Debt collection call scripts are essential for effective communication between debt collectors and customers. They can help turn difficult conversations into positive outcomes. Here are three real-world examples of how carefully written debt collection call scripts can make a big difference.
Learn how to have successful interactions that not only recover outstanding debts but also preserve the delicate balance between firmness and understanding.
Debt Collection Call Script #1: Past Due Balance
PROBLEM: Michelle, who works for ABC Incorporated, reached out to Denise Smith through phone calls, voicemails, and emails. The reason for contacting Denise was that her company owed money to ABC’s client, HotSpot, and the overdue payment was to be made by the next business day. Denise was concerned because she wasn’t sure if her account was still open, and she wanted to see the invoices and receive confirmation from the client that her account was closed.
COLLECTOR (Michelle): Thank you for calling ABC Incorporated. This is Michelle.
CUSTOMER (Denise): Hey Michelle, it’s Denise Smith. I have sent you an email and left you a message last week, but I didn’t get a response. And now I received an email stating that I need to have this account resolved by end of business day tomorrow.
COLLECTOR (Michelle): Hi Denise, I received the email that you sent over the weekend, and I did reply the next day. I also received a voice message and I called back, but I hadn’t heard back from you in over a week. Do you have payment status for the past due balance?
CUSTOMER (Denise): My concern is, is this account closed?
COLLECTOR (Michelle): The account is not billing, as far as I can tell. I can’t speak to that 100%. I don’t see any more recent bills than September 2016. So I’m going to assume that it’s no longer billing. I can confirm with HotSpot if you’d like.
CUSTOMER (Denise): Well, that’s kind of… I mean, no one knows what this is, you know what I mean? Like, not even our IT guy knows. And I need to make sure what this is because I’m not going to pay something out of the blue we have no idea where it came from. Can you just let us know that this is at least closed?
COLLECTOR (Michelle): I can confirm with our client, but as far as the balance here that stands open, what’s the next step for you on the balance?
CUSTOMER (Denise): Well, I’ll go ahead and I’ll pay it. Um, what’s the total again? $1,400?
COLLECTOR (Michelle): It’s $2,438.01
CUSTOMER (Denise): Okay, can you send that bill to me, and I’ll just pay tomorrow?
COLLECTOR (Michelle): Okay, I can send you copies of the invoices.
CUSTOMER (Denise): Yes, just send it to me right now, and I’ll get it paid tomorrow.
COLLECTOR (Michelle): And how will the payment be made?
CUSTOMER (Denise): We’ll figure it out.
COLLECTOR (Michelle): I’ll submit something to HotSpot to confirm that they’re no longer billing. As I said, the last bill here is dated from September, so I’m assuming that they stopped billing at that time. I’ll confirm with them and relay their response to you. You’re going to mail a check tomorrow, or were you planning to call back to make the payment?
CUSTOMER (Denise): I actually have to mail a check. I don’t have a credit card to give you.
COLLECTOR (Michelle): We can take a check by phone if that’s easier for you.
CUSTOMER (Denise): No, that won’t work. We have to send a request, and they mail the check, so I wouldn’t have a check number to give you.
COLLECTOR (Michelle): I’ll make a note on the account stating that you’re planning on paying the invoice with a check after you review it. I’ll send over copies of the invoices, and then I’ll confirm with you as soon as HotSpot gets back to me on the billing questions with the account.
CUSTOMER (Denise): Okay, perfect.
COLLECTOR (Michelle): All right, is there anything else I can do for you?
CUSTOMER (Denise): No, I don’t think so. Okay, thank you so much for everything, and hopefully, um, you’ll be able to make sure that everything’s totally ended.
COLLECTOR (Michelle): Definitely. I’ll let you know as soon as I hear back from HotSpot on that.
CUSTOMER (Denise): Okay, thank you so much.
COLLECTOR (Michelle): Okay, thanks. Have a good day.
CUSTOMER (Denise): Okay, bye.
SOLUTION: Denise agreed to pay the money she owed and asked for copies of the invoices to look over before sending a check. Michelle agreed to send those invoices and said she’d check with the client for more information. The call finished with Denise feeling hopeful about resolving the issue, and Michelle promised to keep her updated once they heard from the client. They discussed Denise’s worries, how she planned to pay, and made a plan to sort everything out.
