We don’t know anyone who actually wants to make it harder to collect invoices, but we frequently encounter situations where businesses do just that. This week’s blog highlights six common problems from our eBook, How to Make Receivables Harder to Collect. The eBook has 47 tips on how to reduce delinquencies and write-offs and avoid the need for collection agency services.
#12 – Repeatedly Invoice Incorrectly
Developing a reputation with your customer for sending invoices with wrong information is a great way to end up at the bottom of their list to process. Regardless of the cause (e.g. wrong prices, back orders, miss shipments, incomplete purchase orders), the result is delayed payment.
#25 – Don’t Listen
If you won’t listen to them, why should they listen to you?
#27 – Delay Resolving Disputes
You cannot collect while a dispute is unresolved. Regardless of the reason (too busy, can’t get internal cooperation, can’t locate documents, etc.), the longer it takes you, the longer your payment gets delayed. Wait long enough, and it becomes even harder as the necessary information, including people’s memory of the transaction, is more difficult to compile.
#29 – Automated Nasty-grams
Keep sending automated, increasingly nasty letters on disputed invoices that you haven’t had time to deal with to resolve. Keep reminding them of your failure to address the issues while threatening to take escalated action against them. They’ll remember this unpleasant treatment long after the particular dispute is resolved.
#33 – Bounce Them Around Your Company
“I can’t answer that question, you need to talk to _____”. Make it their job to sort things out with the various people in your company.
#41 – Treat All Customers The Same
Sure, policies and procedures are required for efficiency and effectiveness. But not all customers are alike. Refuse to develop different approaches, or even policies and procedures, and you can end up with repeated payment issues.
We get a significant number of claims at our B2B collection agency as a result of these issues. Thankfully for our clients, we have an 85% success rate on large viable claims. While our clients only pay a fee if we collect (10% to 25%), they are better off if they can avoid these issues.
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