Finding the balance between being persuasive and polite is a key challenge when it comes to your debt collection call script.
We will show you how to do that and more in this post.
These tips will come in handy for:
- Freelancers that are contacting a client about an overdue payment
- Contracted debt collection agencies
Regulations to keep in mind
Before creating a script for debt collection, go through the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Here’s a brief overview:
- Within five days of contacting a debtor, you must send written notice of the debt including:
- The amount owed by the debtor
- The name of the creditor
- A statement describing your right to collect the debt
- You may not call outside the period of 8 AM to 9 PM, or at any time the debtor has told you is inconvenient.
- You cannot threaten legal action or a bad credit rating unless you have the legal authority and intent to do so.
- You may not misrepresent yourself or use false statements to convince the debtor to pay back debt.
Key points to include in your script
Here are a few points to keep in mind when creating your debt collection call script.
Identify the debtor and state the purpose of your call
According to most regulations, you cannot disclose details about a debt to anyone other than the debtor. Make sure you are speaking to the right person by verifying debtor details in the beginning of the script.
After verification, you can get straight to the point, letting the debtor know that the call is about an overdue payment.
Keep a friendly tone
If the debtor starts reacting emotionally, it’s easy for the caller to get influenced.
Make sure to add notes in your calling script, reminding the calling agent that keeping calm, collected and carrying out the conversation in a friendly way (even if the receiver isn’t) is more effective than the alternative.
Listen to the contact
If the debtor feels like they are being listened to, they are more likely to say yes to the calling agent’s requests and be more willing to answer questions.
Prompt the caller to ask relevant questions to the debtor, and leave spaces where the caller can answer personalized queries.
Ask for Payment
When it comes time to ask the debtor to make the payment, it is important to be specific.
- What do they owe, and
- By when do you want them to make a payment?
Take care of the logistics, so all the debtor has to do is act.
Help them find a solution
If the debtor is unable to make a full payment at the time of the call, give them options.
In the script, you can lay out some alternatives that the calling agent can communicate to the debtor
Ex. An installment plan to pay off the debt.
Confirm the Deal
Once they agree to make the outstanding payment, you can get a verbal or written agreement to increase the chance that they follow through. If your calling tool allows you to send texts while on a call, you can attach a link to your text.
Debt collection call dos and don’ts
To summarize the points above:
|Do – Introduce yourself (the caller), the creditor, and check if you’re speaking to the right person.||Don’t – Ask about the payment before resolving the debtors queries.|
|Do – Resolve queries before pressing on.||Don’t – Harass or threaten to collect a debt.|
|Do – Remember to thank them (for their time or for repaying the debt).||Don’t – Contact debtors without knowledge of collection laws and regulations|
|Do – Follow regulations when creating your debt collection calling script and following up.||Don’t – End a debt collection call without an agreement that the debtor will repay the debt partially or in full.|
Debt collection script templates
Here are a few sample debt collection call scripts you could take inspiration from for your own script.
For an overdue bill (consumer)
Hi! This is <agent name> from <organization>. Am I speaking with <debtor name>?
Great. I’m calling about an outstanding debt. Is this a good time to talk to you?
Let me just verify some information so that I can be sure i’m talking to the right person.
<Debtor name>, we have a debt for <debt amount> under your name. It’s understandable that people forget about bills in the day to day, but it’s been <time> since the payment has been due. If we could agree to sort it out today, that would be great. Do you have any questions for me?
Do you think you can repay the debt by the end of the day?
|If No, offer optionsI get it. But let’s still work this out so you can avoid future complications. How about a monthly installment plan over the period of three months? You would owe <debt amount/3> every month until it is paid back.||If Yes,|
Great!. I’ll check in tomorrow in case you had any trouble with the payment process.
A followup call
Good afternoon, this is <agent name> from <organization>. Is this <debtor name>?
Hi <debtor name>. We spoke yesterday about the outstanding payment of <debt amount>. I see that you haven’t made the payment yet. Are you having any trouble?
|If No, communicate that they must act + any further escalation you intend to make.||If Yes, walk them through the different ways they can complete the payment|
These sample scripts will help you get up and running when you start your debt collection calling campaigns.
If you’re interested in a calling software that can display personalized scripts to calling agents based on the data you have on your CRM, try out CallHub.
Along with script personalization, we offer multiple dialers to control your calling speed, dynamic caller ID, and phone number verification.
Take a look at our full range of call center software features.