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There are 4 things a debt collector wants to accomplish when you have the debtor on the phone:
1) Eliminate the excuse you hear so that you will never hear it again. There is nothing more boring in accounts receivable than hearing the same excuse over and over again. Not only do you want to address the excuse, but figure out how you can prevent the debtor from using it again.
2) Think ahead to the next excuse you might hear from the debtor in a week or two and eliminate it while you have him/her on the phone now. One of your goals is to speed up your collections. It can be very tedious to take a week or two to work out an excuse and find out that there is yet another excuse that will delay payment even further. Without asking the right questions during the first phone call, you will not be able to determine how many more excuses a debtor has on his/her agenda.
3) Determine whether what the debtor has told you is an excuse or reality. Again, asking the right questions using your call center services will help you determine if what the debtor is telling you is an excuse or not.
4) Create a sense of urgency about getting your bill paid. The debtor may not take you up on your solutions, but in offering them, you are establishing a sense of urgency about getting your bill paid. And if the bill is not important to you, do not expect it to be important to him/her either.