5 Strategies to Help You Build a Better Commercial Collections Process
Commercial collections can be stressful for any business owner, whether you run a small mom and pop business or a multinational corporation. With that in mind, here are some effective and simple strategies that to help you build a better commercial collections process.
Make Sure That Your Commercial Collections Process Is in Writing
Your entire commercial collections process (from start to finish) should be in writing. Some items to make sure that you include are when payments are due (for instance, net five or net 30), the grace period (if any), the amount of the late fee, when reminder calls and letters will go out, types of payments that are accepted, and when the account will be turned over to an external commercial collections professional or lawyer.
When your commercial collections process is in writing, it helps your entire team as well as your clients. You can with your collections attorney to create a simplified version outlining the information about due dates, payments accepted, and when accounts will go into collections. Your team members have a written guide they can refer to if they have questions during the process.
Treat All Account Holders with Respect
Commercial collections can be frustrating. However, it is incredibly important that all account holders are treated with respect. This helps ensure that federal and state laws about harassment aren't broken and it protects the reputation of your business. Bad online reviews can hurt your business even when those reviews aren't true. The best offense is a good defense by treating all account holders with respect.
Follow-Up Immediately on Past Due Accounts
Complete courtesy calls to remind clients that their account is past due. This should start either the day the payment is due or the day after. Do not wait 30, 60, or 90 days. Sometimes you can get paid just by making a follow-up call. Make sure that you have the contact information for the person who will pay the account. Staff changes are the most common reason why accounts go past due. Ensuring that you have accurate and up-to-date contact information can minimize the likelihood of future late payments.
Multiple Payment Options
Depending on your accounting software choices, you may already have several payment options at your fingertips. Many programs allow your clients to pay using their checking account, credit card, or debit card. There are several low-cost card readers available (such as Square and PayPal) for businesses. You can also look into providing a way for clients to pay you using an online payment method such as Venmo or PayPal. Providing more payment options could help you get paid faster.
Follow Your Procedures Every Time
If your commercial collections procedures state that you will turn the debt over to a commercial collections agency or attorney at 90 days past due, make sure that you do that. Consistency is the key to collections.
For more information on setting up a streamlined commercial collections process, or to discuss collecting on a judgment, contact experienced collections attorney Ronald P. Slates today.