These are troubling times for small businesses across the globe… Will you be able to keep your business afloat until things return to “normal?” What will business look like after this crisis passes? Are there bigger implications for business on the horizon?
Everybody is wondering how this will play out… for themselves and other companies with which they do business. We are all aware that most people are affected financially by the economic shutdown at hand. When it comes to paying your bills and having your clients pay their invoices, following some time-tested methods for collections and receivables might help you feel a little better about things. Here are some tips for you.
Let Your Customers Pay with Credit Card
If you don’t already accept credit cards, now is the time to start. Nobody likes paying the fees, but truth be told, the fees are a drop in the bucket compared to what you pay when you have to start collections against someone who has been a loyal customer over time. Of course, it will cost you money, but ideally, you don’t want to trade money for goodwill.
Send Invoices as Soon As Possible
If your client is in a position of having to develop a bill payment strategy, or if they are paying bills with loan or grant money, they will appreciate knowing sooner, rather than later. Giving them visibility of an outstanding bill early in the game often helps to keep it front of mind.
How to Handle Overdue Accounts Receivable
When you sense that a customer is having a hard time making payment to you, you must proceed with care. This crisis may blow over, but a good relationship with your client may be hard to repair. Staying positive, offering encouragement, showing empathy, and listening may improve their situation.
What you don’t want to do is hide and let resentment fester. Most of us have people that owe us money and people we owe money to. By being empathetic and reasonable while attempting to collect a debt, we have a better chance of having that returned to us when it’s our turn to pay.
Four Tips for Handling Client Collection Calls
Your tone is essential, whether you’re on the giving or receiving end of a collection call. Some things to keep in mind:
- Remember to smile while speaking. Of course, the customer won’t see your face, but your tone will be lighter and friendlier, and less likely to irritate or alienate your valued customer.
- Try to be clear and concise and don’t get emotional. It’s okay to pause if you need to think about a response before giving one.
- Remember to use your client’s name during the call, but don’t overdo it. It may seem insincere or condescending if you do.
- Listen carefully and stay calm, even if your client gets upset.
As we all get through this challenging time, please feel free to call on JStevens Accounting if we can help you with any of the financial aspects of your business.