The end of the year is a festive and fun time. From gathering around the table to eating turkey at Thanksgiving to baking cookies and exchanging gifts with family and friends, the warmth and spirit of the season are everywhere. However, the festivities and merriment can make collecting during the holiday season difficult. Since most businesses are trying to end the year on a high note at the same time the customers they are trying to collect from are worried about buying gifts, collecting during the holiday season takes a unique attitude and skillset.
Be Proactive About Holiday Season Collections
There is a good chance your business and those of your clients are down staff members as people take vacation, leave the office early to go shopping, spend time with family or catch a seasonal illness. That means that being proactive is more important than ever. If you normally wait until the day a payment is due to contact a customer about payment, you should change your policy to account for missing staff and competing priorities. Consider having an “end of year” collections policy for your staff to follow that is more aggressive than the rest of the year.
Staying on top of customers who are well-meaning but short-staffed and stressed out is essential to your success. Besides, your own office may be short-staffed during the holiday season as well.
Did you know that you can ask a customer to pay an overdue balance while still being festive and thoughtful? If you are already mailing holiday cards to customers, they will also serve as a reminder of a balance that is due. If you are sending a gift, consider delivering it in person and arranging to pick up a check at the same time. Be creative while collecting during the holiday season, and don’t be afraid to ask customers about money while also extending holiday greetings.
Take Action Quickly
When visiting customers and discussing end of year finances, pay close attention to what is going on. Is the customer having trouble making ends meet? Does it look like the business is headed for trouble in 2019? Now is the time to ask customers about their current financial picture and forecast for 2019. If you do find out that a customer isn’t faring well, you also should not wait until next year to attempt collections. Take immediate action instead. Waiting until after the holiday season ends won’t make it any easier to get what is owed to you. When collecting during the holiday season, remember that you are making a business decision and not a personal decision. For some customers, the only thing that will change on January 1, 2019, is an even lower bank account balance.
Ask for Help Collecting During the Holiday Season
If you are struggling with short staff hours and a long list of collections this holiday season, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Alacrity Collections is proud to be a leader in collections throughout the year, not just during the holiday season. 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 offerings and get in touch, find us on Facebook or 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.