Bill Collector Job Description
Bill collectors notify customers of their debt and negotiate with them to find ways to resolve debts through payment agreements. Collection agencies and companies that maintain collection departments hire bill collectors to work full- and part-time shifts, primarily during daytime business hours. Bill collectors work independently with little supervision, usually in call center environments, and report to the collections manager. Travel is not required for this job, as bill collectors perform all their work within the call center itself.
Bill Collector Duties and Responsibilities
Daily tasks for bill collectors vary based on the number of accounts they manage and the size of the call center they work in. However, these core job duties are common across the industry:
Notify Customers of Debt
Bill collectors locate and notify customers of debts owed over the phone, naming specific dollar amounts.
Manage Incoming and Outgoing Calls
Bill collectors answer incoming calls from customers and make outgoing calls to achieve debt resolution.
Bill collectors collect debt payments over the phone through checks, debit cards, and credit cards.
Review Customer Accounts
Bill collectors review customer accounts to determine how much money is owed. They then make calculations to determine payment amounts to resolve the customer’s debt within a specific time frame.
Bill collectors answer customer questions regarding debt and payment due dates.
Negotiate and Resolve Disputes
Bill collectors resolve customer disputes regarding account balances and payments owed. They also negotiate with customers to help them find ways to resolve their debts.
Add Notes to Customer Files
Bill collectors add notes to customer accounts to record communications and resolutions reached.
Bill Collector Skills and Qualifications
Bill collectors use customer service skills and analytical thinking to resolve customer debts, collect payments, and negotiate agreeable payment terms. Employers hire bill collectors who display the following skills:
- Math skills – bill collectors use math skills to calculate payment amounts and term agreements
- Analytical thinking – bill collectors use analytical skills to resolve customer debt, determine amounts owed, and establish payment agreements
- Communication skills – strong verbal and written communication skills are essential for bill collectors, who speak with customers over the phone to resolve debt and make notes on customer accounts
- Computer skills – because many companies use digital records and accounting software, bill collectors need at least basic computer skills
- Time management – bill collectors use time management to work within deadlines, determine the length of payment agreements, and perform job tasks quickly
- Data entry – bill collectors use data entry skills to make notes on digital customer files
- Problem-solving skills – bill collectors use problem-solving skills to negotiate payment terms with customers
Bill Collector Education and Training
Employers require bill collectors to have a high school diploma or GED. Some companies additionally require bill collectors to have previous collections or call center experience, though customer service experience of any type is often accepted by employers. However, this is not usually a requirement, as many companies consider this to be an entry-level job.
Training is provided to bill collectors. During training, they receive call scripts to serve as examples of conversations with customers and work under close supervision with a senior bill collector. The training period varies by company but typically lasts no more than three weeks.
Bill Collector Salary and Outlook
Bill and account collectors earn $35,330 in median annual salary, or $16.99 per hour. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that bill and account collector employment will decline 3 percent by 2026.
Benefits are not offered by most employers. However, some full-time bill collectors may receive basic healthcare packages and paid vacation days. Many companies do provide commission bonuses in addition to base salary to bill collectors who successfully resolve overdue accounts.
Use these resources to learn strategies and techniques to master the tasks performed by bill collectors:
The Association of Credit and Collection Professionals – bill collectors can take advantage of member benefits at the ACCP website. They can also use this site to explore training and education events
Bill and Account Collector Career: The Insider’s Guide to Finding a Job at an Amazing Firm, Acing the Interview and Getting Promoted – using straightforward language, this book offers tips and guidance on finding a job in bill collections, performing well during the interview, and earning a promotion
International Association of Commercial Collectors – read news updates, explore upcoming events, and take advantage of member benefits at the IACC website
The Positive Coach Approach: Call Center Coaching for High Performance – learn tips and techniques for working in a call center environment with this book, which focuses on satisfying customers, keeping call times short, and achieving workplace goals
National Association of Credit Management – stay up to date on industry news, find education resources, and explore content related to credit management at this website for financial professionals in a variety of career fields
Customer Service Over the Phone: Techniques and Technology for Handling Customers Over the Phone – learn how to perform excellent customer service over the phone with this concise guidebook that presents examples and specific phone-based techniques
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