How Soft Collection Works

how soft collection works

Soft collection is a process of reminding clients about their overdue payments to prevent legal action, which is termed on other hand as a hard collection. A collector can do this by either calling them on the phone, leaving them messages or simply by email. Only a certain amount of time can be allowed for a client to settle his accounts and if he persisted or failed to comply, a legal representative may handle the situation and hence call a hard collection.

Soft collection is necessary for the accounts receivable management process. For a practicing physician, every collection of his services is necessary. For a patient client, to avoid this soft collection, a proactive knowledge of his coverage of insurance is needed to avoid possible copayments and out-of-pocket expenses which can in the long run be cumbersome even in small amounts. And lastly, for a medical biller, an initial and consistent efficiency of the patient verification process, double checking for parts that are seemingly sketchy is the key to patient-biller transparency.

During phone calls, some company collectors may propose payment plans that are suited to the current financial status of the client. Emails are more comfortable and easier to access for certain patients but there are some, particularly the elderly who prefers the traditional snail mailing of the bill collection process. Any form of agreement shall be complied and failing to do so may result in higher sanctions

Phone calls

A direct voice call is convenient for the collector since for the obvious reason – a quicker response. The collector has control over his tone for phone calls rather than the seemingly blunt and apathetic email form of communication and with that, he takes this as an opportunity to be more emphatic about the position of the billed patient. However, in a study conducted by the 2018 Benchmark study, only 19% of the participants preferred a phone call regardless of the importance of the issue. People preferred to have their communications via email or a letter. In a not-so-surprising result of the study also, half of this 19% (9%) dropped the call option when they found out the reason for the call was about their past dues. A small percentage of the participants preferred via SMS.

Despite what this study revealed, phone calls remained still to be an efficient way of doing soft collections. Every company has its own strategy on which they preferred of doing first; emails first then phone calls or phone calls first then emails or they may even just pick either of the two constantly throughout the process.


Since email is preferred and more convenient by the patients, most emails have payment links already which makes it even more convenient for the clients. The 2018 Benchmark study also confirmed a simple fact that most bill collectors have already known for some time and that is patient clients do not want to be put on the spot during a phone call and get pressured for paying and giving a date to which, they promised they will pay the remaining debt. Consumer-friendly payment options by companies have shown a higher payment rate.

Payment choices

In most cases, clients really wanted to pay off their debts but some do not have the capacity to do so. In the best-case scenario, he may be offered payment options and thru these payment options, they are given control in the decision-making process for their finances.

For the soft collector, setting the tone of the conversation may lead to a successful collection. It is best to empathize with the client by asking them the reason why their bills weren’t paid on time and make them feel that you understand their situation but also make them aware of the consequences of the situation.

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