Collector – July 2019 - 14

COLLECTIONTIPS

Put Yourself in Their Shoes
Understanding the difference between sympathy and empathy is like knowing when to use an
apostrophe in "they're" or "you're." It sounds simple, but when it's done wrong everyone notices.
By Angela Czerlanis

F

inancial situations leading to a call
from a debt collector can bring out
a lot of feelings in consumers. Your
response is an important part of building
rapport, or trust, with the consumer.
According to sales and negotiation experts,
empathy is one essential ingredient in the
recipe for success in influencing consumers,
but it's a technique that takes practice.
Empathy is different from sympathy and
therein lies the challenge. Let's break it down.
Sympathy is the act of sharing someone's
feelings or interests. Most people associate
sympathy with feelings of sadness, as in,
"My sympathies to you on the passing of
your pet." Sympathy can also mean loyalty or
shared opinions, as in, "As a lifelong baseball
fan, her sympathies are with all the Little
League kids on beautiful, sunny afternoons."
Empathy is when you identify with
someone's feelings, thoughts or
attitudes. Like sympathy, we
often associate feelings of
empathy with something
sad or difficult. But
empathy goes
beyond just

feeling bad or sorry for the other person.
Empathy adds some immersion, or action,
on the part of the listener. When a person
practices empathy, they are capable
of seeing the world through the other
person's eyes and imagining what it's like
to be that person.
When you show genuine empathy-acting
with care and compassion in service to
others-you will be able to present solutions
that are customized for the consumer. This
can give you and your company an edge.
Here's a review of active listening techniques
that employ empathy.

ENGAGE ACTIVE
LISTENING MODE
Pay attention. It's tough when you have
to check so many boxes off your to-do
list for every call: disclosures, updates,
notes, etc. When you listen with 100%
concentration, you will actually
save yourself time. You will
have fewer chances
of missing
details and
if you do,
you'll
know

exactly what clarifying questions to ask
to fill in the gaps. Use your planned,
strategic pauses in the conversation
when the consumer is thinking to catch
yourself up.

USE YOUR POWER WORDS:
"I," "UNDERSTAND" AND THE
CONSUMER'S NAME
Using the consumer's name will get
their attention. Using it throughout the
conversation will keep their attention. Next
add the mirroring technique of repeating
back a paraphrase of the consumer's
response to let them know the message was
received and understood.

VALIDATE AND INCLUDE THE
EMOTIONS
People don't expect debt collectors to
incorporate feelings, so surprise them!
Offer reassurance and a solution by using
the word "help." Add in a reflection of the
emotions you hear in the consumer's voice,
then use inclusive words like "let's" to tell
the consumer you are a team.

PUT IT ALL TOGETHER
Try something like this: "Mrs. Jones, I
understand that you feel overwhelmed with
. I'm glad we're talking today because
I feel [these possible solutions] will help
you. Let's start by
."
Why should the consumer pay your
company? Because you took the extra time
to listen and respond with empathy.
Angela Czerlanis is ACA International's
compliance education specialist.

ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG


http://www.ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG

Collector – July 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Collector – July 2019

Upfront
Industry News
Best Practices
FYI
Collection Tips
What you need to know about the CFPB’s proposed new rule for the debt collection industry
“I don’t know about you, but I’ve literally never received a telegram and wouldn’t even know how to send one.”
Celebrating 80 Years of Helping Members Succeed
How Does ACA Help Members Succeed?
A History of Advocacy
8 Decades of ACA’s Annual Convention
Calendar
Honor Roll
Education Spotlight
Tell It Like It Is: Washington Hears From ACA Members
Collectors Challenge 2019: Getting Creative for a Good Cause
Balance it Out
Balance Billing Challenges Continue
It’s All About You: Helping Members Succeed
Sandbox Rules
What is a Product Sandbox?
in 11th Circuit Case Examining What Constitutes an ATDS
ACA SearchPoint
Ad Index
Membership
Last Word
Collector – July 2019 - Cover1
Collector – July 2019 - Cover2
Collector – July 2019 - 1
Collector – July 2019 - 2
Collector – July 2019 - 3
Collector – July 2019 - Upfront
Collector – July 2019 - 5
Collector – July 2019 - Industry News
Collector – July 2019 - 7
Collector – July 2019 - 8
Collector – July 2019 - 9
Collector – July 2019 - Best Practices
Collector – July 2019 - 11
Collector – July 2019 - FYI
Collector – July 2019 - 13
Collector – July 2019 - Collection Tips
Collector – July 2019 - 15
Collector – July 2019 - What you need to know about the CFPB’s proposed new rule for the debt collection industry
Collector – July 2019 - 17
Collector – July 2019 - “I don’t know about you, but I’ve literally never received a telegram and wouldn’t even know how to send one.”
Collector – July 2019 - 19
Collector – July 2019 - 20
Collector – July 2019 - 21
Collector – July 2019 - 22
Collector – July 2019 - 23
Collector – July 2019 - Celebrating 80 Years of Helping Members Succeed
Collector – July 2019 - 25
Collector – July 2019 - How Does ACA Help Members Succeed?
Collector – July 2019 - 27
Collector – July 2019 - 28
Collector – July 2019 - 29
Collector – July 2019 - A History of Advocacy
Collector – July 2019 - 31
Collector – July 2019 - 8 Decades of ACA’s Annual Convention
Collector – July 2019 - 33
Collector – July 2019 - 34
Collector – July 2019 - 35
Collector – July 2019 - Calendar
Collector – July 2019 - Honor Roll
Collector – July 2019 - Education Spotlight
Collector – July 2019 - 39
Collector – July 2019 - Tell It Like It Is: Washington Hears From ACA Members
Collector – July 2019 - 41
Collector – July 2019 - Collectors Challenge 2019: Getting Creative for a Good Cause
Collector – July 2019 - 43
Collector – July 2019 - Balance Billing Challenges Continue
Collector – July 2019 - 45
Collector – July 2019 - 46
Collector – July 2019 - 47
Collector – July 2019 - It’s All About You: Helping Members Succeed
Collector – July 2019 - 49
Collector – July 2019 - 50
Collector – July 2019 - 51
Collector – July 2019 - What is a Product Sandbox?
Collector – July 2019 - 53
Collector – July 2019 - in 11th Circuit Case Examining What Constitutes an ATDS
Collector – July 2019 - 55
Collector – July 2019 - ACA SearchPoint
Collector – July 2019 - Ad Index
Collector – July 2019 - Membership
Collector – July 2019 - 59
Collector – July 2019 - Last Word
Collector – July 2019 - Cover3
Collector – July 2019 - Cover4
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