When it comes to third-party debt collection, those who are doing the difficult job of communicating with customers and collecting the debt often have a bad reputation.
They’re known for using shady tactics that involve getting whatever money they can through disrespectful and persistent bullying without regard for the customer or their circumstances. For smart business owners wishing to preserve the customer relationship, this method of collection is outdated and ineffective. In today’s post from Partners Financial Services, we want to discuss why customer service is so important when it comes to debt collection, and how a third-party debt collection company can help you actually improve debt recovery and customer loyalty. Keep reading to learn more.
Preserving Your Customer Base
In today’s competitive market, it’s more challenging than ever to acquire new customers. That’s why every effort should be put into retaining the customers that you have. Even though a small percentage may turn into slow- or non-paying customers at some point, it’s important to remember that sometimes people have setbacks and unforeseen circumstances that prevent them from being able to pay on time. This doesn’t mean that you should immediately start using intimidation and harassment techniques to get your money. A person who has a minor delay in payment can still have the potential to be a very good customer for many years to come.
Protecting Your Reputation
Perhaps one of the biggest reasons for making customer service a priority throughout the debt collection process is to protect your business’s reputation. It’s never been easier than now for customers to share their bad experiences and dislikes about a business with people all over the globe. Social media has provided an outlet for unhappy customers and it can damage your hard-earned reputation with the click of a button. This is especially true if a person feels they are being treated unfairly, harassed, or disrespected. They will be more likely to take to social media to warn others — resulting in a damaging blow and a loss of current and future customers for that business.
When it comes to protecting your reputation, it’s important to remember a few key points. First, you should always make sure that you’re conducting your business in accordance with the law. Debt collection practices are highly governed by a set of rules to ensure that customers are being treated fairly, and they can change often — especially at times like now with individual state COVID-19 mandates regarding debt collection.
Second, don’t forget how difficult it can be to build a brand that people trust. You may have many loyal followers, but that can quickly change if word gets out that you use unethical means of threatening customers for payment.
Getting the money you’re owed is equally as important as protecting your reputation. That’s why modern methods of debt recovery take into account ways of maintaining the customer relationship. You’ll find that by using a respectful and personalized approach, you’ll get paid and improve your customer loyalty at the same time.
How To Improve Customer Service
Whether you perform recovery tasks in house or you’ve chosen to work with a third-party debt collection agency, there are several things you can do to improve customer service. Consider the following best practices for achieving greater debt recovery and improving the customer experience.
Preferred Forms of Engagement
If you want to keep your customers happy, you have to look at things from their point of view. Consider the ways you are communicating with them. Does your debt recovery strategy only involve sending form letters through the mail? If you want to be more effective, you have to make sure that you’re engaging with your customers in a way that they prefer. Younger people often prefer to use technology while older customers tend to rely on the postal service and phone calls.
Due to the sensitive nature of debt recovery, many customers also prefer to remain anonymous. This is why having an online portal for processing payments may be a better and more effective method for collecting money than to require your customers to have to speak to a person over the phone. By giving customers options that they appreciate, it’s a win-win for everyone.
With regard to customer communication, it’s crucial that you make sure to use consistent methods. This is especially important to remember if there has been a change in who is performing the debt collection tasks. If your customers prefer being contacted through text messages and emails, if you all of a sudden change to sending letters and calling, they may overlook your communications or at the very least they may find it confusing and not appreciate the change.
Recovering debt can be trying for both parties involved but it’s important to remember that customers are individuals, each with a unique set of circumstances, and it’s a mistake to think that you can treat every situation the same way. A customer may be dealing with a financial setback due to job loss or a medical emergency. That person may also have other higher priority bills that need to be paid first.
The point is that in order to achieve the best possible recovery rate, you must perform your job with professionalism and integrity by treating your customers with respect. Show them that they aren’t just a number and you’ll be more likely to get paid and maintain a good customer for life.
A Third-Party Debt Collection Service With Your Best Interests In Mind
Are you looking for a third-party debt collection company that can help you get the money you’re owed while maintaining your good reputation? Contact Partners Financial Services, Inc. We understand the importance of good customer service and how vital it is to maintain a customer’s trust even during debt recovery.
Partners Financial Services, Inc. has been providing 3rd party debt collection, billing and loan servicing solutions for clients needing a firm, but ethical and professional approach to managing their accounts receivable and loan portfolios since 1993. Our balance of professionalism, compliance practices, and leveraging modern technology makes us the partner you need. Find out more about how we can help you by visiting our website or giving us a call. We believe that your success is our success and you can trust that your accounts will be in good hands.