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You Won't Believe This Technique To Reduce Escalated Collection Calls Actually Works

You Won't Believe This Technique To Reduce Escalated Collection Calls Actually Works

Calling all team leads, collection managers, and supervisors…

This blog post is designed for you.

You play such an important role in the industry. You lead collection floors. You train and develop collectors. You track KPIs. You model what a rockstar team member looks like.

And…you take escalated calls.

Some of those responsibilities are less glamorous than others, and today we’re talking about the least glamourous of all.

You guessed it: we’re talking about those stressful escalated calls you take on a daily basis.

Let’s face it. Escalated calls can be extremely stressful. After all, you’re getting the most frustrated consumers on the phone, and it's up to you to think on your feet to rectify the situation without inciting further conflict.

Imagine if your escalated calls were simpler because the consumer was less triggered.

Or, better yet, imagine if the number of escalated calls you took reduced significantly because your collectors were able to handle difficult situations successfully without your help.

I have great news: you can make this happen. It all starts with effective training and development.

Let’s break down the skills your collectors need to decrease the need for escalated calls.

Fuel Their Brain Power

Fuel Their Brainpower

One of the single most important skills a collector can possess has to do with their ability to face a consumer issue without needing to escalate the call.

Of course, there will be instances where collectors should defer to management. That said, it isn’t necessary each time a problem arises, and when we fuel a collector’s brainpower with strategic professional development, we’re priming them to become idea-creating machines.

Let me explain what I mean.

When I say “brainpower,” what I’m really talking about is critical thinking. People say all the time that critical thinking is a must-have skill in all areas of business. Rarely does anyone explain how to increase a professional’s critical thinking skills. Well, I’m going to tell let you in on a secret: it’s easier than you think.

Critical thinking is a learned skill, and the first step of teaching your team how to develop it is breaking down problems so they're easier to digest. For example, ask your collectors the following questions when a specific problem arises:

  • What is the problem?

  • What is the company policy?

  • What solutions can you offer that are within the company’s policies?

This simple exercise is a great tool to build problem-solving skills, which will ultimately boost critical thinking on your collection floor.

Grow Their Emotional Intelligence

Grow Their Emotional Intelligence

You’ve probably heard me say this before: empathy in collections is extremely valuable.

Empathy is simply the ability to relate to someone else’s problems. So, when collectors are empathetic, they’re actually displaying a deeper understanding of the consumer experience.

The question is, how do we teach collectors empathy?

It all starts with how they communicate.

Let me give you an example of NON-EMPATHETIC COMMUNICATION and an example of EMPATHETIC COMMUNICATION to show you what I mean.


Consumer: “Can I please have an extension on this payment?”

Collector: “No, I’m sorry, our policy is…”


Consumer: “Can I please have an extension on this payment?”

Collector: “I hear what you’re saying, and the good news is that there are several options available for you. What I can do for you is collect half the payment today and the other half at the end of the month.”

Do you see the difference? The non-empathetic collector is immediately putting the consumer in the boxing ring by quoting company policy, which makes them feel like they’ve done something wrong.

On the other hand, the empathetic collector is hearing out the consumer and offering them a solution that may work within their budget. The empathetic collector is less likely to trigger the consumer and prompt an escalated call, and they’re more likely to collect payment.

Try role-playing common pain points with your collectors. Show them the non-empathetic collector’s response, and then show them the empathetic collector’s response so they can recognize the major differences between the two.

How to Utilize Your Time with Fewer Escalated Calls

How to Utilize Your Time with Fewer Escalated Calls

If a large portion of your workday is spent answering escalated calls, you might be wondering what you’ll fill that extra time with instead.

A great solution is to focus on your own professional development. One of my Training Bytes episodes with focuses on tips for supervisors who have more time on their hands. Watch below!

Professional Development Made Simple

Professional Development Made Simple

I have the perfect tool to up-level your professional development. The Communication Code for Collectors will teach you empathetic communication techniques that will benefit all of your professional communications. Get started today!

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