Collector – June 2019 - 16
Make better connections with consumers by paying attention to your word choice.
By Angela Czerlanis
etting ready for work involves
a transformation-a quick trip
into the phone booth to activate
your collector superpowers and put your
game face on. Before you step into the
office, remember to give your vocabulary a
In order to execute calls that focus on
service and solutions for the consumer, leave
some common phrases behind when you
switch to professional mode. Let's look at
ways to transform three everyday phrases
into winning expressions.
Consumer: "Hi, this is Miss Consumer. I'm
calling about this notice I received from
Collector: "No problem. Let me verify
your information and..."
Responding to a consumer's request with
"no problem" sounds so accommodating;
how can you go wrong?
The consumer's request for service is never a
problem. It is an expectation in doing business.
Habitually repeating "no problem" throughout
the conversation suggests that everything they
say actually is a problem or inconvenience. It
may even send a message about how you feel
about your job or company.
Instead, use your active listening skills
to acknowledge and mirror what the
consumer is saying. Deliver a confident
"Excellent," "Thank you" or "Yes!" followed
by an action. Demonstrate that you got the
message, then tell them what you will do.
For example: "I will definitely help you walk
through that letter."
If the consumer's request really does
involve a problem, acknowledge it with a
genuine apology. You could say: "I'm sorry
that happened to you, Mrs. Green. Let me
get to the bottom of this problem."
Apologize and get right back to owning
the action and finding a solution. If you say
"I'm sorry" too many times, you may weaken
your credibility and sincerity.
"YES, BUT..." "NO, BUT..."
Nothing good ever happens after a "but"
in a conversation. Someone is about to get
bad news. As a collector, if you preface
the news with "yes" or "no," that "but"
instantly becomes a contradiction or an
excuse. It can shut down the conversation.
There isn't a reason for the consumer to
keep listening to you.
Kick that "but" and its buddies "however"
and "unfortunately" out of the conversation.
Keep up your active listening skills by
acknowledging the challenge with, "I
understand your concerns, Mr. Lee. Let's
go over some payment options together to
find one that works..."
"I CAN'T (BECAUSE)"
Phrases that tell a consumer "I can't
because..." include: "I'm sorry, I'm new,"
"It's our policy, we don't do that," "My
computer is down!" and "There's nothing
we can do."
No matter the variation, there is only one
definition-"I won't try."
In a situation where your initial reaction
is to say something that really means "I can't
because..." try a different approach. If you
don't know the answer, take action and find
out how to help the consumer.
You might say: "That's a great question. I
will certainly find out for you. May I place you
on hold while I research that for a couple of
minutes?" Wait for their answer. The consumer
wants information. They do not want to fall
into a cone of silence. Check in and update the
consumer on your progress. If it's taking too
long, respect the consumer's time and offer to
call back with a complete solution.
Practice transforming your vocabulary
from drab, mechanical responses to animated
expressions that keep consumers engaged and
demonstrate your super service powers.
Angela Czerlanis is ACA International's
compliance education specialist.
Collector – June 2019
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Collector – June 2019
Adapting to a New Environment
“Today agencies realize this is an opportunity to help the consumer.”
ACA International’s 2019 Convention & Expo
Close the Revolving Door
Ask the Experts: Small Talk
Growing into the Industry
CFPB Releases Proposed Debt Collection Rule
Industry Advancement Program Helps Member Defeat FDCPA Claim in Ninth Circuit
Collector – June 2019 - Cover1
Collector – June 2019 - Cover2
Collector – June 2019 - 1
Collector – June 2019 - 2
Collector – June 2019 - 3
Collector – June 2019 - Industry News
Collector – June 2019 - President’s Page
Collector – June 2019 - 6
Collector – June 2019 - 7
Collector – June 2019 - 8
Collector – June 2019 - 9
Collector – June 2019 - Best Practices
Collector – June 2019 - 11
Collector – June 2019 - FYI
Collector – June 2019 - 13
Collector – June 2019 - 14
Collector – June 2019 - 15
Collector – June 2019 - Collection Tips
Collector – June 2019 - 17
Collector – June 2019 - Adapting to a New Environment
Collector – June 2019 - 19
Collector – June 2019 - 20
Collector – June 2019 - 21
Collector – June 2019 - Close the Revolving Door
Collector – June 2019 - “Today agencies realize this is an opportunity to help the consumer.”
Collector – June 2019 - ACA International’s 2019 Convention & Expo
Collector – June 2019 - 25
Collector – June 2019 - 26
Collector – June 2019 - 27
Collector – June 2019 - 28
Collector – June 2019 - 29
Collector – June 2019 - 30
Collector – June 2019 - 31
Collector – June 2019 - 32
Collector – June 2019 - 33
Collector – June 2019 - Calendar
Collector – June 2019 - Honor Roll
Collector – June 2019 - Education Spotlight
Collector – June 2019 - 37
Collector – June 2019 - Ask the Experts: Small Talk
Collector – June 2019 - 39
Collector – June 2019 - Growing into the Industry
Collector – June 2019 - 41
Collector – June 2019 - Exploring STIR/SHAKEN
Collector – June 2019 - 43
Collector – June 2019 - CFPB Releases Proposed Debt Collection Rule
Collector – June 2019 - 45
Collector – June 2019 - Industry Advancement Program Helps Member Defeat FDCPA Claim in Ninth Circuit
Collector – June 2019 - 47
Collector – June 2019 - ACA SearchPoint
Collector – June 2019 - Ad Index
Collector – June 2019 - Membership
Collector – June 2019 - 51
Collector – June 2019 - Last Word
Collector – June 2019 - Cover3
Collector – June 2019 - Cover4