How to Write the First Collection Call Script (Courtesy Call)

first collection call script

Let’s face it, making collection calls is no fun. In fact, some companies let their past due accounts pile up simply because debt collection calls are awkward and uncomfortable, making it really easy to put off or avoid completely.

In a previous article, we talked about how to prepare for collection calls by setting the right tone, gathering important details, and having a structure in place to document your conversation. But there’s still one more thing to do before you make your first collection call which is prepare a call script.

Writing the First Collection Call Script

The following script may help you prepare for a first time collection call:


Hello, this is [your name] with [your company name]. To whom am I speaking?

{Client answers}

Hi, [client’s name]. I’m calling to follow up on [invoice #__________] for [$ __________], which seems to be [XX] days past due. I wanted to ensure there isn’t a problem with the invoice and, if everything’s in order, find out when payment will be made.

{Client states that there is a problem}

Well, I’m sure I can get you to the right person to take care of the problem, if it’s not me. What’s the issue?

{Client replies with details. Depending on the situation, solve it immediately or refer to the person who can}

OR

{Client answers there is no problem and that the check will be sent that day}

Thank you. I’ll look for the check in the mail over the next few days. Our terms are net [XX], and we try to keep our customers’ accounts in good standing so they can take advantage of the credit we’ve extended. We also accept payment via credit card, ACH, or wire transfer.   Would you like me to send you instructions for another method?

OR

{Client answers with no problem, but the payment is scheduled for later or not at all}

I’m sorry to hear that. Our terms are net [XX], and this invoice is now [XX] days old. Is there a way to expedite this payment and get it in the mail today? We also accept payment via credit card, ACH, or wire transfer. Would you like me to send you instructions for another method?


Call Notes and Strategy

Depending on the client’s rank (based on tenure and history), you may want to modify the call script. For example, you might not want to push for same-day payment if the call is to an A client.

In addition, be prepared to take notes including details like who you spoke to, their role in the company, what you discussed, the reasons and details they provided for lack of payment, and any agreements or promises made during the conversation.  If you eventually pass the account to a collections agency, every contact attempted or made must be documented and – if it goes far enough – provided as proof in court. 

If you’re following the collections strategy we’ve provided in previous articles, you’d be making this first collection call (or “courtesy call”) about 15 days after the due date. In fact, here’s a cheat sheet for collections timing best practices to use as an example of a typical approach your company might use:

AR collections timeline best practices collection call script

💡 TIP: Accounts Receivable and Collections software like Collect-IT helps document all customer communication, manage template collections letters and call scripts,  and standardize the timing of your reminders to help take the stress out of collecting payment on past due invoices.


📝UP NEXT: Is that invoice still outstanding after 45 days? It may be time for another call, so be sure to check out the next article in this series:

How to Write the Second Collection Call Script


Want More Tips, Templates and Guidance Like This?

Click below to download our Ultimate Guide to AR Collections where you'll find 27 pages of expert advice, best practices, industry benchmarks, and loads of letter templates and call scripts.

AR Collections eBook Graphic

Click this link to learn about Smart Accounts Receivable KPIs.

     

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