One of the primary reasons that our clients end up relying on our collection services to try and recover lost revenue from their customers is a behavior known as “stonewalling” that involves making every effort to avoid answering the phone or responding to email requests. This type of behavior by a customer who owes money can be frustrating, and for many businesses or in-house collections teams, the options for overcoming this type of barrier can seem extremely limited.
At Southwest Recovery, our team of highly experienced professional collections agents has been working with clients across Texas and in other parts of the nation for years to recover lost revenue and settle bad debts in a variety of industries. Whether you’re seeking to settle outstanding medical debt, collect an amount owed on an invoice from a recent purchase, or finally achieve a resolution on a long-standing amount owed by one of your customers, our team has the knowledge and skills needed to help you achieve a successful outcome.
To help our clients get a better understanding of how to approach challenging collection scenarios effectively and help them feel more confident when dealing with an unresponsive customer, we decided to spend some time sharing a few tips on stonewalling and how to establish successful contact.
What IS Stonewalling?
In simple terms, stonewalling is a common tactic used by customers who have no intention of paying off a debt. They stop responding to any phone calls and ignore all emails being sent to them. In most cases, a customer engaging in this behavior is sending a clear signal that they are trying to avoid having to pay off the amount they owe, and some debtors believe that by avoiding any kind of interaction they will be able to move past the debt eventually without having to spend additional money.
The good news is that there are a few options available for businesses in this type of situation, and with a good combination of determination and commitment, they can still achieve a positive outcome when facing this kind of situation.
First Things First: Don’t Give Up!
While unanswered calls and ignored emails can be frustrating, it is always important to never stop making attempts regularly. In some cases, your customer could have a legitimate reason for not answering the phone or replying to emails. While it is always recommended to assess the situation on a case by case basis, deciding to simply quit trying is the best way to be certain that the money you are owed will never be returned.
You should also spend some time assessing the amount owed to determine the urgency of your collection efforts. If the amount owed is large, or if your business will be put in a difficult position without a return of the revenue, then you may want to consider taking stricter action more quickly than normal to pursue a desirable outcome.
Don’t Be Afraid of Legal Action
If you believe that your customer is choosing to intentionally ignore your collection efforts, then one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal is the threat of legal action. Simply bringing up the possibility of legal action can often be more than enough motivation for a customer to reach out to you themselves and settle the debt reasonably.
One of the most effective ways to approach this type of action is to issue a notice of action signaling your intention to pursue legal recourse for the debt. Regardless of the reason, no one wants to be brought to court if they can avoid it, and engaging in a court proceeding over debt can have a major impact on credit reports. Sending out this type of notice can be a great way to force action from a customer that was otherwise unresponsive.
Work With a Professional Agency
One of the most effective ways to achieve contact with a customer who is intentionally avoiding your collection efforts is to work with a professional collections team like Southwest Recovery. Collecting bad debts from unresponsive customers can be a tricky process that requires knowledge, experience, and access to technology and information to streamline the process. Instead of spending the time and resources needed to handle the process yourself, you can work with our team to settle an unpaid debt as soon as possible while focusing on your business and its normal operations!
Southwest Recovery Services: We Get You the Money You’re Owed
To learn more about our services, or to have a conversation with our team about how we can help you collect on an unpaid debt, don’t hesitate to contact us today!