Robert Herjavec, of Shark Tank fame, recently published a blog post titled: “The Basics of Business: What I Learned as a Debt Collector.” As someone who has worked in loan servicing, call center and collections field for years, this headline certainly drew me in and I was eager to see what he had to say.

The main premise of his post centered around understanding people on an individual level. He claims that “by learning as much as I could about them, their lifestyle and a sense of their values…I was looking to build a relationship between us just deep enough for them to respond.”

This is something that we work hard to impart on all of our collectors here at Servicing Solutions. My experience has taught me that if you treat your customers with respect and genuinely try to understand what is going on in their lives, you are far more likely to come to a resolution that works for both sides.

I believe a mistake too many collectors make is to contact each customer with the same robotic script with the same series of questions. Conversely, we encourage our skilled collectors to have a real conversation with customers, ask questions related to their individual situations, and to ultimately come to a resolution that makes sense. This approach is far more likely to end in success versus a hang up.

I’m a firm believer that no one wakes up in the morning and says “I’m not going to pay my bills today”. As collectors, we need to be mindful of this. In fact, we’re primarily dealing with good people who have fallen on challenging times. By treating them with respect and working to understand what is going on in their lives, you’ll build a level of trust that makes it far more likely to experience success and establish a positive long-term relationship with your customers.