For many businesses with past due accounts, the commercial collections process often starts with making phone calls. Usually, businesses will begin by making the collections calls on their own. This process, known as first-party collections, can be difficult for employees with little to no collections experience. To help, we’ve put together this post to teach you what you need to mention during your commercial collections phone calls.
First, Review the File
Before picking up the phone, you should review the file. At the very least, you need to know when the payment was due, the amount of the last payment, when that last payment was made, and the name of the person responsible for the account.
Get the Right Person on the Phone
Since we’re talking about commercial collections, remember that the person who answers the phone for a business may not have the authority to help you. Ask to speak with the person listed on the account. If that person isn’t with the company anymore, ask to speak with the supervisor or their replacement.
Properly Identify Yourself and the Purpose of the Call
It’s likely that the person who answers the phone wants to screen out sales calls. They may ask who is calling. Identify yourself and the name of the business you’re with. At this time, you do not have to identify the true purpose of your call (commercial collections). You can let the receptionist know that it isn’t a sales call. If they press for information, let them know it is a billing matter.
Once you have the right person on the phone, identify yourself, your company, and let them know that it is a collections call.
Give a Quick Update on the Account
Let the debtor know account is past due, the previous due date, the amount due, the last time you received a payment, and how much that payment was. This is particularly helpful if the original contact is no longer with the company.
Ask for a Payment
After answering any questions the company representative may have about the account, ask for a payment. If the representative asks you to call back at a later date to collect the payment, make a note to follow-up at that time. If they do not pay at that time, you may need to consider other commercial collections options.
For more challenging collections issue, you will want to hire an experienced commercial collections attorney. Reach out to The Law Offices of Ronald P. Slates today for a consultation.