On a flight back from New York City, I was pondering all of the tasks I needed to accomplish that weekend. I often worry about missing my boys’ school activities, “honey do” tasks and the tedious chore of paying bills. I rarely need a reminder about my upcoming boys’ and honey do activities for the weekend. As for paying bills, I need plenty of post-it notes and reminders on my lap top and cell phone…
Technology is a wonderful tool for reminders. Just recently, I received a phone call (or specifically a pre-recorded message) from my boy’s school reminding him about an upcoming event he and his parents needed to attend. (A good thing they called or we would have missed the event.) The caller and phone number were posted on my Cable TV. I usually wouldn’t answer the phone, but knowing it was a local number, I became inquisitive and immediately answered.
Wow, technology has come a long way! It is helpful, yet technology can be annoying too. As a consumer, it is irritating to receive marketing and political calls. I will not answer most calls, especially if it is an 800 or non local number.
This experience is comparable to most debtors/consumers; usually they will answer and respond to local numbers and/or phone numbers they can identify. But what about the debtors and consumers that are less responsive?
Let’s begin with why they are avoiding the call. As I mentioned, debtors/consumers don’t like marketing and political calls. The other reason is that they don’t have an answer or a resolution for the caller’s questions. So they curmudgeonly swear and blow off the phone call and try to forget their responsibility to pay their bills.
What is the best strategy for getting debtor call backs?
First, identify the type of person you are contacting. Are they 1st party or 3rd party debtors? How old is the debt?
Second, decide the frequency of contact: Monday thru Friday, Monday-Wednesday-Friday or just weekends, etc. Break up the time you dial your chosen campaigns/lists to morning, afternoon and late hour or a combination of times.
Normally, the original campaign/list run produces fairly high numbers of call backs; it will slow down around the third campaign run. When the call backs slow down, try changing the phone calling days and times.
Third, categorize the type of calling campaign/list you will run. In other words, place all large balance accounts into the “large balance list” and place all past due accounts in another one. This will help you fine tune your dialing campaigns. Your reports will give you key indicators for the best time to call based on pickups, hang-ups or answer machine messages. For example, on the “large balance list” summary report it might indicate there was a higher percentage of debtor pickups during the 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. time frame compared to a late afternoon time.
Fourth, group your lists. The client you are representing might have multiple departments to call (i.e. a hospital will have ER, radiology and neurology departments), and would like you to keep them separate from each other. Set up your lists, so that once one list is complete the next list will automatically begin.
Fifth, keep caller ID in mind too. Debtors will start to recognize your number and will avoid the call. If you own multiple local numbers, change the caller ID number every now and again.
Sixth, choose the right Dialogue/Message and remember the TCPA, FCC, HIPAA and ACA rules should be applied at all times. Messaging could include specific verbiage for demand for payment, right party verification, and pre/post payment reminders.
IAT SmartDial’s dialing solutions (CT Center site premised dialer and CT Impact hosted service) have the ability to do all the suggestions above. IAT believes that each business, whether big or small, has its own unique business method. This is why IAT tailors our dialer products and services to your daily business operations and needs.
This article was written by Mark