A friend of mine is a credit manager. She told me that during a regularly scheduled staff meeting, one of her newer collectors asked why they were required to speak with a delinquent debtor no less frequently than once every seven days — in contrast to simply leaving voice mail message for them. My friend said that she quickly considered a range of answers, including these:
- Because I said so
- Because it is your job
- Because you could be terminated if you don’t do it
- Because follow up is an important part of your job duties
- Because calling customers works; it is an effective collection tool
- Because if the debtor answers your call, at least we know they are still in business
- If for no other reason, because we measure this, meaning this is one way we evaluate your job performance
Instead, she asked the other members of the credit team to explain why calling delinquent debtors each week is important. They responded:
- Because it works as a collection tool
- So the debtor does not become complacent
- To remind the debtor that we are not going away
- Because if we don’t call, it can easily become a matter of: “Out of sight, Out of mind”
In my opinion, rather than always being the one that answers these questions, it is important for the Credit Manager to encourage peers to address issues such as this. To do so requires little more than a simple question such as this: Who would like to take a shot at answering this question?
Sometimes hearing the answer from peers rather than management makes acceptance of the answer easier.
Does anyone reading this have another answer as to why calling delinquent debtors weekly is important?
Michael Dennis’ Covering Credit Commentary. Michael’s website is www.coveringcredit.com.
The opinions presented are those of the author. The opinions and recommendations do not necessarily reflect the views of CMA, or their Officers and Directors. Readers are encouraged to evaluate any suggestions or recommendations made, and accept and adopt only those concepts that make sense to them.