Receivable/Accounts - Information for Credit and Collection Issues

Friday, November 13, 2020

Leaving A Voicemail


So, if you are a collector, you leave a lot of voicemail messages, right?  But are you leaving the best message possible to encourage a return call?

The Bad

Because it’s repetitious, people leave all sorts of poor messages.  Like this:


We get it ... it's your 40th message today.  Rushing through a voicemail message doesn’t convey urgency, and odds are they can’t even make out your phone number to call you back.

Bob Smith, please call Salina Rose at 1-888-870-1950 and refer to file number 1234567.

Again, not ideal – and this is the default for many collection agents.  Are you creating a sense of urgency, or telling the consumer that they are just a file number in your office?

Bob Smith, please call XYZ Credit at 1-888-870-1950.
  It’s important you call us back.

Again, not a great message – the call to action is to call a faceless collection agency?
  Who should they talk to?  What happens if they just ignore the message?

The Good

A voicemail message can’t include details of a debt, or be demeaning.  It could be heard by a third party.  But ultimately, the goal is to drive a return call – in this day and age, that means motivating the consumer to call back by putting a human face on it, from a real person, and creating a sense of urgency.  Also understand that consumers that aren’t calling you back, are likely getting collection calls from multiple creditors and agencies and may be ‘ostriching’ by burying their head in the sand and hoping all the stress and consequences will go away.

Below are some sample messages that you could use, depending on what province or state you are calling, and if you are in first party or third party collections.

This is a message for Bob Smith.
  Bob, this is Salina Rose calling, it’s very important you and I speak.  Please call my direct line at 1-888-870-1950, I will be in the office until 5:00 pm.

This message shows professionalism, stresses urgency, and implies you expect a return call the same day, without being too aggressive.

This is a message for Bob Smith, it’s Salina Rose calling once again – it’s very important you return this call, my number once again is 1-888-870-1950.

You can create a sense of urgency without indicating a debt, by pointing out previous calls have not been returned.
  This shows personal attention and involvement.

Bob, I need your input on a matter in my office – if you don’t return my call this time, I cannot advocate for you.
  My number once again is 1-888-870-1950.

This shows you are trying to assist the consumer, and you are trying to assist them, not create an adversarial conversation.


Analyze what you say on a voicemail message, and try to keep notes – when someone calls back, note what you said to encourage the return call.
  Keep statistics – if you leave 50 voicemail messages a day, and you can increase your average return calls from 5 to 7, you are on the right track.  Always try to improve your process, and look at the big picture.

These are only a few examples of messages that you could leave – if you have a specific portfolio or question, by all means reach out to me.

Thanks kindly,

Blair DeMarco-Wettlaufer
KINGSTON Data & Credit
Cambridge, ON

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