To create the culture you wish to create takes time. It takes hiring the right persons and then training them to move in the direction you envision for your business. There are no corners you can cut.
Your collection staff must be trained to view their role as customer service providers. Anyone who brings to the table a stereotypical view of collections will need training to see their role in a fresh, new way.
As problem-solvers, your collection staff will be called on to think creatively and strategically with your customers. They represent you and your company therefore the manner in which they interact with your customers (delinquent or not) will have an effect on your customer base and bottom line.
Teach them well from the start:
- The collector’s job is to problem-solve. When customers hit a financial roadblock, the collector should be a creative thinking source for solutions.
- Collectors must hone listening skills, be self-motivated, assertive (as opposed to aggressive), and positive.
- Collectors must learn to communicate in a way that opens doors. They must pose questions that effectively uncover reasons for the delinquency.
- Collectors must be aware of their tone and volume when working on the phone. Approaching each call with a positive customer service attitude is the first step.
- Collectors must learn to differentiate between short-term problems and long-term difficulties. Different circumstances require creative solutions.
- Equip Collectors with the tools they need to service your customers professionally. Online resources, up to date technical devices, and training on handling various scenarios will help them do the job well.
- Collectors must handle irate customers with professionalism. Make your expectations clear about how you wish for those situations to be handled.
Collecting is a stressful job. Provide useful, positive feedback and be an open resource for your collection staff.