Taking timely actions and professional persistence is by far the biggest indicator of success in getting paid. Being able to know when to take action therefore becomes a critical data point in your AR process. Knowing how to do this without damaging the relationships is what really sets apart the companies who have good follow up practices for their AR accounts.
Monitor your portfolio and follow up with your customers with upcoming due dates, or those who just became delinquent. Prompt follow up is critical and there are many ways you can make the initial contact effective. Have different workflows based on where your customers are on the AR timeline, and apply these flows consistently. When your repeat customers see that you have a systematic AR process, getting them to follow your terms will be much easier.
The way you communicate with customers is key. Tailor your communication based on your customer’s profile, AR timeline, and past habits. Remember that courtesy and persistence can co-exist, and having a professional look (either in your reminders, your calls or follow ups) lets you get away with a lot more.
Sometimes, the customer turns out to be a complete deadbeat. Yet many businesses sit on an invoice for several weeks (or months) before they finally send it to collections. The collections recovery rate, however, gets reduced dramatically each week you keep that account to yourself. If you are fairly sure that you aren’t getting paid, having a cutoff date for professional collections greatly improves the recovery odds.
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