I recently uploaded a well-received video and blog post that gave my top 5 tips to becoming an outstanding bookkeeper, I thought best to also share my top 5 tips to becoming an outstanding credit controller....
Tip #1 - Keep Records of all Customer and Client Interactions
Keeping accurate and well maintained credit control records is my number one tip for becoming an outstanding credit controller.
Having a detailed credit control log is the best place to start. It should include updates and changes of customer contact details, the outcomes of telephone conversations, copies of email correspondence, and details of other forms of contact (such as posting or emailing a statement).
Having a credit control log has so many benefits. Keeping such records will help you chase debts much more efficiently and effectively, help you build better client relations, give a more professional image, and can be crucial to ensuring success with legal proceedings.
From the following, which do you feel is the more effective way of chasing debt on the sales ledger?
#1 'Hello. I am phoning from Company A and spoke to a lady last week. She said that a cheque would be sent. Has it been sent?'
#2 'Hi Claire. How are you?... I spoke to Sandra last Thursday morning and she said that a cheque is on it's way. We don't seem to have received it though, do you know if it has been sent? Would you like me to email you a copy of the invoice?'
Hopefully you feel the second example is a better approach to chasing the debt.
The second example is only possible if accurate and detailed records have been kept of previous communications - keeping records can really make a difference!
Tip #2 - Build Strong Client Relations
Customers are always customers, even if they are behind with their payments.
Ensure that you are always friendly and never threatening. Having a strong rapport with customers can help payments to be made faster and can help build and create business. Offending or annoying customers can lead to a loss of business and make it harder to chase debts in future.
Make notes of customer requests and always be polite in communication, remember that some customers will be genuinely busy and are not avoiding you on purpose!
Tip #3 - Have Clear Credit Control Procedures
Being effective in any venture usually requires some sort of plan.
Credit Control procedures provide clear instruction on how and when to contact customers. They also help debts not to be left too long and ensure that every effort is put in to chase the debt before any legal action is taken.
Credit Control procedures should include when to send statements, when to phone customers, when to send reminder letters, etc, etc. They should also detail which forms potential credit customers must complete, as well as credit checks.
Tip #4 - Use all Forms of Communication
All clients respond differently to different forms of communication.
Some customers prefer and respond better to direct phone calls, other customers prefer emails, and some will pay when they receive a reminder or statement by post. Ensure that you keep record of the best and preferred contact for each client and that you use that form of communication when chasing them.
Tip #5 - Set Periodic Goals
It is important that your goals are not unrealistic and that they don't overstretch you, otherwise you may come across desperate, offensive or threatening to those you are chasing for debt payment.
I suggest setting achievable goals and having a longer term plan. My video for this post gives more details about goal setting and it can be found below...
If you have found this post useful, you may be interested in my Free Credit Control Course