No one enjoys collection calls. For your customer they are a reminder of their overdue invoices and for you they can be an uncomfortable and frustrating way to get paid. Done poorly, it can lead to confusion, anger, and ruined relationships. When they are done correctly though, they can yield results by facilitating a resonable compromise for both sides. Here are five tips to keep in mind when on the phone with a customer.
Give your customer time to talk
It is important to recognize that your customer may have important information to say. The more they feel heard and understood, the more likely they are to work with you to reach a resolution that works for both parties.
Pay Attention to what they say
This may seem obvious, but it is easy to get so hung up on what you are trying to say that you forget to listen to your customers. By focusing on what they are saying you are more likely to pick up on information that will help you secure a better deal for your company.
Know when to ask question
Asking questions in the middle of a customers sentence or asking one every 10 seconds can disrupt the flow of a conversation and lead to frustration on both ends. Make sure to let you customer share a complete thought or story before you begin asking questions.
Avoid acting overly superior
While your customer clearly owes you money and thus you should have the power in the situation, patronizing or talking down to your customer can hurt egos and lead to a worse relationship. Acting confident and sure of your own position will get you further than talking down your customer and their position.
Know your facts
There is a lot you can not control in how a collection call goes, but the one thing you can control is how prepared you are. Are you familiar with the customer’s payment history? Do they have any patterns of late or non payment? What is going on in their industry as a whole? Do you have any outside information that may give you any edge? When it comes to collection calls, information is power, so make sure you know all that you can.
Collection calls are a necessary evil to doing business. If you take your time to do they correctly, you can not only improve your bottom line but boost customer retention and happiness as well.