Debt Collection Call Script #2: Cash Flow Problem
PROBLEM: The customer, Dustin from BBE Company, has a debt of $9,025 to ZYX Company. He’s unable to make an immediate payment due to issues with his accounts receivable and because his company is facing financial constraints.
CUSTOMER (BBE Company): BBE company
COLLECTOR (Jessica): Hello can you please connect me with your accounts payable department?
CUSTOMER (BBE Company): Can you please tell me where you’re calling from?
COLLECTOR (Jessica): Sure! My client is ZYX Company and I’m calling on their behalf.
CUSTOMER (BBE Company): Hold on one moment please.
CUSTOMER (Dustin): Hello.
COLLECTOR (Jessica): Yes, hello who am I speaking with please?
CUSTOMER (Dustin): Dustin
COLLECTOR (Jessica): Hi Dustin, my name is Jessica Jones and I’m calling with ABC Incorporated. ZYX Company has placed a balance for collection in the amount of $9,025.
CUSTOMER (Dustin): Okay
COLLECTOR (Jessica): I’m calling to confirm a payment on that balance will be made today.
CUSTOMER (Dustin): Right now I’m having trouble with my receivables. Once I start having some money coming in, I plan on paying them.
COLLECTOR (Jessica): Okay. I understand your situation, but these invoices date back to June. If you are unable to pay the entire balance at this time, we can set up a payment plan over the next few months. But you need to at least start by making a partial payment towards the balance today. We can take a check over the phone or even a Visa or Mastercard. We can just start knocking away invoices for you.
CUSTOMER (Dustin): Yes, I know. My problem is my accounts receivable right now. I started a couple jobs that ended up being 90 day pays. We’re going to start getting them paid this month. There’s nothing I can do until then. Actually right now my account is in the negative.
COLLECTOR (Jessica): I understand. Well, like I said, if we start chipping away at them invoice by invoice…
CUSTOMER (Dustin): Yes. Well, like I said, as soon as the money starts coming in, I will do that.
COLLECTOR (Jessica): Okay. So the question is, when do you think that will be, sir?
CUSTOMER (Dustin): It should be around Christmas, or right before.
COLLECTOR (Jessica): So you’re expecting to be able to take care of this within the next two weeks?
CUSTOMER (Dustin): Yes, I should be able to.
COLLECTOR (Jessica): Okay, I’m going to need you to call me back when those funds are available. If I do not hear from you, I will contact you on Thursday, December 22nd and we’ll take care of payment at that time.
CUSTOMER (Dustin): Alright.
COLLECTOR (Jessica): Do you have my contact information, Dustin?
CUSTOMER (Dustin): I should, yes.
COLLECTOR (Jessica): Let me give it to you again just to be sure are you ready go ahead my number is 555-883-5354.
CUSTOMER (Dustin): Got it.
COLLECTOR (Jessica): Okay. Do you have an email Dustin?
CUSTOMER (Dustin): I do.
COLLECTOR (Jessica): Can I have it please?
CUSTOMER (Dustin): Dustin at BBEcompany.NET
COLLECTOR (Jessica): Let me read that back to you. It’s D-U-S-T-I-N at B as in boy, B as in boy, E is an elephant company.net is that correct?
CUSTOMER (Dustin): Yes, that is correct.
COLLECTOR (Jessica): Okay. Dustin, I’m going to send you an email confirming our discussion today. My contact information will also be on that email should you need it. If I don’t hear from you sooner, I’ll call you on Thursday, December 22nd. We will work on paying down your $9,025 balance with ZYX Company.
SOLUTION: The debt collector, Jessica Jones, who works for ABC Incorporated, has a helpful solution. She suggests a payment plan and is open to receiving smaller payments over time. Jessica works with Dustin to make a plan that fits his financial situation, and they agree on a date for the payments. She gives Dustin her contact information and promises to stay in touch to help him sort out his debt. This conversation acknowledges Dustin’s financial difficulties and offers a solution that’s considerate of his situation, making it easier to manage the debt.
Debt Collection Call Script #3: Missing Invoice
PROBLEM: The collector, Kim, from ABC Incorporated is trying to confirm an invoice payment on behalf of Hound Dog Restaurant Group. The customer, Dan, is unable to locate the invoice and requests a copy to verify the payment.
