Collection calls should be made without delay as soon as an account
has become delinquent. Some creditor companies establish a grace period
before collection calls are made. This is an invitation for customers
to delay payments. There is no advantage to establishing a grace period
of this type.
Collectors should take the initiative. One suggestion is to stop leaving
message. If the person you want to speak with is out, rather than leave
a message [which is often ignored] call again later. You may get lucky
and reach the person who can help you get paid. If not, try again later
in the day, or go back through the company operator and try to have
the person you need to speak to paged.
The advantages of making calls and not leaving messages include:
The fact that you have time to gather information and review your
records before making the call,
You can consider or discuss collection strategies,
Before calling, you can find out if there are any orders on hold
or in production and use this information as leverage to get paid
the money that is owed to your company
You can prepare mentally for the call, and for any ensuing negotiation.
Placing the call gives the collector the advantage of position and
Don't waste time trying to contact the same person more than twice.
Use the "two and up rule". If you have called twice and left
messages each time, move to the next level. If you tried to reach the
Manager, ask for the Controller. If the Controller also fails to respond
after two calls, contact the CFO or the company owner.
Timing of collection calls is critical. Placing a call too early in
the day or too late in the day gives customers a built in excuse for
not answering their phone. Schedule collection calls in your customer's "prime
time" which is typically between 9:00 and 12:00 in whatever time
zone they are located in.