Team leads, collection managers, and supervisors: do you ever feel like you have to be in a hundred places at once at work—like every team member needs something from you at all times, and you’re not sure how to keep up? And, in addition to this dependency, you struggle to get your own work done too?
First, let me tell you that if you’ve dealt with this, you are certainly not alone.
Second, I want to let you in on a secret: we can create independence amongst our collectors, and in this blog post, I want to share 3 tips to accomplish just that.
All it takes is a plan and a few tools.
To begin, you need to make sure your collectors have confidence, strategies, and organized mentorship. Let’s dive into each of these to prepare you to create the independence you’d love to see and get your time back at work.
Tip #1: Grow Confidence
To understand independence, we first need to know where dependence originates in the first place.
When a collector feels dependent on you, this likely stems from a lack of confidence. After all, without feeling self-assured, your collectors will second-guess their judgment and ultimately request more help than they probably need.
So, the question is...
How do we build our collectors’ confidence?
I wholeheartedly believe you can empower your team members to increase their own confidence by…
Celebrating their wins: whether it’s something small like receiving payment in full or something big like increasing their collections by a certain percentage, complimenting your team members when they achieve something is a surefire way to boost their confidence.
Asking for their opinions: when a collector asks you a work-related question, ask them what they think the answer is before you provide your answer. You’ll find that more often than not, they’ll actually have the right answer, and when you let them know they do, their confidence will inevitably increase.
Giving them responsibility: when you give a collector a new responsibility, it will make them feel trusted and competent in their position, which will ultimately build a deep level of confidence.
Try each of these techniques over the next few weeks. You’ll be thrilled by the results, and you’ll notice your collectors’ independence begin to blossom.
Tip #2: Provide Strategies
Collectors can have all of the confidence in the world. The truth is that confidence does not always lead to success, which means in addition to a healthy dose of confidence, your collectors need a guidebook of sorts to lead them through their calls.
Let me explain what I mean.
Let’s say you’ve just hired five new collectors with no industry experience, and it’s their first day of training. Imagine if instead of putting them through any sort of training, you decided they would learn more by getting on the phones immediately. So, you hand them a headset and lead them to a desk, expecting them to learn the trade through trial and error.
That’s ridiculous, right? After all, there is way too much room for error (and way too many possibilities of complaints and lawsuits) to send collectors off without formal training. Why is it that we don't view our veteran collectors' training needs in the same light?
What I want you to understand is that training and development need to continue after a collectors’ initial training period. That means every collector—whether a new hire or a 10-year veteran—needs to have some sort of professional development each year that refreshes them on key strategies they can use to manage collection calls successfully.
One example of a strategy to provide your team is a negotiation strategy. You can read about my strategy here. Another strategy could be a communication strategy. Book a call with me today to discuss my online course all about communication to see how we can bring it to your team.
When your team has a strategy, they’ll be much more equipped to handle consumer issues without as much help, which gives you back time to work on high-level projects and your own professional development. It’s a win-win!
Tip #3: Schedule Mentorship
In addition to confidence and strategy, mentorship can up-level your team’s independence.
Specifically, organized mentorship designed to meet your collection team’s needs will benefit everyone.
Organized mentorship may look like a mentorship program or scheduled time to meet with your team members. This can be fairly simple. For example, you might want to have roundtable discussions with your team once a month to discuss strategies and questions. That way, your team will feel supported in their everyday duties.
When you take time to invest in mentorship for your team, you’re actually saving time long-term. One hour a month spent on mentorship is a lot less than frequent questions from team members. Ultimately, with this tip, you’ll have more time to dedicate to your role, and your team will feel independent and ready to tackle even the most difficult collection calls.
Are you ready to watch your team thrive with a new sense of independence? Use these tips today, and make sure you're signed up for my newsletter for more tips in the future!