CUSTOMER (Infotech): Good morning, Infotech.
COLLECTOR (Kim): Good morning, my name is Kim. I’m with ABC Incorporated. I’m trying to reach accounts payable for Hound Dog Restaurant Group.
CUSTOMER (Infotech): Okay, please hold.
COLLECTOR (Kim): Ok, thank you.
CUSTOMER (Dan): Accounts payable, this is Dan.
COLLECTOR (Kim): Hello, my name is Kim. I’m with ABC Incorporated. Do you handle payment for Hound Dog?
CUSTOMER (Dan): Yes.
COLLECTOR (Kim): Great. I’m calling to confirm that the payment of $2,325 was made for invoice 71688544 for Hound Dog Restaurant Group.
COLLECTOR (Kim): Do you have the confirmation or receipt number for that payment?
CUSTOMER (Dan): I don’t know what you’re talking about. What’s the invoice number?
COLLECTOR (Kim): It is 71688544 for $2,325.
CUSTOMER (Dan): What is the invoice date?
COLLECTOR (Kim): May 3rd, 2016.
CUSTOMER (Dan): Okay, I don’t show that invoice in our system. Can you send me a copy?
COLLECTOR (Kim): I see that Hound Dog sent the original invoice in April of last year. If that helps you locate it.
CUSTOMER (Dan): I can’t find it here. Can you resend it to me?
COLLECTOR (Kim): Certainly, I can email a copy to you directly. Can you please confirm your email address?
CUSTOMER (Dan): Yeah, it’s [email protected].
COLLECTOR (Kim): Okay, let me read that back to you. That’s [email protected].
CUSTOMER (Dan): Yeah.
COLLECTOR (Kim): And what is your direct phone number in case I need to reach you with any other questions?
CUSTOMER (Dan): It’s 555-867-5309.
COLLECTOR (Kim): Okay, I’ll send that to you now. You should see the email in your inbox in a few minutes. Once you review the invoice, please reply back with payment status. My contact information is listed on the email as well if you have any other questions.
CUSTOMER (Dan): Okay, thanks.
COLLECTOR (Kim): No problem at all. So the email is on its way to you now, and I’ll look forward to your reply. If I don’t hear back from you, I’ll touch base tomorrow afternoon at 555-867-5309.
CUSTOMER (Dan): Okay, sounds good.
COLLECTOR (Kim): Is there anything else I can do for you?
CUSTOMER (Dan): No, I think that’s all we need.
COLLECTOR (Kim): Okay, thank you for your time. Have a great day.
CUSTOMER (Dan): Thanks.
SOLUTION: Kim kindly offers to send Dan a copy of the invoice via email. She makes sure to get Dan’s email address and phone number to ensure smooth communication. Kim then asks Dan to check the email for the invoice and let her know the payment status once he receives it. She also reassures Dan that her contact information will be in the email in case he has more questions. This conversation is all about resolving the problem of the missing payment confirmation by giving Dan a way to easily double-check the payment details.
This article highlights the importance of being well-prepared before making debt collection calls to your customers. It reviews a sampling of actual collection calls made by representatives of a collection agency to illustrate how following debt collection call scripts can make a big difference in real-life situations. It’s not just about the words on paper; these scripts include strategies that bring debtors and collectors closer together, leading to solutions that are about more than just money. They remind us that successful debt collection is about using the right words, understanding each other, and being committed to finding solutions.
For tips and information about commercial debt collections, check out these other articles on our website:
- 13 Strategies to Speed up Collections
- 9 Steps to Help Your OCA Help You
- Collecting By Phone: The Three Step Process
- Collection Litigation: Court Costs and Suit Fees
- Evaluating Your OCA’s Performance
- Nine Collection Tips for Small Business
- Nine Guidelines for Selecting the Right Collection Agency
- Payment Plan Negotiations
- Regulating Commercial Debt Collection
- The ABCs of Telephone Collections
- Top 10 Reasons Customers Delay Payments
- Using an OCA to Execute Debtor Judgments
- Working with an OCA
To learn more about our commercial collection services contact our team at 844.937.3268 today!