Every organisation will have its own ideas about how best to organise their credit control department and ensure debts are collected promptly from clients.
While plenty of new recruits will be familiar with what needs to be done, if you are taking on graduates or apprentices these five helpful hints should get them started on the road to credit control success.
– Research your customers
It is very important to check that new customers are in a position where they will be able to pay their debts.
Carrying out a credit check will show if they have a history of failing to pay, while you can also ask to see their accounts for an idea of where the currently stand financially. Consult your prospective client’s referees for an idea of how they are likely to behave.
– Write everything down
It should be clear to both parties from the outset what your expectations are. You can include details such as payment dates, credit limits and what will happen in the event of a late payment, essentially preparing your company for any eventuality.
This should be signed by you and your customer, meaning they should not be surprised if you are forced to take any of the action outlined within the agreement. Even if they do refuse or dispute a request you have made, you will have a legal document to refer to that will offer protection should the situation escalate.
– Build a rapport
You should get in touch with every new customer as soon as an agreement is signed, if only to introduce yourself. It is also a nice touch to call and check that their goods have arrived promptly – this not only shows you care, but also provides a regular point of contact.
This way, if you do have to call them to discuss a problem with their account, they are much more likely to be receptive and cooperative than if it is their first time speaking to you.
– Make it easy to pay
These days, you should be offering more payment options than a cheque in the post. There are so many electronic ways to pay, from PayPal to direct debits, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.
The method you choose is up to you, but by providing plenty of ways to pay you are decreasing the likelihood of late payments and cash flow problems. Additionally, there will be fewer excuses available to customers who are stalling on payments.
Some companies also offer incentives such as discounts or rebates to those who consistently pay in good time.
– Be firm with late payers
It is a fact that every credit controller will at some stage have to deal a customer who is not keeping up with payments. In these situations, it is important to politely but firmly pursue the unpaid debt and balance the account as quickly as possible.
The customer will be familiar with your agreement and you should remind them of the process that will be set in motion if their payment is not forthcoming. No matter what reason they give for missing a payment, you must act in the best interests of your company and get the money as quickly as possible.
Of course, it is also important to remember that you do not want to spoil the relationship so it is beyond repair. Your aim should be to resolve the matter quickly and continue as before as much as possible.
Get the best candidates with Portfolio Credit Control
While these suggestions will help new recruits get the best out of themselves, the initial impetus is on you to make sure that the people you hire have what it takes to succeed in the role.
This is where Portfolio comes in, as our experts have the knowledge to help you find the top applicants who will be a perfect fit for your credit control vacancies. Call us on 020 7650 3199 to find out more.
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