Three tips for successful collections
Sometimes bills don’t get paid.
There are many reasons that happens, but the reality is that once the bill isn’t paid in a timely fashion, it becomes at race to collect the money. ICE is just one tool for timely collections because it helps you manage your A/R portfolio. But, unfortunately, there are times you have to implement your collection strategies.
Here are some tips to ensure you get paid:
Be prepared. The first place you should start is pulling an ICE credit report before you do business with a new company. This gives you a clear picture of the payment practices of your customer. The next step is for you to have the steps of the collection process spelled out in your credit policy. This helps keep everyone from the sales team to your staff to the customer on the same page. There is no guess work as to when you should make contact and how you will connect with your customer.
Be flexible. Of course, you’d like to collect the entire payment on-time, but sometimes that isn’t going to happen. Securing a partial payment with a schedule to pay the rest is better than not getting paid at all. This means if you are speaking to the customer on the phone, don’t complete the call unless you have a plan in place. Then communicate the plan in writing so again everyone remains on the same page.
Don’t waste time. Should you spend 30 minutes on the phone with a customer that has an invoice $100 past due? Probably not the best use of your time. So, look at how you can implement demand letters (check out the ICE Service Center for information) can facilitate your collections process. When do you send your delinquent accounts to a third-party collection agency? Should that be adjusted or automated? Your ICE Credit Exchange membership provides you access to BARR Credit Services – a topnotch collections agency that will work closely with you to make your collection strategies as efficient as possible.
Getting paid in a timely manner is important. Having a good collections strategy is the only way to make sure that is done on all accounts – especially the delinquent ones.