In a perfect world, companies would be able to count on timely payments from every single customer without any problems. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. While it can be frustrating to deal with customers that consistently pay late or refuse to pay at all, there are ways to resolve the situation. Researching the rights of each party involved, documenting everything and preparing to settle for less can help the process go smoother.
- Understand Applicable Laws
Collecting overdue invoices should be done by professionals who are well-versed in the proper procedures. If the person making the phone calls customers every day to scream at them for not paying, then they are engaging in harassing behavior. Not only is this behavior extremely unprofessional, but this approach is also likely to escalate the situation instead of resolving it.
- Create a Document Trail
While many customers stop paying due to hard times and attempt to repay at least some of what is owed, others will not. In either case, documenting each phone call and following up with an email to the customer that summarizes the situation is vital. If the need for expert witness banking or a collection company comes up, then that paperwork can be an important part of the case.
- Prepare to Settle
Sometimes, customers are able to pay for a portion of the debt. Depending on the situation, this may be better than nothing. The company should have a policy in place regarding which debts can be settled, how the appropriate settlement amounts are determined and who has to authorize it. While not ideal, settling with a customer can lead to improved relations and will give the company a reputation for being reasonable and easy to work with.
Collecting money from customers may not always be easy, but at the end of the day, it is the only way that a business can stay afloat. By dealing with clients respectfully and demonstrating a willingness to settle, a company can foster good relationships and ensure an inflow of funds.