I am getting pretty good at ignoring things. The kitchen timer. My alarm clock. Shoes that end up living in my family room for DAYS because the owner can’t quite put them away (okay, I’m still working on that one).
It’s easiest to ignore things that are always around because they are more predictable. You expect it to show up at a certain time, and you already have a plan in place to handle it—you pretend you don’t see it.
In debt collection, you definitely don’t want your phone calls ignored. You want people to answer and address their debts right away, so you don’t have to keep calling them over and over…and over. But if you can’t even get them to pick up the phone, you might be calling that account for quite awhile.
The trick is to pre-empt this ignoring attitude by keeping them on their toes. Then you’ll get noticed and stay noticed.
If they don’t know what to expect next, then you have a better chance that they will answer.
Some predictable behaviors to avoid:
Calling the same number over and over. If you keep calling only one number, your debtors will quickly get wise to your plan and they’ll expect you to only contact that number. If you have multiple phone numbers for an account, load all of them into your dialer and use all of them (make sure to scrub out the cell phone numbers).
Calling at the same time every day. Consistently calling a debtor on the same days in the same time frame (like Monday, Wednesday and Saturday between 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.) will probably increase your chances of being ignored. Determine when you have called in the past and then use list groups to schedule new times for starting/stopping the list.
Using the same Caller ID. If I don’t recognize a number, I’ll almost never answer unless it’s local (and then I might). Change your Caller ID to show a local number—and periodically change to display another local number—so the debtor won’t know it’s you. Just make sure you actually own the number and that calling it will reach an agent.
People are pretty good at ignoring calls they don’t want to answer, and that includes debt collection calls. Make sure to stay as unpredictable as possible to catch them off guard. As always, remember to talk to your legal counsel before making any changes to your dialing strategies.
Maybe, one day, I’ll learn to ignore the shoes, but I’m not sure I can ever get over finding STINKY SOCKS shoved under my couch!
This article was written by Kendra