How to Craft Effective AR Collection Call Scripts (with Examples)

17 November, 2023
10 mins
Rachelle Fisher, AVP, Digital Transformation

Table of Content

Key Takeaways
Introduction
What Is a Collection Call Script?
Effective Tips for Positive and Productive Collection Calls
Step-by-Step Guide to Making an Accounts Receivable Collection Call
Most Effective Debt Collection Call Scripts Examples
Conclusion
FAQs

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Key Takeaways

  • Learn why successful collection calls are a pivotal part of cash flow management and how they can directly affect your company’s financial health.
  • Discover the top strategies for conducting effective collection calls, including how to start the conversation, handle disputes, and negotiate payment terms while keeping the interaction positive.
  • Gain access to a variety of proven collection call scripts that can be adapted to different customer scenarios, helping to resolve outstanding debts and maintain strong customer relationships.
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Introduction

If you’re a finance controller or an accounts receivable specialist, you understand the importance of a well-crafted accounts receivable collection call script. It plays a crucial role in effectively communicating with customers who have outstanding balances and successfully settling debts.

In fact, improving your collection strategies significantly relies on this tool. However, not everyone knows how to write them effectively. With that in mind, here’s how to craft effective AR collection call scripts (with examples).

What Is a Collection Call Script?

A collection call script is a pre-written dialogue designed to help collect owed money in a professional, effective manner. It guides the conversation, ensuring all important points are covered.

A well-prepared script can make the difference between a resolved debt and a call that ends with no clear outcome. It provides a framework for the conversation, allowing the collector to navigate through excuses, negotiate payment terms, and maintain a professional demeanor throughout the call.

Next, we’ll explore the dos and don’ts when you’re on the call, making sure you’re fully prepared to handle any situation with poise and confidence. Stay with us as we delve into turning these scripts into successful conversations that secure your cash flow and foster lasting customer relationships.

Effective Tips for Positive and Productive Collection Calls

When you’re on the line making a collection call, remember, your aim is to collect the debt while maintaining a positive customer relationship. Here’s how you can achieve both:

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Tip 1: Create a positive dialogue from the start

Set the tone right from the start. Begin every call with a warm greeting and a tone that’s friendly, yet assertive. Make sure you’re prepared to lead the conversation, but also show that you value the customer and their business.

Tip 2: Balance empathy with assertiveness

Empathy is powerful—it shows you understand the customer’s situation. At the same time, assertiveness ensures the conversation stays goal-oriented. Balancing these can be tricky, but it’s key to a successful account receivable collection call.

Tip 3: Effective listening opens doors

Active listening isn’t just about hearing words; it’s about understanding concerns and finding common ground. Allow your customers to share their concerns and validate them. This can create a cooperative atmosphere for finding a solution.

Tip 4: Steer the conversation

Take control without dominating the conversation. Use your script as a guide to navigate through the call, ensuring you address the main issue—payment—without seeming overbearing or inconsiderate.

Tip 5: Keep it short and sweet

Time is precious for everyone. Aim for clarity and brevity in your calls. A concise call respects the customer’s time and increases the likelihood of a successful resolution.

By incorporating these practices into your collection calls, you not only increase the chance of collecting owed funds but also reinforce a positive image of your company. This approach can turn a routine collection call into an opportunity for building stronger customer relationships.

In the following section, we will guide you through a comprehensive step-by-step approach to structuring your collection calls, ensuring you have the knowledge to navigate the conversation smoothly.

Step-by-Step Guide to Making an Accounts Receivable Collection Call

With careful preparation and a structured approach, you can tackle receivables in a way that’s both efficient and considerate of your customer’s needs. Follow these steps to conduct collection calls effectively while preserving positive customer relations.

Step 1: Gather all information beforehand

Before you make the call, make sure you have all the necessary information at your fingertips. This includes the invoice you’re calling about, any notes from previous conversations with the customer, proof of product delivery or service completion, and the current status of the customer’s account. 

This preparation shows the customer that you’re knowledgeable and organized, which can help to establish credibility and trust from the onset of the call.

Step 2: Initiate the call with a clear objective

When you dial the customer, begin the conversation with a clear and direct introduction. State your full name, your company name, and the reason for your call. For instance, “Hello, this is [Your Name] from [Your Company], calling about your account with us and an outstanding invoice dated [Date].” 

