Receivable/Accounts - Information for Credit and Collection Issues

Friday, June 29, 2012

Collection Tip - Be Kind to the Gatekeepers


Collections can be a frustrating task – often debtors will promise payments that do not arrive, apply abuse to collection agents, or even fail to return calls, or actively avoid contact. However, in all the efforts that a collector makes to reach the debtor, at no point should they be anything other than polite and professional to receptionists, co-workers, family members, or other people living at the debtor’s residence.

Without the effort of someone taking your message to have the debtor call you, there is absolutely no chance the debtor will call back. Therefore, it is in your best interests to be polite.  Of course you can stress urgency, mention that the debtor hasn’t returned your last several calls, or that you are becoming frustrated – but at no point should you shoot the messenger!

This philosophy should also carry over to commercial collections, in which you are dealing with receptionists, administrative assistants, and co-workers to the responsible individual at a company who will be held responsible for resolving the corporate account.

Try saying:


“Mary, I appreciate that you are taking the time to take my messages for Frank, but can you please explain to him that I have left four messages now, and I expect the basic decency of a return call? This is an urgent matter, and I really need to speak with him directly.”


Blair Wettlaufer
Kingston Data and Credit
Cambridge, Ontario
1-888-908-3151
If you are a fellow credit and collections industry colleague, and want to discuss collection techniques, or are a client who want to discuss our approach to collecting debt, which we refer to as the APPRAISE process, feel free to give us a call.