7 Tips for Dealing with Delinquent Customers

November 11, 2019
Even if you do an excellent job pre-screening your customers, there will inevitably be incidents where some will fall behind with their payments. Dealing with delinquent customers is critical to the financial health of your business, and you should always be prepared to act quickly to ensure prompt payment. It’s also important to remember that even your best customers can have temporary cash flow issues, so there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Here are some of our best tips for dealing with delinquent customers at your business.

7 Tips for Dealing with Delinquent Customers

  1. Have well-established collection procedures and a policy all customers are made aware of at the beginning of your business relationship. When your customers experience issues and cannot pay on time, it is vital that you have a policy in place to substantiate your requests.
  2. Offer a wide variety of payment options to encourage prompt payment. Instead of only offering payment by check, consider expanding to include PayPal, bank transfer, credit card payment or cash. The more flexible you make yourself, the easier it will be for a customer to pay immediately.
  3. Payment plans are another great way to work with customers who might be experiencing financial hardship. They can also be a win-win for your business, as you get to keep a loyal customer and the customer is able to pay off what they owe without conflict. In general, you should offer payment plans on a case-by-case basis. After all, a long-standing client who has always paid on time historically should probably be extended more understanding than a brand-new customer who cannot pay in a prompt fashion.
  4. Send automatic reminders to customers. Using an automated system can make pinging clients easy when they have not paid or responded to your request for payment in a certain amount of time.
  5. Resolve any invoice disputes in a timely fashion. Dealing with delinquent customers can often mean dealing with people who believe they were mailed the wrong invoice. By clearing issues up and having a system in place to verify invoice accuracy, you can resolve issues before accounts become delinquent.
  6. Be friendly, but firm. When dealing with delinquent customers, you and your staff should be mindful to still provide excellent customer service and treat them with the same courtesy and respect you would another customer with no outstanding balance. It is not always easy to find and retain customers, so you shouldn’t isolate them early in the collections process by being aggressive or unwilling to work with them. However, while you can be sympathetic to their plight, remember that you also have a business to run.
  7. Always get your payment collection efforts in writing. Use letters and emails, in addition to phone calls to touch base and remind the customer of their delinquent account status. If you have proof that you were mailing invoices and reminders, it is much more difficult for them to claim they did not know that they owed you or that a payment was due.

Partner with Alacrity Collections for Dealing with Delinquent Customers

Alacrity Collections is proud to be a leader in debt collections. We achieve great results that are over twice the national average and treat all of our customers with dignity and respect. We work tirelessly to protect your brand and improve your net returns. To learn more about our services and get in touch, please call us at 1-800-752-9663 or set up a phone appointment directly on our representative’s calendar via this link: www.calendly.com/hheemann.   Remember to “like” our Facebook page to receive more informational posts about how to improve your cash flow.

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