Commercial Debt Collectors take note taking very seriously. You should, too.
Every single discussion with a debtor should be well documented. Even if your memory is outstanding, details will get lost or become vulnerable to faulty recollection. We’re human. We correctly retain only so much information.
For some, taking meticulous notes seems an arduous task. It feels time consuming and so they skip over it or haphazardly jot down cryptic notes that make little sense when read later. But good note taking is one of those time investments that pays off later. The time it can save over the course of the process of collections can be staggering. Consider the following reasons to make good note taking a priority:
1. Information lost means another time-consuming conversation
Your time is better spent not asking the same set of questions you asked in your last call. And what you communicate by asking the same things over again is that you don’t have a handle on the situation, giving the impression that you can be strung along even longer.
2. Time-stamped notes become a timeline
Knowing exactly when a promise was made determines when you should follow up if your debtor doesn’t follow through. You don’t want to follow up too quickly – that’s not fair. You don’t want to let too much time pass – aged accounts are only harder to collect. And besides, appropriately prompt follow up communicates that you’re taking the matter seriously.
3. Keep your own words in check
Being consistent builds credibility and a sense of urgency in your debtor. Contradicting yourself only communicates to a debtor that you don’t know exactly what’s going on with the account or worse, that you can’t be trusted, which will likely lead to significant delays in payment. What to you is a slip of memory may appear to your debtor as a lie.
4. Others can pick up where you left off
In the event that you must step away for an extended period of time (like a vacation or illness), you’ll want someone to step in. With detailed notes, anyone can effectively keep things moving forward.
Online software designed specifically for debt collections can make the task of note taking far easier and better organized. When you enter your notes, they are automatically time stamped, creating a time line of communications so you can appropriately schedule your next follow up call.
Don’t neglect the power of thorough notes when collecting a debt!