For small and big businesses alike, sometimes the biggest challenge can be collecting a debt. But, as is often the case, being prepared for all of life’s obstacles usually yields the best results. As the old adage goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.
Today’s blog entry discusses some pointers we’ve compiled to help you in collecting a debt successfully.
Communicating clearly and concisely with past-due clients is the best course of action in collecting a debt. Also, working with struggling clients can not only lead to paid debts, but lifelong and devoted advocates of your business. It pays off in more than one way.
Late-paying clients fall into two categories—those who want to pay but cannot due to financial hardship, and those who avoid payment (or delay/juggle payments). The former category, you have several options you can take but the latter often involves only one. Let’s discuss clients that are experiencing hardship, first.
Don’t harass customers that owe you money, but don’t be afraid to let them know this is a problem that will only continue to persist and escalate. But, do not threaten a debtor or leave more than one phone message per day. Get them to understand that this outstanding amount is only going to balloon out of control further if allowed to remain.
Be specific and concise. Don’t let them take the correspondence personally, your goal shouldn’t be to shame the customer into payment. Explain why you’re calling, the amount owed, and be willing to listen. Often, explaining that speaking to their creditors is better than them not answering the call at all helps assuage the sinking feeling in a client’s stomach. A feeling of proactivity tends to snowball.
Be willing to work with them. If they are truly under significant financial duress, ask them what amount they are able to pay. An extension of payments, or new payment schedule agreed to in writing, could be exactly what they need to bring the account current and for you to get paid.
If payment does not appear to be an option, then it is best to turn them over to the professionals, like us. All of us at Collection Management Services work hard to offer timely and consistent service to our clients.
If you have questions about how to begin this process, or questions in general regarding our services, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our phone number is (731) 885-3011, or you e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.