HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR FLORIDA DEBT COLLECTION PROCEDURES
1- Never assume that your client’s know or understand your credit policy. This is the first and foremost aspect to facilitate timely payment
2- Credit Files – know who your customer is. Credit should never be extended to a new customer without first ascertaining a company’s credit reliability. Once established it is critical to maintain accurate and current records, for credit information is not static. It is forever changing due to market conditions, a company’s financial health, opportunities, etc. With this and maintaining proper reviews of a client’s payment pattern you can follow up immediately on untimely payments.
3- As the current economy dictates, such as the last “great recession” change your credit policies accordingly. You cannot necessarily guard against every potential event but you can minimize your exposure to bad debts. Tighten up your credit and collections policies as the current economic conditions dictate.
4- Maintain current collection techniques and procedures. Discourage extended payment terms. While partial payments help reduce that outstanding balance owed and does demonstrate good faith, you should continue full pursuit of the total outstanding balance owed. Follow up immediately with some form of acknowledgment of the payment and try to accelerate payment of the outstanding balance.
5- One of the most critical aspects of collections is to shorten the time period after an account becomes delinquent. Statistically, the longer you wait the less chance of recovery. Communicate to your industry that you mean business and demand timely and prompt payment.
6- Always maintain open communication with the proper individual. Many times it is imperative to escalate your contact to the Supervisor, CFO, or CEO. If necessary discuss payment schedules that are sustainable and economically feasible for you.
7- Be willing to settle disputed accounts, especially if due to a dispute as to the quality of the merchandise or service rendered. Always insist that the undisputed portion, if there is one, be paid immediately and show a willingness to discuss a settlement for the remaining balance.
8- When all else fails, turn the matter over to a collection agency. Most of the time when you do so, you will lose the client as a customer, even if you wish to maintain them as such down the road. Keep in mind that you should use a licensed, bonded, certified collection agency. And if you wish to potentially maintain a business relationship with your client turned debtor, there are agencies out there that specialize in such.