The COVID-19 pandemic has had a considerable impact on the economy. The country’s unemployment rate is at a 50-year high, big companies have taken billions in losses, and small businesses have been forced to close their doors. In these unprecedented times, it’s a challenge to manage your receivables.
You want to get paid in a timely fashion in order to keep your doors open, but your debtors are also having a hard time. As a debt collection agency with over twenty years of substantial experience across a broad range of industries, we have seen it all. Drawing on that experience, we have composed a list of tips to help you get paid during these extraordinary times:
#1 Stay Professional
You’re under pressure. You need to be paid sooner rather than later, or your business could suffer. In this situation, it’s easy to lose your cool when dealing with unpaid invoices. However, this would be counterproductive.
At Summit A*R, we have twice the national recovery rate because we treat every account with dignity and respect. From our experience, we know that debtors respond better when treated with humanity rather than aggression.
Remember, the entity that owes you money could also be struggling. They may be waiting for a debtor to pay them before they pay their creditors. Give them every reason to pay you first. Get your point across but always stay calm and professional when dealing with debtors. Don’t let this crisis ruin your long-term business relationships.
#2 Focus on Good Invoicing Practices
In these stressful conditions, it’s easy to forget good invoicing practices. The right invoicing methods can significantly improve your accounts receivable turnover ratio, even in a pandemic.
- Keep the invoice clear and concise.
- Include the due date.
- Add an appreciation note to stay polite and friendly.
- Always send the invoice on time. Use top-of-the-line accounting software for automatic invoicing if needed.
- Invoice electronically and use the read receipt option.
- Always follow up with polite reminders on email.
- If your client hasn’t responded to your email, then call them.
- Don’t make invoicing mistakes, or you’ll face further delays.
- Make sure the invoice is going to the right department — Noah in accounting is more likely to get you paid than Sally at marketing.
- Incentivize timely payments with early payment bonuses and late payment fees.
- Offer online payment options for faster payment.
- Send a thank-you note after the payment has been received.
#3 Offer A Payment Schedule
If your customer tells you that they can’t pay you because of the economic crisis, then don’t end the conversation without asking them when they’ll pay. If they don’t have a date, then offer to divide the payment into manageable installments. Your customer may be able to clear their dues in several months. Perhaps they’re waiting for a bridge loan, financial assistance from a government program, or payment from a customer.
#4 Be Flexible
Under challenging circumstances, try to be flexible if you can afford to. Offer to extend payment terms or give your customer a discount. Slash the late payment fees and offer some extra products and services to help them weather the storm if you can.
#5 Be Honest
At Summit A*R, we say that we were born for this business. However, we realize that money is not an easy subject for everyone. If your business is hanging by a thread because of late payments, then be honest with your clients. Tell them that you’re in danger of closing unless you get paid soon. Many clients will appreciate your transparency and find a way to pay you sooner rather than later.
#6 Protect Your Interests
If you’ve exhausted every avenue and still haven’t been paid, then it’s time to adopt stricter measures. Remember, it takes two hands to clap. If your debtor refuses to come to a mutually beneficial payment arrangement, then stop supplying them immediately. It’s unlikely that they’ll pay you for future products and services when they haven’t even discussed clearing their past dues.
Partner with a debt collection agency uniquely suited to recovering monies during this pandemic to make sure you get paid what you’re owed soon.
At Summit A*R, we have a “P.H.D. Philosophy” (Preserve Human Dignity). This means that we take a stern but friendly approach to debt collection. We treat people right and follow all the rules. Not only does this preserve your standing in the business community, but it’s good for your karma.
But don’t be fooled by our friendly style. We also achieve results. Our recovery rate is twice the national average. With our services, you recover your revenue without putting your reputation at risk.
Usually, our team of quality career collection professionals use their training and many years of experience to convince debtors to pay their debts. For more difficult-to-collect accounts, we have tools such as credit bureau reporting, comprehensive skip tracing, and full-service litigation. The latter is only used as a last resort, of course. We’re also experts in state laws and can collect debt from any part of the country.
We’re also familiar with many industries. It’s likely that we have an expert who understands the exact needs of your business. We offer services such as commercial collections, consumer collections, employee reimbursement, medical collections, dental collections, pre-collection services, commercial tenant collections, residential and apartment collections, and wireless chargeback collections. We also offer excellent veterinary debt collection services because we like to take care of the people who take care of our pets.
We’re proud to say that we’re transparent with our clients. Our rates are reasonable and clear, with no hidden fees. We don’t take any payment upfront and only collect our fees after we’ve successfully cleared your account because we don’t want to add to your list of bills during the pandemic.
So, call us to learn more about the collection process at Summit A*R. Our friendly, licensed, and trained staff are waiting to get started on your account. You’ll be immediately assigned a case manager to answer any questions. You can also visit our advanced client portal to follow your case in real-time. Here, you can easily track our collection efforts. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today and learn firsthand why businesses entrust their debt collection needs to us.