What to Look for in a Debt Collector

If you’re finding that unpaid invoices and debtors are holding up your business cashflow, you have a few options. One is to follow up on the invoices yourself and request payment, but this can be time consuming and often fruitless. Another option is to get a debt collector to work on your behalf. You’ll free up time to get back to running your business, plus as they are professionals in their field, they have a higher chance of getting your invoices paid.


To start, it’s handy to set out the role of a debt collector. Their role is to:

• help and advise you on the best process to work through debt collection. 

• explain statements and balances where necessary.

• negotiate payment plans, determine appropriate repayment methods and collect final payments.

• assist both you and the debtor on the transaction when needed.

It can be mind boggling to know what to look for in a debt collector, so we hope that the following gives you some worthwhile tips!

Perhaps the most important trait of a debt collector is something that we’re sure you also focus on in your own business – outstanding customer service. That spans both a debt collector’s interactions with you as their client, and the debtor they are requesting payment from.

Here are the 15 key skills and behaviours that outstanding debt collectors possess:

1. Professionalism

2. Comfortable on the phone

3. Confidence

4. Patience, often demonstrated by a lower tone of voice and slow pace of speech

5. Thirst to understand and research each situation for understanding

6. Negotiation skills

7. Listening skills

8. Compassion and empathy

9. Conflict resolution 

10. Adherence to rules and regulations 

11. Resilience during stressful calls

12. Availability when you or your debtor needs to talk

13. Positive attitude

14. A passion for helping their clients reach a successful outcome

15. Ability to foster good relationships between different parties with differing objectives

During the process of selecting a debt collector, much like a job interview you can ask them for specific examples of when they have displayed the above traits. You should also be able to see this shine through online reviews and client testimonials on their website.

Something important that you may want to remember is the importance of personalised service and having one point of contact at a debt collector. Not only will this make your life easier, it has a reassuring effect on the debtor to know that one representative understands their needs and they can build a relationship with.

At Guardian Credit Services, you’ll receive your own Account Manager who will work on your account and communicate with your debtors. As a New Zealand owned and operated business, we understand how Kiwis think and act and are able to establish relationships quickly, which ultimately leads to faster results and more successful outcomes for your business.

We’re also experts in the art of perseverance and we won’t hand off your debts to the courts at the first hurdle; we persevere until we know it is time to hand the debt over and there is nothing more we can do for the situation.

The most successful debt collections agencies will also excel at client service and treat others the way they wish to be treated. Guardian Credit Services works with this in mind on every single phone call and communication, so if you’re looking for a debt collector with all the traits above, contact us.

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