It is probably safe to say that the industry of debt collection is never going to have the best reputation. A massive – though necessary – industry, collections merchants are most often dealing with disgruntled consumers who are a lot of things: generally unhappy, sometimes selfish, unresponsive, struggling to pay off debts and irritated at typically high interest rates.
Each month, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) releases its complaint report, and for the month of October, debt collection topped the list of industries.
Listen, Don’t Harass, Be Professional: 3 Things Merchants Can Do
Consumers will gripe and grovel, but debt collectors need to take the best approach they can. We offer these three reminders that can quell a combustible situation.
1. Be Professional. Always.
Maintaining a professional tone in an industry in which 99 percent of the clients and consumers are unhappy can be very difficult. One thing to keep in mind during a dispute is this: The merchant and consumer both want the same thing – resolution.
2. Listen and Work With Your Clients
Try to put yourself in your clients’ place. Work with them. Many will attempt to negotiate interest rates. Ask yourself, ‘Can you meet them part of the way?’ Any degree of leeway can go a long way in an industry often deemed unforgiving and unrelenting.
3. Do. Not. Harass.
There are limit-pushing tactics that debt collection merchants once got away with.
No more. It’s a new era for debt collection regulation.
As the CFPB becomes more and more omnipresent, tactics such as harassment, pushy and constant contact can lead to a merchant being heavily fined and even shut down.
Need a Debt Collection Merchant Account?
Instabill has domestic and offshore solutions for debt collection merchants and offers its free virtual terminal for qualifying merchants, enabling them to accept payments via mail or telephone. Speak with a live merchant account representative to find out about our options for collection agency merchants.