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Why credit controllers should be vigilant


Being vigilant is a key part of being a successful credit controller, but why is it so important to the role?

With late payment putting constant pressure on cash flow, keeping a watchful eye for possible danger or difficulties has never been more important.

Failing to pay attention to your customers and their payment habits could result in your business being paid late and its cash flow being stretched.

Therefore, it’s important that all credit controllers are able to be vigilant and spot the warning signs with plenty of time to address them.

Here are 3 ways that vigilance can help your credit control process and protect your business from late payment.

Knowledge is power

Vigilant credit controllers get to know customers ahead of offering them credit.

Using techniques such as credit reports, account opening forms and online resources such as the CCJ register and payment reports can provide valuable insight into how likely a customer is to pay.

This information can then be used to decide how to proceed with each customer.

If this research reveals that a customer may have difficulty making payment you could adjust credit levels, request full or partial payment upfront or even decline their custom completely.

This forward planning can reduce the risks of late payment to your cash flow.

How well do you know your customers?

Observance is key

Not only is this information important at the start of a business relationship, it continues to be important as long as you are trading together.

Just because a company once paid well doesn’t mean they always will.

In today’s turbulent economy any business can go from being financially secure to struggling in just a short space of time.

So, it’s vital that you continue to monitor your customers’ behaviour and their creditworthiness.

Failing to do so could mean that you miss the warning signs and end up with bad debt.

Here are 21 warning signs that your customer may be struggling financially.

Excuses, excuses

Unfortunately, when it comes to late payment, some customers lie.

Whilst some late payment excuses may be genuine, many will simply be stalling tactics to avoid making payment.

Being vigilant allows you to easily see through the excuses and determine whether or not they are telling the truth.

The more you know about your customer and their payment habits the easier it will be to spot sudden changes.

Discover how to deal with common late payment excuses

Do you think vigilance is a key part of being a credit controller? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


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