4 Steps to Create a High-Performing Sustainable Program for Your Collections Call Center

As a leadership and development expert, I’ve been repeatedly asked how to prepare collections teams for calls once their customers are experiencing financial difficulties.

My answer is to focus on a simple call model and teach your agents how to have an authentic conversation.  From there you build a customer listening and performance management program. This blog series gives you details on four areas to achieve optimal collections performance using proven methodology.


Yes, achieving optimal call center performance — and increased collections — can be done. I’ve developed a simple call model (including call expectations) and built listening and coaching programs to support it.  My clients have seen an increase in call quality and a lift in collections rates after I’ve delivered the program to their team.

The complete program makes sure that agents understand what is expected of them and receive training and tools for ongoing success.

4 Critical Steps for a Successful Call

1. Develop an Adaptive Call Model – Define what a successful call looks and sounds like:

  • Develop a call model framework that can adapt to multiple call types
  • Define call expectations
  • Develop competencies/success profiles

2. Build Balanced Training for High Performance & Customer Satisfaction – Align training to competencies that drive performance:

  • Call model training
  • Tools – (e.g., effective phrases and questions)
  • Activities/role play
  • On-the-job training
  • Define a quality call

3. Manage Performance with a Proven Feedback Cycle – Develop tools to provide feedback and review performance on a consistent basis:

  • Call coaching forms
  • Measurement against the definition of a quality call
  • Develop a consistent listening program
  • Monthly feedback reviews tied to call expectations

4. Reward Success and Ensure Sustainment – Create activities and programs to reward success then implement sustainment activities to keep it going:

  • Commendations
  • Peer recognition/team games
  • Inspection routines
  • Performance management programs
  • Continuing education programs


There are multiple actions within each of the four steps and many considerations to make. I’ll break it down for you in the following blog posts.

Develop an Adaptive Call Model for High Performance Call Centers

Selecting a call framework or building one from scratch requires a detailed look at what you want accomplished on calls and identifying the skills your agents must have. I’ve provided an overview of what to do during this stage…more

Build Balanced Training for High Performance & Customer Satisfaction

When you align training of the collections call model framework with competencies that drive performance, you achieve success. The key is to balance lecture and activities within the training to…more

Manage Performance With a Proven Feedback Cycle

You can still improve performance after the call model is built and training is complete. You must use a consistent cycle of listening and coaching.  Here are the steps to take to incorporate that cycle into your operations…more

How to Reward Success to Sustain Call Center Performance

Formal reward and recognition programs acknowledge when employees achieve the expectations set for them. Organizations with these programs are 12x more likely to have strong business outcomes.  Take specific actions…more


[Editor’s note: this article was written by Kristin Stolp, former Bridgeforce Senior Program Manager]

Have a question about this article?