Get Paid! New Training for Debt Collectors

by Chris Kontes| February 19th, 2020

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Row of Smiling Call Center Agents With Headsets Looking at Computer Screens

Effectively implementing debt collection training is an essential part of any comprehensive collections strategy. Many companies discover that debt collection training requires investment in personnel, which is expensive. Some companies will attempt to solve this dilemma by hiring people without much experience in collections.

There is an advantage to hiring experienced collectors, but it is undercut by the disadvantages that come with habits and ingrained behaviors that are hard to break. Balto is an artificial intelligence company that offers practical solutions for training debt collectors.

New software products are designed specifically to assist companies in training for debt collectors face live call challenges. This can apply to bill collecting, but it can also affect other areas of consumer experience as well. Balto’s debt collection software solution can help any company with an interest in reducing the amount of time spent on training the people who interact with customers over the phone.

Debt Collection Training: 5 Key Points

1) Debt Collection Training Should Cover Legal Disclaimers:

First, make sure your debt collection training emphasizes the importance of the mini-Miranda and all relevant legal disclaimers. The mini-Miranda only needs to be recited if the call originates from a third party collection agency; if it’s a first party agency, collectors need to state that they are calling on behalf of the original organization.

In case you need it, the mini-Miranda is:

“This is an attempt to collect a debt and any information obtained will be used for that purpose.”

2) Debt Collection Training Should Cover Empathy Statements

Second, make sure debt collection training should emphasize the importance of empathy statements. Offering the consumer a token of empathy and validation is an essential first step toward defusing tension. By acknowledging upfront that your customer’s concerns are valid, you quickly move from foe to friend. If the consumer feels heard, they are more likely to pay. As a result, debt collection training should focus on empathy statements.

3) Debt Collection Training Should Cover “Sources of Funds” Objections

Third, debt collection training should cover “source of funds” objections. The single most common consumer objection is that they don’t have the money to pay. Great collectors can negotiate and strategize methods for finding sources of funds.

Examples Include:

“Can you borrow from a family member (the family may charge less or no interest, which is better for the consumer)”
“Can you borrow from your 401k?”
“Can you borrow from college savings?”

Again, make sure debt collection training emphasizes that these options are often in the best interest of the consumer; they might be financially better off taking money from a 401k with a potential 7% return to pay off a credit card debt with a 24% interest rate.

Debt collections training should cover the importance of not being rude or pushy (both for ethical and legal reasons), but debt collections training should emphasize the value of finding ways to pay off the debt at a lower interest rate for the consumer.

4) Debt Collections Training Should Cover the Value of Hard Work and Rejection

Fourth, debt collections training should cover the importance of hard work and the reality of rejection, both of which go hand-in-hand. Understanding these truths is critically important, since the more dials a collector makes, the more money the collector makes. However, a good collector will likely collect on three of ten collection calls, whereas a great collector might collect on four collection calls. Even in the best cases, they will get rejected most of the time, and debt collections training should prepare them for that reality.

Thankfully, Balto’s debt collection software helps every collector perform at their best.

5) Debt Collections Training Should Cover Talk-Ratio

Finally, debt collections training should cover talk-ratio; the amount of time the collector talks compared to the consumer. If the collector is truly listening to the consumer’s challenges, the ratio should be around 50/50. Unfortunately, many new collectors get excited and talk over 70% of the time. As a result, the consumer doesn’t feel heard, and the collector misses valuable opportunities to evaluate potential options (Balto monitors talk ratio and talk time on every collection call).

Overview of Balto’s Debt Collection Training

Collectors face a steep learning curve that can be reduced with the aid of Balto’s debt collections call software. These are people who need to practice strong interpersonal skills and exude confidence in their speaking patterns. They need to be able to steer the conversation with the customer in order to accomplish company objectives.

Real-time corrections are a part of this proprietary debt collections call software. The collectors can be taught how to adopt an approved script for the interaction with a debtor or customer. Balto’s software provides visual prompts that reduce the number of mistakes committed by new hires.

Training for debt collectors using the traditional methods used to take up a huge amount of time. It was also extremely expensive to get a new person to function at the desired level. Call software changed this dynamic in a significant way; it allows managers and trainers to monitor all of the calls being made in real time.

On The Call Training for Debt Collectors

Companies with large accounts receivables must deal with this situation sooner or later; however, Balto’s debt collection training software introduces new options into the equation. Collectors can be trained on the spot to make live calls using the most appropriate language that gets results. When customers pay their bills, the company gains additional resources for other purposes.

This is the main value proposition of using call software to support bill collection. Consider these five areas where live call support can enhance the company’s image when performing bill collection activities over the phone:

  1. Sales: Follow-up calls are more likely to succeed when using proven formulas that produce results. Each previous customer could also become a future customer, but the bill collection process must is handled in a way that increases the likelihood of this outcome.
  2. Customer service: Language prompts given by the software can help collectors to overcome common problems during a live call. It can also help them to select the best speed for their speech, and it can send reminders to avoid bad conversational habits like frequent interruptions.
  3. Quality assurance: Maintain a consistent style of engagement and word choice with customers. Messaging is part of the company’s brand, and customers get a high-quality experience when each interaction with a representative has the same tone and style.

