No one likes to make a collection call, but sometimes emails and letters are just not getting the job done. Your customer may not be responding or may be giving you a runaround. Whatever the reason, a properly executed call can aid in moving the process forward. Here are some things to consider and an example of things you could say depending on the situation.
Be Firm On What You Want
It is critical that you come across confident and firm on what you expect to happen. Obviously, you may end up having to make a deal, but your customer should not expect that to be the outcome. You should state the situation and that you expect to be paid. If your customer is late on one payment, they are most likely late on multiple payments. If you come off as confident in what you expect, your customer is far more likely to prioritize paying your company first.
Know The Facts
It is important that you know all the facts of the situation. You are the one who is controlling when this call occurs. That means you should make sure you are as prepared as possible when it comes to knowing numbers, dates, and any other relevant information. This will not only help move the conversation along and show your confidence but will also prevent your customer from trying to lie their way out of a situation
Hold Them Accountable For What They Say
Do not allow your customer to make empty promises just to get you off the phone. If they say they are going to pay a certain amount or that they are going to talk to their own customers about getting paid quicker, hold them accountable to that promise. If your customer starts to think they can just tell you one thing but do another and have no consequences, you are going to have a constant headache on your hands.
Examples of Good Responses
It is hard to say exactly what you should say given that every conversation will go differently depending on what your customer says, but here are some good ways of responding to potential statements or claims by your customer
Customer: “The payment is in the mail, It was just sent it today” Your Response: “Thank you very much, Can you could please send me the tracking information so that I can confirm when we will receive payment”
Customer: “Our customers have been slow paying us, which has caused us to follow behind” Your Response: “We understand that this can happen from time to time, but we still expect to be paid. We are open to working with you on a short-term fix, but you will need to provide us specific details on when you expect to be paid in full so that we can create a plan that works for both of us.
Customer: “I will into this and get back to you with answers soon” Your Response: “I appreciate you looking into this for us. Let’s schedule a call later today or sometime tomorrow in order to discuss things further. What time works for you?”
While it is impossible to come up with responses to everything you may hear, the important thing to note is that all of your responses should follow the rules outlined above. Yelling and anger will get you nowhere, the key is to remain polite, confident, and knowledgeable.