor. Consider practicing with a colleague.  

At Summit A*R, we realize that most customers want to pay their debts. We follow a P.H.D. Philosophy (Preserve Human Dignity). This means that we treat debtors with dignity and respect. Not only is this good for your company’s reputation, but it’s effective. When treated with humanity, customers respond more positively.

Many businesses hesitate to partner with debt collection agencies because of certain misconceptions. This popular blog has been busting debt collection myths by explaining why fair debt collection practices are more effective than underhanded tactics.

#3 Be Prepared for Common Responses

After making a few collection calls, you’ll realize that there are several common responses from customers. Some may be specific to your business. Write these down and formulate rebuttals that improve your company’s chances of getting paid.

  • If they tell you that a check is in the mail, then ask them when it was posted and the name of the bank and check number. Committing to this information may motivate them to send the check the next day if they haven’t already.
  • If they didn’t get the invoice, then ask them for their email address before resending it right away while they’re still on the line. Next, ask them when they’ll be making the payment.
  • If they’re in a financial crunch, then offer them a payment plan and ask if they can make a manageable installment on the phone.

These are some common examples of what a debtor may say. At Summit A*R, we help customers clear their debts with our skilled negotiation ability. If you have a past due account, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for help. Studies show that debt grows harder to recover with time – so call us today.

#4 Do Your Research

It’s important to have all the facts in front of you about the account before making the call. If the customer asks you a question that you can’t answer, then you may have to call them back, giving them an extension and an opportunity to ignore your calls in the future.

Have their name, number, payment owed, products and services purchased, terms of sale, due date, and other invoices handy before picking up the phone. Other information such as their purchase and payment history can also be useful.

#5 Let Them Feel Heard

If the customer has a complaint, then validate their feelings by listening to them. Appreciate their point of view without compromising on your goal of getting paid. Take notes if you can. For example, if they commit to paying by a certain date, then you can follow up armed with this information on the next call.

Try to get a commitment before ending the call. Remain flexible. Offer to divide the payment into more manageable amounts and consider removing late payment fees.

Remember, collection calls can take time, effort, and persistence. That’s why more businesses are partnering with agencies like ours. Usually, our campaign of demand letters and phone calls is enough to convince a debtor into paying their dues.

We also can report delinquent customers to the major credit bureaus. Many consumers value their credit scores and would rather pay off their debts than have their credit reports adversely affected. They may ignore you, but they can’t afford to ignore us.

#6 Don’t Panic If They Don’t Pick Up

If your customer isn’t answering the phone, then don’t panic. At Summit A*R, we can find debtors who don’t want to be found. Our skip tracing department is led by a licensed private investigator and can locate people and their assets. We have a higher find rate than the competition because of our resources. For particularly stubborn accounts, we can also take legal action with the assistance of a licensed attorney after getting your authorization.

These six tips should help your phone call with your debtor. For professional help, partner with Summit A*R. Our experienced and licensed professionals are highly effective. What’s more, we work on a contingency basis. We don’t demand payment upfront and only get paid when we recover your revenue.