Ensure you have the correct documents to reference any disputes and to confirm that the customer received their invoice.

Step 3: Engage in problem-solving dialogue

Once the purpose of the call is stated, invite the customer to discuss any issues they might have with the invoice. Be ready to address these issues head-on, offering solutions or adjustments as necessary. Ask directly for payment during the call or for a firm commitment on a payment date. 

In cases where you reach a voicemail, leave a friendly message without mentioning ‘collection’ to maintain a positive tone.

Step 4: Document the conversation

Taking detailed notes during the call is crucial. It ensures you have a record of what was discussed and any promises made by the customer. Whether you jot them down on paper or use a digital tool, make sure these notes are clear, concise, and will be easy to refer to later.

Step 5: Send a recap email

After your call, promptly send an email to summarize the conversation, including any payment commitments made. This email serves as a record of the call and reinforces the agreed-upon actions with the customer.

Step 6: Schedule and conduct follow-ups

If a commitment to pay was made, mark your calendar for a follow-up to ensure the promise is kept. If the payment was not made on the committed date, a follow-up email or call is crucial to maintain the pressure and show that you are serious about collecting the debt.

Following these steps will not only showcase your readiness but also highlight your professionalism, paving the way for successful debt recovery. Up next, we’ll dive into the most effective debt collection call scripts to help you maintain a steady cash flow and address customer excuses like a pro.

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Most Effective Debt Collection Call Scripts Examples

When speaking from a script, it is essential to stay flexible and be ready to deal with unexpected scenarios. Below are some accounts receivable collection call scripts that you could tailor to meet specific needs. These collection call scripts would help you figure out what to say when making a collection call.

Script 1: “Forgot to pay”

You: Good morning. Am I speaking with Mr. Dwight?

Dwight: Yes, Dwight speaking.

You: I am Jim, a collection analyst with Dunder Mifflin. I am calling you regarding your payment of [amount] for invoice [invoice number], which seems to be [number of days] past due. Can you help me understand why the invoice has not been paid?

Dwight: I am currently on vacation, so I forgot to pay.

You: Oh, I understand. In that case, I am sure you must have seen a link to our payment portal on your invoice.

Dwight: Yes, I have.

You: Great, you can easily pay through a credit card or ACH as you please. So, will you be making the payment today?

[If the customer says that he will pay today]

You: That’s great, taking note of this in our system. Thank you for your time. Happy holidays!

[Or if the customer says that he will pay later due to any reason]

You: Well, in that case, what we can do now is to get into a payment agreement. Is it possible for you to at least make a partial payment today? You are already past your due date. So, I suggest you make a partial payment today, and for the rest of the amount, we can schedule a time according to your convenience.

Dwight: Sounds good.

You: Okay then, please make the payment by evening, and for the next installment, I will call you Tuesday afternoon to follow up. Glad we talked.

Script 2: “Did not receive the invoice”

You: Good afternoon. This is Jim from Dunder Mifflin’s Finance Department. May I please speak with Mr. Dwight?

Dwight: Speaking, what can I do for you?

You: Hello, Dwight. I’m reaching out about your account with us. It seems there’s an invoice [invoice number] for [amount] that’s overdue. We wanted to ensure that you’ve received it and see if there’s any way we can assist with the process.

Dwight: I haven’t seen any invoice for that order.

You: I apologize for the inconvenience. Let’s verify that we have the correct contact information for you. Is abc@email.in still the best email for you?

Dwight: Yes, that’s my email.

You: Thank you for confirming. I’m resending the invoice to you right now. You should receive it within the next few minutes. May I stay on the line while you check your inbox to ensure it’s arrived?

Dwight: Sure, I’ve just received it.

You: Excellent. Now that you have the invoice in front of you, do you think you could process the payment today, or is there a specific date by the end of this week that would work better for you?

Dwight: I need to review the invoice first, so I can’t pay at this moment, but I should be able to by the end of the week.

You: I understand, Dwight. Let’s tentatively set a reminder for the end of the week then. I’ll make a note of this in our system and follow up if necessary. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you for your cooperation, and have a great day ahead!

Script 3: “Facing cash flow problems”

You: Hello, this is Jim with Dunder Mifflin’s finance team. May I have your name, please?

Dwight: Dwight here.

