Although most people are honest and want to pay their bills on time, it’s sometimes necessary to use your company’s in-house resources to urge clients to begin making more sizeable payments each month. After all, most companies can only recoup about one-half of any amount that’s owed when they hire external debt collection agencies.
The following pointers can help your employees “light a fire” under some slow bill payers without irritating them enough to start doing business with one of your competitors.
In-House Collection Tactics That Often Help Motivate Your Debtors
First reminders must always be very respectful and pleasant. You can often just send a new bill that states that the customer’s payment was due on a specific date, noting that the grace period has now expired. You can then decide whether to waive any late fees if the customer immediately calls in with a payment. It’s also wise to always note that your company realizes that a payment may have already been sent and crossed in the mail with the new notice. Invite a phone call so that special arrangements can be set up;
Offer a one-time special discount if no one has responded to your first notices. Consider offering a customer a 20% discount if s/he will call you by a certain date and make the remaining 80% payment over the phone. This will motivate many people to get in touch. Be sure to state the cut-off date for this offer;
- Pick up the phone and call after the first bills are ignored. Whatever you do, make sure the person calling first finds out who has answered the phone as you really can only indicate the purpose of your call to the actual debtor. Keep the call as brief as possible, mainly offering to set up a special repayment plan, in light of the person’s special circumstances, if any are mentioned. After the person has promised to mail in a payment (if s/he is unwilling to make one over the phone), ask for permission to make a reminder phone call the day before the next promised payment is due (and make note of who you spoke with and that this call-back permission was obtained from this specific person). Always end these calls on a positive note, thanking the person for doing business with your company.
Be sure to remind all of your callers that the ultimate goal is to keep this customer’s business by working politely with him/her to pay off the account over as brief a time period as is reasonable.
To obtain help with handling all of your Georgia business planning needs, please contact Shane Smith Law today. You can schedule your free initial consultation with a knowledgeable Peachtree City estate planning attorney by calling: (770) 487-8999.