Imagine you’re on your way home to a lovely home-cooked meal. After a day racing around like a blue arsed fly, you’ve hardly had a chance to grab a bite to eat all day and finally, you burst excitedly through the door, throw your coat down, kick off your shoes and plonk yourself down to a delicious, steaming, lip-smacking bowl of, plain rice and boiled chicken. With not even a salt and pepper shaker in sight!
Not quite the mouth-watering ending you were hoping for? Sure, it may do the job, it may fill a hole, even stop those tummy rumbles. But is it a great experience? Of course not. We all need a little seasoning in our lives. A smidgen of flavour goes a long way. It is the difference between a functional meal and a damn enjoyable one.
Invest in improving the overall experience, by using seasoned language in your calls with positive and powerful phrases that deliver improved commercial outcomes and superior customer service.
Well, the same can be said for your collection calls. Huh? Now, before you start scratching your head thinking I’ve totally lost the plot, consider this. Collecting debt is as important for the health of your business as eating dinner is for our physical health. But do you ever think about how you are going to serve up your collection calls? Are you going to take the bland approach; uninspired demands for payment served with a healthy side of consequences? Or are you going to invest in improving the overall experience, seasoning your conversation with positive language and powerful phrases that deliver improved commercial outcomes and superior customer service?
At eMatrix Training we love ‘seasoning’ our collection calls as demonstrated in our video below:
And importantly our clients love our seasoning too, and their customers! That shouldn’t be a surprise when you consider that by adding a few different flavours to your collection calls you can vastly improve the customer experience often resulting in both a paid debt and a happy customer. And don’t forget, a happy customer means a retained customer and according to Fred Reichheld, author of Loyalty Rules, as little as a 5% increase in customer retention produces more than a 25% increase in profit. Winner, winner, chicken seasoned dinner!
So, now we know the benefits, what are some examples of seasoned language that we can use in our next calls?
Here is some Seasoned Language you can use:
• Work together
• Take that stress away
• Resolve this for you
• Move forward
• Breathing space
• Best outcome
• Support options
• What I’d like to do
• Reach a solution
• Protect the account
• What we can do
• To avoid
• Comfortable option
How to incorporate seasoned language in a call:
Seasoned language can be used in any part of a collections call. It can be used at the start of a call and sprinkled on a purpose statement to frame the conversation –
“I’m here to help get things back on track for you and take some of that stress away”
“What I’d like to do is work with you to…..”
Or it can be peppered throughout our action statements when taking the customer through what you are going to do for them:
“Let’s go over some options that may work better for you” or “I will ask a few questions so I can resolve this for you, is that okay?”
Similarly, when negotiating, a simple and proven technique if the customer can’t make a full payment or lump sum payment is to work a couple of options out at the beginning of the call and combine this with seasoned language ie.:
“If you could pay $200 per month, we’d have this resolved in six months and take that stress away.”
If not, you can then move to the next option.
But one of the most effective times to shake things up with a bit of extra seasoning is when handling objections or resolving conflict. First, ‘Acknowledge the customer, then ADD Empathy, and Season, a most powerful combination. Take this example:
Customer: “Your company is terrible, I’m not paying anything for such a bad job!”
Operator: “Sounds like you’ve had a poor experience, I’m here to work with you and hopefully I can resolve this for you”
So, there you have it. On your next collections call, remember a bit of seasoning goes a long way. Now we’ve provided you with a few extra spices to add to your spice rack, what recipes can you cook up to tickle and tantalise those conversational taste buds?
Jodie Bedoya is Director of eMatrix Training, Australia’s leading Collections and Vulnerability Specialists. If you would like to cook up some collections recipes for success, you can contact her on 0438 391 500 or email@example.com.