“You’re a Bill Collector, you collect overdue accounts; thus you must be one”, you would not believe how often we hear this day today. The truth is yes, we collect overdue accounts, but we are not Bill Collectors by definition; we are an extension of your business. That’s why we refer to individual members of our collection department as Customer Account Agents, as we take a customer service approach to the collection of our clients’ overdue accounts.
In the years gone by the term, Bill Collector conjured up images of a dark and nasty figure, one that went door to door demanding payment. This is not at all how debt collection works, and this image could not be further away from the reality of today’s collection industry. Today, reputable debt collection and accounts receivable management companies focus more on a customer service based approach to debt collection and the title Customer Account Agent reflects that change. This is a sharp contrast to the old image described earlier because instead of threats and aggression these Agents are highly trained to work with your customer to find acceptable payment options to pay off the amount owing to you.
Customer Account Agent softens the image of debt collection and as mentioned brings a whole new approach to it. If a person placing a collection call identifies themselves as a Bill Collector, the person receiving the call can instantly trigger a defensive response. When that same person calls and identifies themselves as a Customer Account Agent that defensive mechanism is usually suppressed. This can mean the difference between successfully recovering a debt or not, as a person on the defensive is less likely to be open to the negotiations that lead to the resolving of the debt. What really differentiates a Customer Account Agent from a Bill Collector is much more than just vocabulary though.
When a caller identifies themselves as a Customer Account Agent it is much more customer friendly sounding to the person receiving the call as the caller is there to help. That is exactly what a Customer Account Agent is for, to help your customers find a way to repay their overdue account. Modern-day debt collection requires modern-day solutions, and one of those is to effectively work with your customer, not against them. The advantages of the methods used by Customer Account Agents benefit your company in two ways:
1) They are more likely to recover your overdue customer accounts because they will explore all payment methods and options, and make every effort to work with your customer.
2) They treat your customers with respect, which could lead to retaining a customer you thought you might lose.
That second one is the real kicker, respect. You’d not stand for one of your employees threatening or belittling one of your customers. Why would you stand for it if it was the debt collection agency you contracted? The short answer is, you wouldn’t. It’s disrespectful and a sure fire way to squander your business relationship with a customer. Especially if the account was overdue because of a petty dispute that could be resolved by simply talking it over.
So why do we call members of our collection department Customer Account Agents? The answer is, we are an extension of your business as we are representing your company. Just like one of your employees in your accounts receivable department we care about your customers and want to recover the money owed to you; and like one of your own employees you know it will be done with the utmost respect and professionalism.