It’s no secret that historically there hasn’t been the best connection between consumers and collectors. This is to no fault of collectors, though, as a person’s finances are usually a sensitive topic of discussion. While consumers may not want to talk about their debts, we truly believe that they want to pay them. The trick to getting consumers to convert while cultivating positive interactions lies in establishing trust between the agents and the consumer. Building trust in collections may seem unattainable, but can easily be accomplished through a few communication techniques.
Sympathy and Empathy
When working with consumers about something as sensitive and impactful as debt, it’s important to show them both sympathy and empathy. Debt is something that many people face, so using emotional intelligence allows the agent to A) connect with the consumer on a deeper level and B) build a level of trust that a mere business transaction wouldn’t be able to foster.
Empathy is not about saying the right things, but rather putting yourself in the consumer’s shoes to understand and share their feelings and concerns.
In this industry, it’s likely that just one agent will make well over 100 phone calls a day. With such a high volume of calls happening in a short period of time, it can be hard to stay positive, remain calm, and appear collected. However, the communication you have with the consumer on the other end of the line dictates the outcome of not only the call, but the overall perception of the industry. Positive communication, regardless of how the call begins, is key to establishing a level of trust that will result in a conversion at the end of the call. More importantly, though, it will establish a better perception of the industry, their finances, and collectors as a whole.
Putting the Ball in their Court
One of the most effective ways to build trust in collections is to let consumers handle their debts when they’re ready. The biggest driving factor behind the lack of trust between a consumer and collections is the feeling of “intrusion” when a consumer receives a phone call from a collector at a bad time. People don’t like to be interrupted or blindsided, especially when it has to do with something as significant as debt.
The best way for collectors to put the ball in the consumer’s court is by using DirectDrop Voicemail solutions. With DirectDrop Voicemail, interruption isn’t a problem. Instead of receiving an unexpected phone call, they’ll receive a voicemail without their phone ever ringing. This way, they can call back when they’re ready.