Some businesses have slow-paying customers or past due balances because they didn’t “train” their customers in the beginning.
It is important that your customers know your credit policy and/or terms of payment before they become customers. Reiteration of your credit policy, when payment is overdue, is a good step to take in trying to obtain payment.
By communicating effectively and working with financially troubled clients as they make their way through a rough patch, you may end up with devoted customers for life. Communication, or the lack of, will also illuminate customers who will do whatever possible to avoid any payment.
Getting payment from a slow-payer is often not easy. One key to improving your ability to collect overdue accounts is to get organized.
- Make a list of your outstanding receivables in order of amount owed and due date. Rank in terms of largest debt and earliest date and tackle those accounts first.
- Learn your customer’s payment cycle.
- When doing business with large companies, find out the last day for getting an invoice approved and included in the next payment run. Consider emailing a few days ahead to ensure all of the necessary documentation has been received and that they do not need anything further.
Making the right choices and acting in a timely manner can drastically reduce the risk of writing off bad debt.