Our UK & Ireland Regional Director, Yvette Gray shares her hints and tips on using debt collection agents coming out of lockdown!
Yvette Gray highlights how Atradius Collections has adapted to the lockdown meaures that have been introduced. In particular, our new personalised debtor videos that are sent to debtors to prompt payment.
By using data to segment our portfolios, we are able to identify those debtors that are able to pay and use automated technology to prompt payment. This enables us to focus our attention on the more complex cases that require added expertise.
What can you do to secure your account receivables?
1) Do your research.
Understand your customers' business. We had a case recently from a rather large gardening store who claimed they weren’t able to make payment. Our collector actually went onto their website and was able to order something as a ‘click and collect’ so clearly they were able to trade to some degree. We later managed to secure a repayment plan from them.
2) Stay close and early.
Communicating regularly and clearly is so important to keep top of your customers' mind, especially if they have a large number of accounts payable.
3) Don’t always stay with traditional methods of communicating.
For example, our Asia offices use whatsapp and we chat to engage with debtors.
4) Stay up to date with the government support provided.
Being able to discuss these measures with your customers will allow you to have humane and supportive discussions.
5) Extend your payment terms.
If you know early on that your customers are not likely to be able to pay then extending payment terms may buy them and you some time and space.
If people are still trading and can pay, it might be worth offering some sort of discount for an early payment to get the cash in quicker.
Alternatively, you could waive costs and interest to support prompt payment
Of course, there will be those than can’t pay straight away and accepting a partial payment or protracted payments is often better than writing off the entire amount.
7) Use a third-party.
You know when you have come to the end of your dunning cycle and firm escalation at the right time can secure payment and maintain your business relationship.