Outstanding Account Follow Up Process
- Use the “3 F’s” – Firm, Fair & Friendly
- Develop a script for each call, have your notes ready.
- Track the dates of due payments and follow up call.
- Be disciplined and follow up diligently.
- Don’t get into an emotional argument – stick to the facts.
- Treat each case as different, you may have to accommodate good customers who have a short term problem.
- If someone has a problem, take all the details and get the person responsible to sort it out ASAP.
- If the customer becomes heated, rude or abusive, exit the call (sometimes this may include hanging up) and refer the problem to the Boss.
- Your team members are not being paid to be abused-they are just doing a job.
- The boss must ring up the person ASAP.
- You must support your team.
- To avoid this problem in the future you may need to change these particular customers terms to COD or choose not to deal with them at all.
- For large or irregular accounts call the customer two days prior to the bill being due to remind them when payment is due. Ask if they have everything required to pay the account on time. This reminds them of payment and ensures you are following their payment process.
- 2 days after overdue (to allow for mail)
- 80% of over dues will be paid due to oversight or the fact you have rung.
- Keep notes as to what was said about the payment
- 1 week after 1st call (9 days overdue).
- This call is important in that it shows you are on the ball and not going away.
- Always go over what was said in the previous call and what they promised to do (This puts you in control, and the customer feeling guilty for being caught out).
- 1 week after 2nd call (16 days overdue), or no later than 2 days after they promised an action (eg. I will do a bank transfer tonight).
- Put them on “stop supply” if necessary and inform them it will be lifted as soon as payment is received. Let them know this is company policy not personal.
- Always go over what was said in the previous calls (keeping notes is very important) and what they promised to do (This puts you in control, and the customer feeling guilty for being caught out).
- Ask if there is any problem with the payment.
- Brings any problems to a head and also challenges them not to lie.
- If there is a problem refer to the boss RE a payment plan.
LETTER TO CLIENT
- 1 week after 3rd call.
- Outline contacts and failure of commitments made on previous dates.
- Stress they already are on “stop supply”.
- State that if payment is not made or if you have not heard from them by a certain date, the matter will be passed to your debt collection agency.
- Allow time for post,weekends,and a few days to organise themselves.
SEND MATTER TO DEBT COLLECTION
- If by this stage they have failed to deliver on promises and failed to react to the letter or resolve the matter – it’s time to get serious!
- It is better to get 80% of what your owed now rather than 0% never – at least you can cover for your costs and keep the cash flowing forward.
- Some Debt Collecting agencies add their fees to the amount so you are not out of pocket.
- At this stage the matter is resolved and not a source of lingering stress for the owner.
BLACK BAN OR FULL DEPOSIT
- Choose not to deal with the customer or at least tack full payment up front – don’t get caught again!
- IF Full Deposit – add on 10% if possible (if they decide go to your competition it may be a good thing)
A FUN PAYMENT STRATEGY
Send a client who pays on time a small gift or card to thank them for being prompt and not treating you as a bank. The accounts dept of a customers of one of my clients loved the thank you flowers and guess who gets paid on time every month.
Send them a picture of your Dog or Children and say “Thank you for your prompt payment my dependants will now be able to eat this month…they thank you too”