Working in credit management means experiencing a diverse range of personalities. You never know what to expect. However, you are guaranteed to deal with at least one of the following personality types:
This customer knows that there’s an invoice, but disregards it due to their ‘busy’ schedule. They’re busier than anyone else. They’re the definition of busy. Follow these customers up at least three times, because you won’t see a cent prior. After that third follow-up, they’ll pay. It’s then up to you if you want to deal with them again.
This customer is the better- looking cousin of the ‘ I will pay you only after you have followed me up three times’ customer. Whether the customer genuinely forgot to pay, or whether they were trying to see how long they could go without a follow-up, you are guaranteed that it will only take one call to receive the outstanding amount. Be firm, and expect payment within a few business days.
One word: stalling. This customer responds to a follow-up with what appears to be a dispute about price. However, they receive the second copy invoice and agree to pay. These are the same type of customers who only pay a speeding fine once they receive the ‘final warning’ letter. Allocate time to these customers. They don’t pay straight away, but they do pay eventually. So from a business point of view, it’s worth the effort.
It’s like the feeling you get when you realize you’ve just had a sip of off-milk; you know this type of customer straight away. This customer had every intention of making payment but just couldn’t get there. They over-promise and then avoid. It’s best to communicate as openly, and often, as possible. This builds a trusting relationship where customers do not feel embarrassed if they aren’t rolling in dollars just yet.
The ideal customer. They pay on time and appreciate your hard work. They deserve recognition and deserve all the thanks in the world for being so easy to work with. Here’s to more perfect customers and fewer follow-up calls.
If you’re after more perfect customers and fewer follow- up calls, IODM can help.
Visit www.iodm.com.au for more information.