Chasing overdue payments is a part of every business’s credit control process, in one form or another.
It’s often the one aspect of the credit-control process that most people feel uncomfortable with, especially when dealing with difficult customers or when you feel placed in the middle of some quite awkward situations.
In these situations (as well as some others, which we will delve into throughout this post), using a professional debt recovery agency could be the best and the most viable solution for you and your business.
So, when is the right time to make the call?
…you don’t have the resources in-house to chase overdue payments continually.
This point lends itself to the majority of SMEs who have fewer employees and no one in particular who is 100% dedicated to chasing late payments.
It might also be the case that internal teams also don’t have the experience or the right skill set to carry out this aspect of the role, and therefore quite often, you see an unsuccessful result.
Instructing a professional debt recovery agency to help with outstanding invoices can be a huge benefit. Using their knowledge and experience, they can get to work quickly and effectively while also giving you and your teams back much valuable time, time that can be utilised much more effectively in other business areas.
…in-house attempts at collection have failed.
If you or your credit control team have followed your internal processes and you’ve continually chased the unpaid invoice to no avail, then now could be the right time to make use of the range of debt collection services available to commercial businesses.
With years of experience in dealing with “won’t pay” customers, our teams at Direct Route use our knowledge, experience, and skill to achieve a successful result for you. We also find that introducing a debt collection agency into the collection process is enough to make creditors pay, showing them how seriously you take your credit control procedures.
…internal resources are too stretched already.
Maybe your teams are dealing with a whole host of invoices and credit control practices, and chasing outstanding invoices is something that unfortunately gets put to the back of the list, so other areas don’t fall behind or become neglected?
If teams are already feeling slightly stretched in their capacity, adding on the strain of chasing overdue invoices and all of the elements that come with this (adding on additional charges, interest, etc.) can lower morale and negatively affect productivity.
External agents are on hand to help take this element away. They know and understand late payment charges and abide by the most recent government legislation, acting as an external arm to your internal teams.
…the outstanding debt is substantially overdue.
Unfortunately, the longer an invoice goes unpaid, then the harder it does become to collect.
This is where, rather than taking up your valuable time and resources, it is advisable to speak to a commercial debt collection agency asap.
…the customer is uncontactable.
Collecting on commercial debt can seem almost impossible if the customer appears to have disappeared and is now uncontactable in all forms. However, all is not lost. Professional commercial collectors have the tools and the resources in place to trace even the hardest-to-find customers.
….the customer is disputing the invoice.
This can sometimes be used as a delay tactic for the customer to avoid payment. Working as a mediator, your debt collection agency will work hard to understand the reasons behind the delayed payment and assess the validity of the claim in full. The aim is to work with you and your customers to find the best solution that works for both parties while maintaining good working relationships.
…the customer is proving to be difficult.
If you find that you’re spending too much time with a particular customer, make sure to hand over the details to a debt collector who, trust us, has heard every excuse in the book!
… you’re dealing with repeat offenders.
If you have customers who repeatedly delay paying your invoice time and time again, now is the time to act. Using a debt collection agent can often be the nudge they need to settle their invoice and pay what they owe.
Debt collection agencies also have experience taking unpaid invoices and late payments further by working with the court to seek justifiable action.
To find out more about what debt collectors can and can’t do, make sure to check out our latest post HERE.
Ultimately, using a debt collection agency for late payments of commercial debt can help take the stress and strain that overdue invoices can place on your business.
Supporting your internal teams and overall credit control processes, we look to maintain your business relationships while helping you to keep your cash flow flowing.
With Direct Route, every debt is individually assessed, and the sooner overdue payments are passed over, the higher the chance of a successful collection.