The end of the year is a hectic time for most businesses. I’ve always appreciated Thanksgiving as a time to pause before things get more intense. At The Kaplan Group, we love all of our clients, but we especially appreciate the clients that make our jobs just a little bit easier. These aren’t necessarily the clients with the biggest cases, rather, they’re the clients that have taken the necessary steps to make the debt collection process easier and in many cases, more successful.
- The Connectors
These clients have the names, phone numbers (cell and work), and email addresses of all the key people at their clients’ offices. Sometimes invoices go unpaid simply because the vendor’s only contact no longer works there and they can’t find anyone else to help. Having more than one contact for any customer should be part of your standard onboarding process.
- The Documenters
These clients keep clear records of what work was done when and who approved the work. Sloppy record keeping can make it difficult for you to collect on invoices. Making sure you have clear, written confirmation of work done or services purchased and approved makes it much easier for a qualified debt collector to help you solve your problem.
- The Clarifiers
These clients have agreed upon terms related to product or service acceptance. They spell out return policies on products and what constitutes satisfactory performance for services. For example, for marketing and advertising, they create a clear statement that there are no guarantees that their services will result in additional revenue or potential customers. Spelling out these terms before beginning work can prevent a client from refusing to pay because they are “unsatisfied.”
- The Researchers
These clients only do business with legitimate, reliable businesses. By doing a quick credit check on any potential client these clients know that they’re working with professionals and not scam artists. Any company can run into trouble and have difficulty paying bills. But, your risk of working with a company that will intentionally stiff you is greatly reduced if you do some research beforehand.
- The Impatient
These clients turn over unpaid accounts to us when they are 90-180 days overdue and there is still a 50% or more chance of getting paid. The chances of an overdue invoice being paid decline by more than 1% per week. If an invoice is 90 days past due, the chance of collecting has already gone down by over 30% to only 69.6% and it continues to drop to 52% once it is six months past due. Because collection agencies take a percentage of debt they successfully collect, many clients want to solve the problem on their own. This is understandable, but after a certain point, turning an account over to a reputable, qualified collection agency is the best possible way to make sure that you recoup any of the money due.
Obviously, we’re grateful for any client that gives us the chance to be helpful, but we find that the more informed and educated clients are about debt collection the better we can do our job. Careful documentation and research, as well as a willingness to take action are all helpful in making sure that you have a successful debt collection experience.