- Make sure that each employee understands the importance of the consistent collection of your accounts receivables. After all, the company depends on the timely payment of all accounts receivable to survive.
- Make sure that your employees explain your policies clearly to the customer during the purchase process, just skipping through the main sections of the contract will not suffice.
- Train your employees on various skills such as negotiation, clear communication, ethics, and persuasion. This becomes important to ensure strong collection and customer relationships.
How to Train Accounts Receivable Employees for Consistent Collections
As a small business owner, you know that cash flow is king. Without a steady stream of income, it’s tough to keep the lights on, let alone turn a profit. That’s why it’s so important to have a system in place for collections.
When customers don’t pay their invoices on time, it can put a serious strain on your business. Here’s why consistent collections are so important—and what you can do to ensure that your employees are following through.
The Consequences of Not Following Through
When customers don’t pay their invoices on time, it puts a strain on your business in several ways. First of all, it can negatively impact your credit score. This, in turn, can make it more difficult and expensive to get loans or lines of credit in the future.
Additionally, late payments can lead to interest charges and late fees, which can add up quickly. Finally, if you’re constantly chasing down customers for payments, it takes away from time that you could be spending on other aspects of your business.
The Necessary Training
To ensure that your employees are following through with collections, proper training is essential. They should know how to use your accounting software and collections process from start to finish.
Additionally, they should be familiar with your company’s policies regarding late payments and interest charges. Finally, they should know how to politely but firmly follow up with customers who are behind on their payments.
You may not feel you have the time or resources to provide your employees with extensive training on every aspect of their job. However, when it comes to collections and customer relations, there are some skills that are essential for success.
Negotiation and clear communication are key to maintaining strong relationships with customers, even when they are behind on payments.
Some good negotiation tactics for accounts receivable professionals include being polite but firm, remaining calm under pressure, and knowing when to compromise. Additionally, it’s important to be well-versed in your company’s policies so that you can effectively negotiate with customers who are delinquent on their payments.
Ethics are also important; customers should always feel that they are being treated fairly and with respect.
Some ethical practices to live by for A/R employees include:
- Not engaging in aggressive or deceptive tactics when interacting with the customer
- Using only collection tactics that are allowed by law (see FDCPA for details)
- Documenting interactions with customers honestly and intently
Finally, persuasive skills can be helpful in persuading reluctant customers to make timely payments. By investing in training for your employees on these key topics, you can ensure that your collections process is as smooth and successful as possible.
It’s also important that you encourage your employees to be professional and courteous when dealing with customers. Remember, these people are your bread and butter.
Without them, your business wouldn’t exist. So even though you need to collect payments in a timely manner, you also don’t want to alienate your customers by being too aggressive or forceful in your collections efforts.
Thank Your Employees
Finally, don’t forget to thank your employees for their hard work and dedication to your company. Collecting payments can be a thankless job—but it’s an essential one. By showing your appreciation, you’ll help motivate your team to continue doing their best work.
Do you still feel like your A/R game needs a boost but aren’t sure where or how to get it? Look no further than Southwest Recovery Services.
Our long history of successful debt collection practices can get your employees well-versed so they are more effective when communicating with customers and collecting past-due payments. Contact us today to harness the power of our expertise and consulting services.