This is also the most effective method for communicating a reliable message to all of the customers within a company database. Call software eliminates bad habits, which might be caused by stress, fatigue or inexperience. Ensure that customers have a quality interaction regardless of the skill level of the company representative.

Debt collection: Debt collectors need to have strong communication skills that transfer through the phone. As simple as this may seem on the surface, it is a specialized skill that usually takes years to develop. New agents may suffer from anxiety or other insecurities, and this can undermine their professionalism.

Call software for debt collectors can help reduce the amount of time it takes to get new hires to convince customers to pay their bills. Software prompts give the agent access to critical feedback in real time.

Compliance: Produce a compliance checklist for debt collectors, and use Balto to enforce compliance. Every single call can be monitored as the call is in progress. This prevents errors, omissions and other common mistakes from undermining revenue collection procedures.

Call Software for Debt Collection Training

Balto solves many of the common problems call centers, large enterprises, collection departments and contact centers face when providing training for debt collectors. Just think about the amount of time it takes to train a single person using traditional methods.

Most traditional training would involve many hours away from the phones. New collectors would be sent to debt collection seminars and perhaps be trained by a mentor. This process uses up a lot of resources, and it quickly backfires if the collector failed to stay with the agency.

Balto’s debt collection software can reduce the amount of time and money required to get a new trainee competent and confident. During every consumer engagement, the new hire will receive critical support and accurate information. This improves the company image and boosts the collector’s personal confidence.

Incentives and Checklists

Balto has many other built-in features that enable collectors to perform their job more efficiently. Gamification incentives help to motivate entire teams of collectors who might be facing problems responding to customer objections, for example.

The game can be set up to track the best performers who overcome the most objections within a specific amount of time. Managers can quickly adapt the software to accommodate other skill-developing games and incentives. The most important feature of the software is the ability to adapt it to meet the needs of the team.

A live checklist can help debt collectors remember client-specific issues during a phone call. Debt collection procedures can vary greatly from one organization to another, so there is no uniform way to ensure complete compliance with internal policies.

Balto solved this problem by enabling the users to program a live checklist reminder for collectors. This reduces errors due to memory loss, fatigue or strong emotions. Send reminders to collectors who are required to read disclaimers or confirm the time of installation.

Benefits: Training for Debt Collectors

Debt collectors need all the tools they can get to negotiate with tough consumers. However, many of these workers lack the skills necessary to apply tactful language that gets results. Maintaining a good relationship with the consumer during debt collection calls can be challenging, to say the least.

Balto’s debt collection software provides prompts at critical moments to eliminate non-compliant language,which is more likely to happen in moments of duress. Adapt these prompts and reminders to fit the needs of the given situation, organizational structure or external compliance requirements.

Five Areas of Activity

Conversation improvements can lead to increases in successful collections. Agency owners and managers need to know what kinds of collection techniques are working and which ones are backfiring. As soon as this information becomes available, the manager can take steps to streamline the best practices. Balto automatically detects what’s working and scales it out to all of the collectors.

Managers can improve team performance by using tools that allow adaptation and customization across the five main areas of activity:

Collectors need real-time feedback and accurate information in order to maximize payments. Talk-offs are common with customers who resist making payments on their account. During a confrontation with a non-paying customer, the collector needs to have as much support as possible.

This includes customer-specific information and language prompts during difficult moments. Even though Balto also has a built-in feature for after-call analysis, the real value of this software is in the live call support when the moment really counts.

Quality control is always critical when dealing with customers who owe money to the company. New collectors need to be able to apply the best practices in negotiation with clients while maintaining compliance. This is a lot of information to keep in mind, and it is easy to forget something important.

Managers can use the post-call dashboard to review the previous conversations and adjust the live call feature for the next encounter. This information is also useful when conducting meetings or training seminars.

Compliance points can be easy to create, but implementing them is still challenging. Messaging is a common problem; if one collector on the team adopts non-compliant language, it could be interpreted by a consumer in a non-productive manner.

Debt Collection Call software can ensure that every collector uses approved phrases that remain compliant with internal and external policies. Improve collection rates by using effective tools provided by Balto.

Product Tour & Additional Features

Balto’s live demo allows managers or to observe how Balto would help train new debt collectors. The demo includes a demonstration of the live call interface. It also allows users to rapidly adapt and make changes, which will be instantly reflected in the behavior and language used by the collector.

Experiment with the features that enable you to adjust and regulate the software’s intervention. Product tour professionals can demonstrate features that enable users to customize Balto for new campaigns, scripts or collections goals.