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How can I handle belligerent customers

Answer: Some delinquent customers become belligerent. In some cases, this is an affectation. It is a strategy used to slow the collection process. This approach requires nothing more than being rude, obnoxious, or confrontational when vendors call to inquire about the status of balances that have become delinquent. One of above most important things for the collector to remember is not to take the customers comments personally. Of course, this is far easier said than done.

One technique that some collectors use with belligerent customers can be described as killing them with kindness. Ideally, the collector will not allow a customer's actions, comments, or attitude to change their approach or demeanor. If your approach as a collector is positive and upbeat, this attitude can be contagious. The proof is the fact that enthusiastic collectors tend to be more successful than collectors who act and sound dejected and defeated. One of the best ways that a collector can use to diffuse this stressful and difficult situation involves asking the irate customer one of these two questions:

  • What can I do to fix this problem?
  • What solution would like?

It is especially important to give an angry customer your undivided attention. A customer who may feel that they have been mistreated by a vendor will be sensitive, and will not appreciate being ignored or asked to repeat themselves.

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