3 tips to improve your B2B debt collection performance
B2B debt collection can be challenging for even the most experienced of credit professionals, but there are plenty of things you can do to improve the results you’re getting.
It’s important to remember there is no one-size-fits-all when It comes to debt collection, whether business-to-business or business-to-consumer. Just as each company has their own unique processes when making a sale, they will need to find what works for them and their customers when it comes to debt collection and credit control.
However, the following three tips are essential for any credit control team to follow, which are proven to improve your B2B debt collection performance.
Be clear and consistent
When you’re trying to recover a debt, it’s important to be clear and consistent. It may be that you have multiple points of contact in your customer’s organisation, so it will help to give each person the same information.
Before you make a call, remind yourself what your standard processes are, and take a moment to think about the different outcomes that will be acceptable for you. This will help you steer the conversation towards what you want and prevent you from being side tracked or dismissed.
This clarity with the customer will reduce misunderstandings and will hopefully lead to a quicker, cleaner resolution.
It also shows that you are in control of the situation if you show you have a clear process and follow up on things you say you will do, from calling back at a particular time to the steps you take in the event the invoice becomes overdue. This demonstrates that you follow through on your word, and will help to show your customer that they cannot ignore the issue.
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Keep a record
If possible, keep a record of all interactions you have with a customer, including interactions where certain terms were agreed, when the invoices were sent and where you have issued reminders for payment.
Having this evidence to hand will make it much easier to build a picture of what your relationship with the client is like and will mean you can quickly refute any disputes and answer any of the customer’s additional questions.
In the event that you do have to turn to a B2B debt collection agency, having this information will help things to proceed more quickly and increase your chances of recovering the full amount you are owed.
No matter what sort of client you are dealing with, it’s always best to stay professional. This includes the way you speak to them on the phone, any written contact and your approach to the situation.
Although it can be frustrating when a customer has what seems to be an endless list of excuses for not paying an invoice, keeping the conversation professional can help you reach a more desirable outcome.
When communication does break down on both sides it can become impossible to move forward with a resolution at all, so it’s important to try and keep calm and stay in control of the situation.
Understanding what is within your power in terms of further steps you can take can help this. For example, reaching out to a specialist B2B debt collection agency can be good options when your internal debt collection attempts aren’t working.
Although you should avoid using these as threats, explaining that these measures are part of your process in a polite, professional way can be the nudge your customers need to make a payment – just make sure you follow through if it doesn’t!
Are you struggling with a customer that hasn’t responded to your debt collection efforts? As a specialist and award winning B2B debt collection agency with more than 24 years’ experience, we can help.