Successful Credit Control: The Ten Commandments
As experienced debt collection agents, Cobra Financial Solutions aim to provide a series of easy to remember rules, within a common sense process that will enable you to successfully manage your credit control and ultimately improve cash-flow.
Treat Every Customer as a potential Debtor
Like you, we like to think the best about people and none of us want to turn potential business away. All we are advising is, be aware of who you are dealing with, people and businesses are not always what they first seem. We often hear the words ”He was really nice, we had a great professional relationship but then when we sought final payment he was like a different person”.. (more often that not to be brutally honest with you!)
But we will just say that it’s not always obvious either- big names are often enticing as we strive to grow. Who would have predicted the fall of household names like Woolworths and BHS??
Get an Account Opening Form
The more information you have, the more you can react with if needed. A great piece of advice is to take time to ensure you have captured the individual and business names, addresses, contact and account numbers etc. That way if you find yourself in a payment dispute situation at least you will have the information needed to move forward. What’s more, it’ll help the debt collector as well as we will have all of the information we need to be able to get the ball rolling on the debt collection front.
Do your due Diligence
Not just on your new customers but it’s always advisable to check your existing customers too on a regular basis (at least,quarterly)
Check the purchase order
Always check any purchase order, to make sure they match the company you have an account for. Make sure the dates, volumes, costs etc are accurate to avoid misunderstandings and a reason to delay payment.
Send an order acknowledgement
After receiving an order, send your own acknowledgement confirming the particulars of the sale. Again this allows clarification for all parties and avoids an reason for delayed payment. It’s far better to be proactive and on the ball when it comes to orders, saving any confusion or delays in the long run.
Invoice promptly and correctly
Invoices must be sent on time with :
- Today’s date,
- Due date,
- Invoice details,
- Bank account/payment methods listed.
Send a pre due email
Send a gentle reminder email a few days before the invoice is due, to identify any issues. This way a polite nudge in the right direction should prompt the business to organise payment as soon as possible. Of course, if issues exist you still have time to address them ahead of the payment date!
The customer may ring to discuss, don’t be put off by the debtor..at the end of the day it’s your money so make sure you ask for it! And remember, be bright and positive- no one wants to talk to a grump!
Have a letter of claim
In order to chase an overdue account further, you must have sent a letter of claim that adheres to Court Pre-Action Protocol.
Your letter of claim must include :
- Reference to contract
- Breakdown of the account
- Details of claim
- Date for payment
Have an exit strategy
As with everything in life, it’s really important to have a clear plan as to what to do next…
What’s your plans on recovering your monies and who is going to do it?
Established since 2009 and operating across the whole of the United Kingdom, Cobra Financial Solutions have a wealth of experience in the B2B debt collection industry. Get in touch to find out more and see how our team of professional debt collection agents can help you get back what is rightfully yours.