You have followed our guide to collections and have decided that it was time to call a slow-paying customer. You have prepared for the call. You know exactly what you want to say. Yet, when you dial the number and call, nobody picks up. This is an unfortunate situation, yet it happens all the time. The question then becomes, what should you do?
Do Not Talk About Payment in the Voicemail
While it is important to be direct and let them know about the money owed to you, this is typically accomplished better during an actual conversation. Instead, we recommend just mentioning the invoice number in question and asking that they give you a call back at their earliest convenience. Most likely once they look up the invoice number they will know why you are calling. Or, they may even recognize your name on their caller ID and that is why they are not picking up the phone. Whatever the case may be, keep it professional. Acting confrontational or mad on a voicemail will accomplish nothing, especially if this is the first time you are calling about the debt.
Sample Call Script
Here is an example of a message you could leave:
Hello (insert name). My name is (insert name) from (insert company name) and I am calling about invoice number (insert number). Please give me a return call at (insert phone number) to discuss the invoice. Thank you, and have a great rest of your day!
There is no need to add anything other than that. Keep it short, simple, and professional and leave the actual conversation for when they call you back.
What should you do next?
The first thing we recommend doing is double checking that you have the right phone number by making sure there are not any alternative or updated numbers on file. The next thing we recommend doing is sending a follow-up collection email. If you would like to see an example of what that may look like to check out our recent post.
Once you have done all of that, the best thing you can do is just stay prepared and ready to discuss the outstanding debt when your customer finally responds. If you do not receive a call back in 3 days, we recommend a follow-up call. If they do not answer this, we recommend you follow the