Life at a Collections Call Center

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Extending credit to patrons is a big part of business – whether for specific products, or in the form of loans and credit cards. Unfortunately, when times are bad, individuals may not be able to pay their bills and end up defaulting on their commitments. Despite these hard times, business owners must protect their profit margins and try to pay their own bills. As a result, these businesses may need to seek the assistance of a dedicated bill collections call center.

Collections Call Center Tasks

As a collections call center specialist, your first duty will be making direct telephone contact with the customer. Depending on the situation, this may be difficult – if not impossible. People that are already in financial hot water may have already had their phones disconnected or been evicted from their offices, so getting ahold of them through conventional means can prove difficult.

If you’re able to reach a customer that owes money, you’ll likely find yourself in the middle of a volatile situation. It’s best to be polite and remove any trace of superiority from your tone – imagine how you would feel if you were in this kind of helpless position. Understandably, the customer will already be inclined to anger, fear, and embarrassment, just at hearing from you. It’s important to understand that they would pay their bill if they could afford it – so you both actually have a common goal.

In order to reach a point where you can discuss payment arrangements, you’ll need to diffuse the aggression inherently created by the impression of opposing goals. If you fail to neutralize these problems, you won’t be able to do your job and may wind up having to report an incident to your supervisor. Unfortunately, if your own behavior falls outside of certain guidelines, you may well have to account for your actions to consumer protection and law enforcement agencies.

Legal Regulations and Guidelines

As per the Fair Debt Collections Procedure Act, there are a number of things you are not allowed to do. You may not call outside of normal business hours and you aren’t allowed to threaten or harass the individual that owes money. If they tell you to stop calling their home or work place, you are legally obliged to stop calling. Unfortunately, if you fail to keep informed about state and federal guidelines on these issues, the company you work for may be subject to a number of fees and penalties.

Some Issues You Might Encounter

In some cases, you may face a number of threatening issues as a bill collector. Without question, as more people experience debt problems, the types of verbal and physical violence you’ll experience are bound to escalate. For example, you may make contact with customers that can and will use foul language and make some very plausible threats to your physical safety. However, you aren’t allowed to respond in a similar manner – no matter how tempting – so if you aren’t comfortable with this, consider seeking other types of employment.

If you’re planning to work in a bill collections call center, you’ll need to review legal guidelines, as well as internal policies. It’s important to know what policies are in place for reporting an incident. If a customer threatens your life or well being, you’ll want to be able to report it to the appropriate authorities without having to fear losing your job.

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