Collection calls aren’t easy to make especially if you don’t have any experience or if making these sorts of phone calls are difficult for you. One way to make the process easier is to have a script for collection calls that you can use. Here at Clients ARM, we pride ourselves on our success as a first and third-party collections agency. Part of the reason why we’re able to collect on more than 90% of the accounts placed with us is because of how we treat others. In this post, we’re going to show you what to say and how to say it.
Before You Call
Before you call, review the account that is past due. Familiarizing yourself with the details on the account better prepares you for the call. You should know the invoice number, the date that the invoice was generated, the services provided, when those services were provided, the date the payment was due, how far past due the account is, and how much is due.
If you’re preparing to call on a B2B account, make sure that you have contact information for the main contact as well as the person who is responsible for remitting payments.
Script for Collection Calls
Now that you’ve reviewed the account, let’s prepare your script for collection calls. Open up Word or Google Docs and get ready to write your own!
Start by asking for the account holder. You will use a standard greeting such as “Hello,” “Good morning,” or “Good afternoon.” Then, you’ll ask for the account holder if you’re calling on a consumer account. If you’re calling on a B2B account and you call the receptionist, ask for someone in accounts payable or accounting. If you have a name, ask for the person by name. You can also ask to speak with your usual contact person. Even if that person isn’t authorized to make payments, they can give you the name of the person you need to speak with.
If you’re asked who is calling, identify yourself with your name and your company. You do not need to state yet that it is a collections call. This is important because you don’t know who answered the phone with absolute certainty and you do not want to violate anyone’s privacy by giving out that information.
Identify yourself and the purpose of your call. When you have the account holder on the line, identify yourself and the reason for your call. Remain calm and friendly. You do not have to sound like an authoritarian.
“Hi John. My name is Sue Smith. I’m calling from ABC Corporation. I just have a quick question. I was looking at some accounts and noticed that the last invoice we sent you on DATE hasn’t been paid. Did you receive the invoice?”
If you’d like, you can also work in the amount of the invoice. The purpose for ensuring receipt is to act as an engagement and problem solving device. Even if you provide digital invoices, there’s a possibility that the computer glitched, that the invoice wasn’t sent, or that the spam filter for the client’s email was activated. A physical email could have been lost in the mail.
This is the point in the call where you’ll find out if the client had a problem with the invoice. They may say that they never received those services, they weren’t satisfied, or that their invoice says they owe a different amount. This puts you into the position of problem solver. You’re able to determine what’s happened and help the client find solutions to the issue.
Collecting payment from the client. You can ask the client if they would like for you to take the payment over the phone if you have a way to process it. For a lot of calls, you’ll hear:
- The check is on NAME’S desk and they haven’t signed it yet.
- I don’t get paid until Friday.
For B2B payments waiting on a signature, ask for the direct contact information for the person who must approve the payment or sign the check. For clients who cannot make a payment today and tell you when they get paid, make a note to call them back on that day for the payment and then follow through.
Get Help with Your Collections
If you don’t have time to handle your collections or if you’re still uncomfortable despite having a script, schedule a free consultation with Clients ARM. We’re licensed in multiple states and have three decades of experience helping businesses get the money that they’re owed.