The way you treat your customer communications largely determines the types of responses you will get from them. Knowing how to approach them, how to ask for commitments while maintaining the relationship is a critical part of the AR management process.
Effective communication is one of the things that makes a huge difference, yet is largely ignored in AR management. The timing, tone, and content of your calls, reminder emails, templates and follow ups greatly impact the response rates you get out of your interactions.
Depending on the stage of your AR and your relationship with your customers, prepare at least three or four different kinds of payment reminder templates and call scripts to help you during your follow ups. From upcoming payment reminders to dealing with sensitive accounts, or contacting customers with excuses versus making an assertive call to habitual delinquents, having a distinct tone for each type of communication not only makes you much more professional, but greatly improves your recovery rates in a short period of time.
Chances are you have multiple people in your team who interact with your customers. These may be support staff, account managers or higher level executives. Knowing the AR situation of the company during these interactions not only gives your team better context, but with simple and sometimes casual reminders can help your accounting / AR staff get paid without having to push too hard. It is also a great practice to make sure your account managers know each client’s AR position before increasing your company’s exposure with another “excited” sale.