What does it take? • Ability to Learn and Apply Procedures • Communication Skills • Professionalism • Work Ethic • Persuasion • Active Listening • Problem Solving • Developing Rapport • Multitasking
Ability to Learn and Apply Procedures •Understanding and complying with job related procedures and systems •Understanding and complying with company policies•Understanding and complying with legal regulations•Offering solutions that remain within guidelines
Communication Skills•Expressing information in a clear and confident manner•Speaking in a pleasant tone and volume•Using effective tone inflection•Creating reasonable answers to objections•Solving the problem•Preparing clear and concise summariesRecord yourself for Training Purposes. Keep a mirror at your desk!
Professionalism•Maintaining composure even when dealing with difficult customers•Keeping a positive attitude in spite of negative outcomes•Maintaining the control of the call by asking questions•Avoid the use of slang or jargon•Maintain your professional distance yet be helpful to the customer.
Work Ethic•Taking initiative on work tasks and responsibilities•Working at a steady pace•Setting personal goals and striving to achieve them•Striving to achieve and exceed organizational goals •Exhibiting reliable and dependable behavior
Persuasion•Effectively responding to objections and arguments•Being assertive rather than aggressive•Creating a sense of urgency•Conveying firm expectations•Being persistent•Negotiating a mutually acceptable agreement
Active Listening•Develop your “7th sense”.•Listen attentively to understand the customer’s point of view•Allow customers to vent•Refrain from interrupting•Ask probing questions to discern the “REAL” facts•Pay attention to subtle clues like the customer’s demeanor and tone inflection
Adaptability•Adjusting collection techniques based on individual circumstances•Responding appropriately to individual personality types•Quickly adapting to changes in policies and procedures•Maintaining overall productivity while treating each account call as a separate event
Problem Solving•Use available tools to accomplish tasks•Identify ways of overcoming barriers•Evaluate all relevant pieces of information•Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of various options• Present solutions based on realistic expectations
Developing Rapport•Treating customers with respect•Displaying empathy for personal situations•Conveying an attitude of helpfulness•Diffusing irate customers•Keeping the tone friendly but businesslike
Multitasking•Quickly and accurately performing multiple tasks simultaneously •Talking •Listening •Reviewing information •Documenting the call •Managing the pace of the call •Maintaining attention to the customer •Keeping the customer focused on the solution
Why Collections???•In 2002 The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted that the number of collection agents would increase between 21% and 35% by 2012. •We know now that this projection was significantly lower than reality•Actual percentage increase in this industry could easily be 100% between 2009 and 2012.•Average turnover in the debt collection industry is historically 30% per year.•Successful and professional collection agents will have significant career opportunities in a difficult economy.
Key Steps to Collection Success•Review the account•Dial for Dollars•Verify Information•The Talk‐Off•Money Drops•Subsequent Contact•Consequences of no payment
Review The Account•What was the last action?•How old is the account?•Have any payments been made on the account?•Did the debtor make a promise?•Do you have good contact information?•Who is the responsible party?•When was the account last worked?This task can all be accomplished while you are dialing the number.
Dial for DollarsRepeat this Statement:I am not judged by the number of times I fail. I am judged by the number of times I succeed AND the number of time I succeed is in direct proportion to the number of times I fail and keep trying.The numbers at a glance:100 attempts per day 20 contacts per day 10 promises per day 5 payments per day
Verify The information•Identify the responsible party •Student •Parent •Company •Verify the address •Living at home? •Apartment •Owning or Renting •No PO Box – Street Address•Verify Employment •Are you currently employed •Full Time / Part Time •Position / How Long •If None, Source of Funds•Verify contact information •Is your cell phone the best number to call? (GET CELL and permission) •Other contact numbers •Home •Business •EMAIL ADDRESS !!!
I n e C e a d n t y o o u c o p The Talk OFF l a l y e c b t y Y N t A E O h C S e H The secret to Wb ia tl success in ha dn rc ae collections is to w ai ln lead your ? f u l customer down l the path to success.Your customer then goes through a series of “drops” based on theiranswers and are presented with numerous options to pay, buy or solvean issue.
The Talk Off1. Verify the debtor 2. State your name and company name3. Before I continue I need to verify some information for our records (update information)4. The Talk Off • State the purpose of your call5. Handle objections6. Pitch payment options7. Close for the payment8. Thank the customer
ALTERNATE OF CHOICE CLOSEStating the purposeI am calling today because we need to collect payment on your outstanding balance in our office in the amount of _______ representing tuition charges for the ______ semester of ________. We have 2 methods available for payment. I can take a credit card for the balance or we can also take a check over the phone. Which payment method would you prefer?ALWAYS PITCH THE BALANCE IN FULL WITHOUT OPTIONS AND WITHOUT RESERVATION. AFTER YOU STATE THE PURPOSE OF YOUR CALLPAUSE…THE NEXT PERSON WHO SPEAKS LOSES.
Handle ObjectionsTypes of Objections •Circumstantial •Emotional •Intellectual •Fraudulent•Circumstantial •Medical Issues •Loss of Job •Divorce •Natural Disaster•Emotional •These consumers believe that they deserve the service even though they are not able to afford it. •It’s not my fault•Intellectual •These consumers usually have the ability to pay but have poor records or do not budget their money accordingly•Fraudulent •These individuals never intended to pay.
Money Drops • Balance by Credit •Secure a down payment Card •Can you pay at least 50% down today and the balance by the end of the BIF • Balance by ACH month?•Liquidate the debt in the shortest possible time•Be realistic•Identify Money Sources • Post Dated Check •Employment •Savings PDC •Parents •Relative •Loan •Life Insurance •401K • Down Payment •Other • Realistic Terms PPA•Once the payment plan is set, make sure that the debtor understands that it is a one time accommodation, not the rule.
Subsequent Contact•If at first you don’t succeed… •Was a promise broken? •Has there been a change since the first contact? •Does the debtor have a proposed solution to the problem? •Can the debtor get on a temporary payment plan?
Customer Consequences•If no payment is received, what are the consequences? •Placement for Collection •Credit Bureau Reporting •Transcript Withholding •Registration Withholding•If there are no consequences for non‐payment, why should they pay the bill?
Would the world be better off without us?The job you do is essential to the survival of the economic system. Without collections, there can be no credit. •Why do people pay bills? •Moral and Social Obligation •Civil Penalty•Without collections there is no credit•Without credit there can be no economic growth •Without economic growth, there can be no stability•The collection function provides a backstop to the credit process in order to allow all companies to extend credit and do business. Without you, our entire future is at stake.