“Forget about the sales you hope to make and concentrate on the service you want to render”. – Harry Bullis
Customer Service in Debt Collecting
Here are 13 simple but powerful rules to follow in order to properly connect to a customer when debt collecting. Remember an extra little guideline: always give people a great customer service and more than what they expect to get!
- RESPECT customer’s need for face saving – you do not have to be blunt in your fist approach and spell out that you are collecting bad debt.
- NEVER embarrass them in public – if you have to leave a message, make sure it does not have details of the matter and do not use words like bad debt or debt collection reminder.
- LET THEM explain their situation/reasons first – by doing this you are the last one to talk and you can state what you want customer to do.
- GIVE THEM TIME TO THINK – don’t demand instant answers from the customer, as only a small percentage will be able to deliver it. Instead, ask them what they are going to do about the debt.
- DON’T INTERRUPT THEM – by letting the customer speak, you are putting yourself in a more powerful position, as you can get new info that might be more helpful in resolving the debt issue. The customer is instantly feeling appreciated and valued.
- GIVE THEM ADVANCE NOTICE of expected goals/resolution as in timeline, amount, way of payment, frequency…
- GIVE THEM FACTUAL WARNING of what the next steps will be if they do not pay the debt.
- REPRIMAND THEM TACKTFULLY AND PROFESSIONALLY if they have not done what they have promised – there could be some new unpredictable developments in collecting their debt.
- TEACH THEM new debt payment behaviour by gently explaining your business Payment Terms for next time.
- ENABLE THEM TO FIND their own payment solution first to fix the debt situation.
- DON’T PUSH THEM to overpromise – this never works; it just worsen your relationship.
- RESPECT THEIR WISHES – don’t try to push your way into unattainable goals when you collect debt.
- DON’T PUSH YOUR RESOLUTION – do not try to remake their financila circumstances. Instead, work with them and lead them by asking them the right questions, so they are the ones that ‘come up’ with an answer of how to collect their debt from them.