In general, individuals who owe money to a creditor actually want to pay off their debts. Everyone’s financial situation is different and at times people struggle to make ends meet. If you are looking to resolve money owed from a debtor try a customer service approach.
Here are some tips for achieving greater collections using a customer service approach:
- Understand your audience and tailor your message accordingly – you may not speak to a new college graduate the same way you would speak with an elderly retired individual
- Use a business-friendly tone - professional yet friendly/informal
- Show empathy using phrases like “I understand…” to validate customer concerns
- Ask the right questions. Part of understanding your audience very often depends on asking the right questions to better understand their situation.
- Listen – a debtor may not be able to pay off their entire balance but by carefully listening to their situation you may be able to help them come up with a solution to reduce their stress and get the debt paid
- Follow up and follow through – always follow up with the debtor and follow through on any promises made
Remember a bad first impression can be long lasting (remembered, and not in a good way) and can turn a seemingly positive call from the start to a defensive back and forth between the two parties. Positive conversation and a customer service approach will always win.