Collector - May 2017 - 9
Of clients conduct
before making a
SOURCE: ACQUITY GROUP
so your response should be crafted to clear
up any confusion they may have about debt
collection laws and the collection process.
While debt collectors sometimes worry
about third-party disclosure concerns or
whether to give the mini-Miranda when
responding to online comments, "we just
haven't seen that litigation," Collins said.
"Plus often on these sites the consumer is
using a screen name or avatar, not their
In any case, it's best to keep your response
short and sweet. Now is not the time to get
into a long conversation with the consumer.
"For me, it's one post or one tweet and
then I'm done," Collins said. "It's not an
engagement. You've gotten your information
out there, and that's all you can do."
Prolonging the interaction can actually
do more harm than good-not only does
it make you look bad to be defensive and
argumentative, but in continuing the back
and forth you are increasing the page's
Google rankings, making the negative
comments pop up in searches more easily.
FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE
Here's a simple way to help keep disgruntled
consumers off public review forums: make
it easy for them to submit complaints
through your website, and follow up with
each one so they know you are listening and
want to resolve their issue.
Next, get positive news about your
company out there to help dilute any
negative publicity. Posting consumer
compliments, client raves and press releases
about your company's community service
efforts can help boost your website's ranking.
Claim and build up your social media
presence on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and
LinkedIn, as well as business review sites like
Yelp, Yellow Pages and the Better Business
Bureau. When Meeks created his business
page on Yelp, he added information about
CCS's history as well as photos of awards his
company has received.
"A lot of the traffic we're seeing on Yellow
Pages and Yelp is from consumers who are going
online and searching for us to make sure our
company is legit or who are looking for directions
to our business," Meeks said. "That's what they
want to do instead of picking up the phone
and calling us, so I think it's really important to
have a very strong representation online."
Anne Rosso May is editor of Collector