What your collection agency doesn’t want you to know!
For ten years or so, Staples has promoted a marketing campaign “That was Easy” . The same could be said for many of the accounts assigned to a collection agency. Maybe one letter and a telephone call – and the money is paid. I know of some agents that will hold off on their reporting successful collections for a week or two – just so they won’t offend their client, and of course, keep the assignments coming in.
You may have a seasoned and experienced collection team, yet there will still be some quick collections via an agent:
- “Hey, the debtor says to themselves, they are taking this seriously.”
- Something to be said for a different ‘voice’
- Let’s face it, if they are any good, they will be more assertive, bordering on aggressive: No pussyfooting, no more Mr. Nice Guy…they ask for the full payment due
What you don’t want, is a quick collection resolution because you or someone on your team did not professionally resolve the agreement.
Before an agent assignment, you should answer and/or pursue the following:
- Agree you don’t want them as a customer any more. There is a point in the collection process where you can still collect AND keep your customer, but not once it reaches an agency assignment status. I’m not sure when a cucumber becomes a pickle, but once it’s a pickle, it is never going back to a cucumber.
- There has been an assertive approach, gradual mind you, to resolve the outstanding debt. Collections 101 is being assertive, asking for the full amount due and resolving any and all excuses and delays for non-payment.
- Get creative with some – have another person call, doesn’t always have to be a stronger personality – just something different can work wonders, visit your customer if the balance is high enough, talk to others in the business
You have to have a thick skin in this business and that includes someone else collecting quickly after we appear to have failed, don’t like it but accept it only after correct and due diligence on our part.
Pithy Quote of the Month:
“Some secrets are meant to be known, but once known, you can never forget them.”
…Bosch, “The Name of this Book is Secret”