Debt collection is a challenging profession to work in. Your agents speak to people every day who would probably rather not hear from them. They are seen as an aggressor or a “bad guy”, despite their training in managing exchanges politely and professionally. It can be very frustrating - and that’s just a typical day at the office!
To make work easier and less stressful for your agents, your job as a manager is to provide them with the tools they need to make accounts receivable management less complicated. The right software and other technology can make it less of a hassle to manage multiple accounts each day and goes hand-in-hand with the proper training your agents need to thrive in their positions.
Here is your guide to better accounts receivable management in the new year and beyond:
Maximize Payment Options for Your Consumers and Clients
How many ways can your customers pay toward their debts? Most businesses offer several. Your center would be well-served to offer as many as you can reasonably manage. These days, businesses have gone from accepting only cash, check, and charge to allowing consumers to pay with digital means like PayPal, applications like Cash App and Zelle, and more. If you want to collect on the debts of modern consumers, you have to give them plenty of modern and convenient ways to repay them!
Keep Track of Account Ages for Better Accounts Receivable Management
Studies have shown that older accounts are less likely to be repaid. They are also typically subject to compounded interest and fees, which further lessens the likelihood that they will be paid off.
To ensure more accounts are repaid and successfully closed, it pays to keep careful track of the age of your accounts. This is part of successful accounts receivable management. Look for or create a system that makes it easy to track all relevant information about outstanding and current accounts alike, so debts can be addressed in order of urgency and more accounts can be closed successfully.
Train Toward Proactive Behavior in Your Call Center Agents
Your contact center agents have to have a special skill set to be successful in the field of accounts receivable. Debt collection requires patience, compassion, and firmness in equal turns. If your agents need help working toward those traits, train them with an eye toward each of them. In particular, work toward proactive behavior in your agents - making the moves that are necessary to collect on and close accounts without needing specific guidance or instruction along the way. This will not only boost their confidence and make them better at their jobs, but it will improve your company’s overall success rate!
Offer Incentives for Accounts Paid on Time
Paying debts down on time is good for your consumer’s credit and for their overall financial situation, but it isn’t always their top priority. Whether they are struggling with cash flow or they are having difficulty remembering due dates, missed or late payments can start a dangerous spiral for consumers.
This is why so many successful collections agencies and businesses specializing in accounts receivable management use incentives to encourage consumers to pay earlier. Many offer discounts off the total amount due if payments are received early, further encouraging timely payment.
In the same fashion, many companies use small fee penalties as a way to dissuade consumers from falling behind on payments. If you are not already using this strategy but are struggling with collecting on numerous past-due accounts, consider introducing fees for late payments or suspending account benefits until minimum balances are paid down.
Be Quick in Collecting on Past-Due Accounts
It’s no secret that the longer you allow consumers to sit on unpaid debt, the less likely they are to ever repay it. This happens for a variety of reasons. Sometimes consumers simply forget, while in many other cases they begin avoiding their responsibility to repay debt because it gets too large or unmanageable after compounding for so long. Others may be ashamed of falling behind on repayment and avoid repaying altogether as a result.
It is important for your agents to be aggressive in their pace when it comes to pursuing account repayment. When you have past-due balances to collect on, work aggressively toward getting the accounts back into balance. The sooner they are repaid - or at least brought back into an active state - the more likely your company will be able to close them permanently.
Make Payment Plans an Option to Increase Collections
In today’s world, financial struggles are common. If you find that numerous clients are facing financial difficulties that prevent them from paying promptly, it may benefit your business to offer payment plans.
When a payment plan is offered, it makes repaying debts more manageable for clients - and therefore, more likely that the account will successfully be closed. It may seem counterproductive at first glance, but offering easier ways to pay and accepting smaller amounts than the total balance due can actually increase the instance of repayment and increase your success as a collections agency.
Have the Right Technology for the Job
Implementing all of these best practices won’t do much for your team or your business without the right tools for the task. That’s why integrating contact center technology specifically designed for accounts receivable management into your daily operations is a necessity.
One such tool is software that enables digital or otherwise instantaneous payment. These days waiting for a paper check to be written, arrive, and clear isn’t a realistic scenario for most businesses. Most consumers also prefer to pay electronically. Giving them that option - using specialized collections software - will not only make paying debts more convenient for them, but it will also boost your cash flow instantly.
When you’re ready to upgrade your center’s approach to accounts receivable management, talk to the industry leaders at ChaseData. We have the software solutions your team needs to make every workday easier and every accounts simpler to collect on and close. Give us a call today to learn more!