Word Choices

Transform everyday phrases into winning expressions to make better connections with consumers.

6/3/2019 11:30 AM

NewsCollector Magazine
Word Choices

Getting ready for work involves a transformation—a quick trip into the phone booth to activate your collector superpowers and put your game face on. Before you step into the office, remember to give your vocabulary a makeover, too.

In order to execute calls that focus on service and solutions for the consumer, leave some common phrases behind when you switch to professional mode, ACA International Compliance Education Specialist Angela Czerlanis reports in the June issue of Collector magazine.

Here are some ways to transform three everyday phrases into winning expressions.

“No Problem”

Consumer: “Hi, this is Miss Consumer. I’m calling about this notice I received from you…”

Collector: “No problem. Let me verify your information and…”

Responding to a consumer’s request with “no problem” sounds so accommodating; how can you go wrong?

The consumer’s request for service is never a problem, Czerlanis notes. It is an expectation in doing business.

Habitually repeating “no problem” throughout the conversation suggests that everything they say actually is a problem or inconvenience. It may even send a message about how you feel about your job or company.

Instead, use your active listening skills to acknowledge and mirror what the consumer is saying. Deliver a confident “Excellent,” “Thank you” or “Yes!” followed by an action. Demonstrate that you got the message, then tell them what you will do.

“Yes, But …” “No, But …”

Nothing good ever happens after a “but” in a conversation. Someone is about to get bad news. As a collector, if you preface the news with “yes” or “no,” that “but” instantly becomes a contradiction or an excuse. It can shut down the conversation.

There isn’t a reason for the consumer to keep listening to you.

Kick that “but” and its buddies “however” and “unfortunately” out of the conversation. Czerlanis says you can keep up your active listening skills by acknowledging the challenge with, “I understand your concerns, Mr. Lee. Let’s go over some payment options together to find one that works…”

“I Can’t (Because)”

Phrases that tell a consumer “I can’t because…” include: “I’m sorry, I’m new,”

“It’s our policy, we don’t do that,” “My computer is down!” and “There’s nothing we can do.”

No matter the variation, there is only one definition—“I won’t try.”

In a situation where your initial reaction is to say something that really means “I can’t because…” try a different approach.

If you don’t know the answer, Czerlanis suggests to take action and find out how to help the consumer.

You might say: “That’s a great question. I will certainly find out for you. May I place you on hold while I research that for a couple of minutes?” Wait for their answer. The consumer wants information. They do not want to fall into a cone of silence.

Check in and update the consumer on your progress. If it’s taking too long, respect the consumer’s time and offer to call back with a complete solution.

Practice transforming your vocabulary from drab, mechanical responses to animated expressions that keep consumers engaged and demonstrate your super service powers.

For more communication tips, listen to ACA Cast “Positive Consumer Communication” featuring Mary Shores, CEO and president of Midstate Collection Solutions.

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