You have worked hard to fulfill your obligations. You fulfilled your customer’s order and shipped on time or provided a service without failure. And now you expect to receive payment, but nothing comes.
Delayed payments are detrimental to your cash flow and when every penny counts, a slow-paying or non-paying customer can cripple a small business. In addition, time spent chasing down customers that are not paying takes up a lot of time. Time that could be spent growing your business.
Before assigning the account to a third party for recovery what are your options?
- CREATE A CLEAR POLICY – Your credit policy should be a living document in writing; review and update it as you expand your business. Not only should each of your customers receive a copy then sign that they have read, understand and accept it on an annual basis, all of your sales,
finance and credit employees should do the same.
- PROMPTLY SEND OUT BILLS & TRACK LATE PAYS – Your customer cannot pay a bill they do not receive. Forward invoices in multiple ways; email, snail-mail, and offer on-line payment options. The sooner an invoice gets to your customer, the greater chance you have that you will receive payment on time. Past-due amounts should immediately be re-invoiced.
- MONITOR CUSTOMER DISSATISFACTION – It is important to address issues with your order/service as soon as possible to avoid delays in payment. Consider sending out a “Customer Satisfaction Verification Letter” immediately following delivery of products and/or services along with an invoice specifying the due date to close all possible problems that could cause delayed or non-payments.
- PICK UP THE PHONE – A phone call is 10-20 times more productive than sending out a bill. The phone call is the quickest way to get your customer’s feedback, which can help resolve the account. When you talk to a slow-paying or nonpaying customer, you want to get him or her into a receptive frame of mind so your message is heard and understood.
- REMAIN PROFESSIONAL AND COURTEOUS – Do not make it personal and do not threaten your customers. Your goal is to create a win/win situation. Harassing your customer is not an effective means of collections and can create more problems for you if your client decided to report/sue you. A customer you cannot deal with or one that avoids your call is one that should be handed over to a third party.
- HAVE A PLAN – Suppose you tried all the strategies for getting payment in full and they have all bombed. One of your options is to offer payments, but make sure that your customer signs a promissory note that will commit him or her to a periodic payment plan.
In the spectrum of business customers, the honest customers who pay their debts immediately and in full without aggravation are on one end. Most customers, but not all, are honest.
Continue to work on accounts with customers that are honestly working with you in-house. If they aren’t and are actively avoiding paying you, assign them to a third party as soon as possible or write-off the debt.
Please visit Dynamic Legal Recovery’s website or call us at 877-777-7564 for your complimentary evaluation.