Feel like your accounts receivable department can do more to aid debt collection? Even the largest, most-powerful businesses face struggles in this area. Many customers are quite good at escaping collection calls, and some have been known to even skip town.
The first line of defense against loss of funds is to develop and implement strong debt collection practices.
- Contact customers frequently to ensure they know about the debt. Trying various forms of communication (mail, electronic mail, phone, etc.) can lead to additional success.
- Have resources on hand when customers do contact you about a debt. Being available to take calls and address concerns and questions can increase the chances for recovery. Facilitate clear, professional communication and be willing to negotiate in terms of unpaid debt.
- Treat customers with respect. Don’t assume a customer is trying to swindle you or simply avoid paying. They may not be able to pay at the moment or may not have the full amount. Again, keep an open mind and have policies in place for fair negotiations. Recovering some money is much preferable to recovering none.
- Have guidelines in place for referral to a debt collection agency. After a certain length of time or certain amount of debt unpaid, difficult cases should be referred to a debt collection service for assistance. A debt collection service can help recover funds quickly and get the problem taken care of.
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