You: Hi, Dwight. I’m following up on invoice [invoice number] for [amount] that’s outstanding. We noticed it’s past due and wanted to check in with you about any payment updates or concerns you might have.

Dwight: Unfortunately, we’re tight on funds at the moment and can’t cover the invoice just yet.

You: I understand, Dwight, and I appreciate your candor. The current economic climate has been challenging for many. Would you like to share what’s been going on with your business lately?

Dwight: [Shares details of his situation]

You: It sounds like you’ve been navigating some tough waters. We value our relationship with your business and want to work with you through this. Let’s explore a payment plan that could ease the pressure. We can arrange for a partial payment now with the balance to follow at a time that’s more feasible for you.

Dwight: That could work, tell me more.

You: Excellent. If you can initiate a partial payment today, we can document a formal agreement for the remainder and schedule a follow-up for the balance. How does that fit with your current cash flow?

Dwight: Yes, I can make a partial payment today.

You: That’s great to hear. We’re here to support you, so if you have any questions moving forward, please reach out. Your proactive approach is much appreciated, Dwight. Have a wonderful day!

Script 4: “Invoice is incorrect”

You: Good morning, this is Jim from Dunder Mifflin’s finance team. May I speak with Mr. Dwight, please?

Dwight: This is Dwight.

You: Thank you for taking my call, Dwight. I’m reaching out about your account with us. We have an invoice, numbered [invoice number], totaling [amount], which seems to have gone past due by [number of days]. I’m here to help sort this out. Could you let me know what’s been holding up the payment?

Dwight: I’ve been meaning to pay, but there are some discrepancies on the invoice that need to be corrected first.

You: I’m sorry to learn that there’s been an issue. Let’s address it right away. What corrections are needed on our end?

Dwight: [Describes the needed corrections]

You: Thank you for pointing that out, Dwight. We always strive to be accurate and your feedback is crucial. I’ve made the necessary corrections and a revised invoice should be in your inbox now. Could you please take a moment to check it and verify that everything looks good?

Dwight: I’ve got it, and it looks correct now.

You: Fantastic. Now that we’ve settled the issue, are you in a position to process the payment? It would be great if we could wrap this up today.

Dwight: Yes, I’ll take care of it today.

You: That’s wonderful to hear. Your prompt response is greatly appreciated. If there’s anything else you need, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Enjoy your day!

[Or if Dwight has a misunderstanding]

You: I understand there’s been some confusion, and I’m here to clarify things. [Address the misunderstanding]. Hopefully, that clears up any concerns?

Dwight: Yes, it’s clear now.

You: Excellent. With that sorted, could we proceed with the payment?

Dwight: Sure, I’ll handle it today.

You: Great! If any questions arise or further assistance is needed, please feel free to contact me. Thanks for your time, Dwight.

Conclusion

Despite the best strategies, the complexity of account receivables can pose significant challenges. Tracking conversations, following up on commitments, and maintaining customer relationships require time and attention to detail. This is where the power of automation becomes evident. Automating routine correspondence allows collectors to focus on more complex tasks and strategic operations, enhancing productivity and efficiency.

HighRadius’s collections management software transforms accounts receivable for mid-sized businesses, combining advanced technology and practical tools. It automates data aggregation and prioritizes tasks using AI, enabling proactive collection strategies and predicting customer delinquency. The in-app dialer simplifies calls with one-click functionality and auto-transcription, while intelligent email integration doubles productivity. 

With features like Generative AI and automated e-invoicing to AP portals, HighRadius ensures your AR team is more efficient, freeing up time to focus on customer relationships and improving cash flow.

Experience the benefits of AR automation firsthand and see how our collections management software can transform your approach to receivables.

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FAQs

1. What is an example of a collection call script?

Example – Hi [Customer Name], this is [Your Name] from [Your Company]. I’m calling about your overdue invoice [invoice number] for [amount due] which was due on [due date]. I wanted to check in with you to see if there was a reason the payment has been delayed and if there’s any way we can assist.

2. What does a debt collector say?

A debt collector will confirm the debtor’s identity, inform them of the outstanding debt, and request payment or discuss potential payment arrangements. They aim to work with the debtor to find a solution, such as setting up a payment plan.

3. How do I prepare for a collection call?

Before a collection call, gather all relevant information including the invoice details, customer’s account status, and history of communication. Approach the call with a clear objective and be ready to discuss and negotiate payment terms.

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