You see it doesn’t really matter what you say, what matters is what they hear.
The next article will give you a flavor of what we cover in relation to the words you should use and the words you should never use. This is not about what you say, it is more about how you say it.
You can hear a smile on the phone. You can also hear a whole lot more, you can hear how professional the person on the other end of the phone is, you can hear how interested they are, you can hear if they are competitive or if they are simply going through the motions and doing what they are told. You can also tell if someone is reading from a script, or if they have a learned script they must give to a customer. The purpose of a collection call is simply to get the money, to get the money and keep the customer. Everything about the call has to be set up to achieve this goal.
The four essentials of a great collection call are more relevant to anyone involved in consumer collections, where you are generally talking to people you don’t know and you have to use your voice to convey your message. In trade collections you aregenerally talking to the same people month after month and as you get to know them your personality becomes more important than the elements discussed below.
It is important to be aware of the pitch of your voice, the higher it is, the more that wil be confused with nervousness and the less successful you will be. When talking to convey energy and to be persuasive you should use pitch inflection to make what you are saying come to life.
It is essential that your tone represents what you want to achieve. If you start in an angry tone you will have an angry call, even if you are not angry but if the other person at the end of the phone thinks your tone is angry that will be enough. Your tone should be serious, professional and understanding all at the same time.
This might come as a shock, my advice is the lower the volume the better. I am sure you have heard of collections by decibels i.e. the louder you shout the better the results. In all my years in credit I have never found shouting a good way to collect. Shouting is usually associated with a loss of control and the job is called credit control so the point is you need to stay in control at all times. The appropriate volume is when you can be heard and understood. There are some exceptions to this rule, the explanations are so subtle I couldn’t explain them in a single page. Maybe it is a topic I can revisit later.
Please slow down. There is nothing worse than a collector talking at such a speed that the customer doesn’t understand what you are saying. Remember to adjust your speed to the person you are speaking to. If you are speaking in English and the first language of the person you are talking to is not, you should speak as slowly as you can. As well as making sure you are understood, it also gives great weight to what you are saying and you will be taken more seriously if you speak more slowly.