Communication “Noise” – Individual Approach for Successful Collections


Communication is a process that gives us tremendous opportunities to influence every personal and professional areas as well as many challenges which often are not well understood. In order to effectively communicate with others, it is important to know how the communication process works. Being in a constant communication by sending our ideas, opinions, expectations, etc. through different channels and receiving feedback is a complicated process that consists several main components. It involves the sender of the information, the actual message being encoded and sent, the receiver who decodes the message and sends feedback. There are also various channels of communication to consider within every communication cycle. This refers to the way a message is sent and can be through various mediums such as voice, audio, video, phone call, email, text message, face-to-face meeting, writing email or using body language.

The overall goal of the communication process is to present an individual or party with information and have them understand it. The sender must choose the most appropriate medium in order the communication process to have worked successfully which in business area is crucial for achieving corporate goals. Preferred communication channels are only the first challenge for solving. In Collections to make analysis and segmentation for using the most efficient communication channels for different types off clients is particularly important for accomplishing business results.

Next significant challenge are the processes of encoding and decoding. The senders encode which means transform the thoughts of the information they want to send into a certain format by using their knowledge, skills, beliefs, attitudes, values, culture. The receivers decode i.e., it is the interpretation of the message that also happens by applying the same set of above-mentioned characteristics but of different people where is appearing the potential of misunderstanding and misinterpretation.

This is the so-called process of “communication noise” that refers to influences on effective communication which affect the interpretation. There are several main types of “communication noise”. Psychological noise results from preconceived notions brought to the communication, such as stereotypes, reputations, biases and assumptions. Environmental noise could be any external noise which can potentially impact the effectiveness of communication. Physical noise is any external stimulus that distracts from receiving the intended message sent by a communicator. Semantic noise occurs when words, grammar or technical language used cannot be understood or the meaning of them cannot be understood clearly.

All these communication challenges and “noises” which are widely faced in Collections processes and practices can be overcome by using individual approach to every customer or group of customers instead of scripts, which will improve the communication and will make it more business efficient. Easy tips for successful communication are: Simplify your message, Know your audience, Be a good listener, Ask questions, Take time to respond, Consider your body language, Clarify your message if needed.

Reference: Rothwell, J. Dan (2004). In the Company of Others: An Introduction to Communication (Volume 1). New York: McGraw Hill