I wholeheartedly believe that to run an effective business, especially in debt collection, you need to put a focus on your team’s consistency. For example, consistency can make or break a consumer’s experience with your agency. Or, strong consistency can be the deciding factor when a client is considering signing with your agency.
Let me tell you a 60-second story to show you why consistency is so important in debt collection.
Years ago, I had a collector named Michael. One day, Michael was talking to a consumer who owed $7500, and Michael did every part of the call perfectly…
He made sure the consumer felt heard and understood. He planted a seed of a positive outcome, and he ultimately offered an amazing solution. By the end of the call, he was so disappointed because even after communicating so well, the consumer ended the call and didn’t pay.
The next day, the consumer called back and spoke to another team member, Alex, on the phone. Alex also did everything perfectly. Just like Michael, she made the consumer feel heard and understood, planted a seed of a positive outcome, and offered some great next steps without missing a beat. Yet again, the same result happened: The consumer let her go without paying.
The next day, the consumer called back a third time, and this time, he got my team member Roxie on the phone. Roxie followed the same steps as Michael and Alex. She didn’t miss a beat. And this time, the consumer paid $7,500 in one payment.
Michael was extremely confused, so he came to my office and said, “I don’t understand what I did wrong. I don’t understand why the consumer paid Roxie and not me.”
So I said, “He paid the account because of you. He paid because of you, because of Alex, and because of Roxie. He paid because our consumers feel safe with consistency.”
Think about it: When we call a business and they tell us the same story three times in a row, we can now feel comfortable to let go of $7,500 because we can truly feel like we’re in good hands.
The reason my team was able to get such a large payment after only 3 calls was that we’ve made consistency a high priority. We use 3 the C’s of consistency on every call with every consumer. And your agency can too! Keep reading, and you’ll learn exactly how!
Collectors need a strategy to remain consistent. If your team hasn’t invested in a COHESIVE communication strategy, you’ve probably noticed consistency issues.
Did you notice in my story earlier that Michael, Alex, and Roxie each followed 3 distinct steps when they spoke to the consumer? That’s because, at my agency, we use a 3-step strategy called the Communication Code on every call with every consumer.
We’ve been developing this strategy for 15 years, and as we’ve developed it, we’ve truly noticed amazing differences in our consistency.
The great news is, you can invest in my strategy too! My Communication Code is backed by years of neuroscience research and experiments in my own debt collection agency. And after all of that hard work, it’s available to agencies just like yours in my 9-week online course, The Collection Advantage. If you want to learn more about how to bring The Collection Advantage to your agency, let’s chat. Book a call with me so I can learn more about your agency’s unique needs.
Regardless of whether you use my strategy or your own, making communication COHESIVE is your ticket to consistency across the board on your collection floor. Pre-scripting your top pain points definitely helps to make sure ALL of your collectors are using the SAME communication strategy on every call with every consumer.
Tone matters. Read that again.
Tone truly matters when we talk to consumers.
And that’s why collectors need to be COGNIZANT of tone when speaking to consumers. If each collector is using a different tone, then your consistency will be negatively impacted. Let me explain...
With an inconsistent tone, sometimes a consumer may speak to a collector with a passive tone, and other times, that same consumer may speak to a collector with an aggressive tone. As a result, that consumer will feel conflicted before interacting with your agency because they’re unsure what they’ll encounter when they answer the phone or call into your office.
Ask yourself the following question:
What tone does your agency want to convey?
At my agency, for example, our goal is to maintain an empathetic, solutions-oriented tone. We avoid being too passive—which often happens when collectors are afraid of asking for money—or too aggressive—which often happens when a collector’s fight or flight is triggered.
Quick tip: A great fix for passive and aggressive language is to teach collectors more about the consumer experience! This will allow the collector to process the difficult emotions attached to collecting debt since they’ll have a deeper understanding of how the consumer is likely feeling.
Once you know what tone your company wants to convey to consumers, make sure to relay that tone to your team through training and role-playing exercises. Once your team grasps your agency’s tone expectations, your agency's consistency will automatically increase.
The final “C” of consistency is CONNECTED because when consumers feel CONNECTED to your collectors, they’ll naturally feel more comfortable interacting with your agency. They’ll have positive emotions attached to speaking with your collectors, and as long as each collector is making an effort to CONNECT, that consistency factor will prevail.
I’ve written several blog posts about how to create a CONNECTED consumer experience:
Let’s go over a brief refresher.
All humans have a universal emotional need to feel heard and understood. So, when we first start a call with a consumer, we can meet that need to keep the call moving forward. To do this, listen to the consumer’s story, even if it seems ramble-y, and then let them know you understand their situation. After that, we can plant a seed of a positive outcome by letting the consumer know “we’ve got this.” Once that positive outcome is planted in the consumer’s mind, we’re finally in the CONNECTION ZONE.
Once you have this “C” mastered, the benefits are fantastic. Consumers will feel extremely comfortable discussing their debt with your agency, and your overall consistency will be at an all-time high. I often say, “CONNECTION is currency,” and this is the reason why!
"Connection is currency."
Check the Box for Each “C”
After reading this article, ask yourself:
Maybe you have your own techniques to promote consistency. I’d love to hear them!
One of the reasons agencies invest in The Collection Advantage online training program is because they want to see that consistency skyrocket, and using a made-for-you strategy is a great way to achieve this.
I’d love to bring The Collection Advantage to your team and start tackling each “C” one by one. Want to learn more? Book a strategic planning meeting with me FOR FREE.
Also, if you haven’t already, make sure to check out my Onboarding & Retention Guide. This is a $500 value that you can download for free.
To see this post as it was originally written, visit maryshores.com.