The current pandemic has led to more than a third of the world’s population being in lockdown to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. This has had severe repercussions on economies around the world leading to a recession which the IMF has labelled “The Great Lockdown”.
Small and medium businesses are often hit hardest in economic downturns. They have greater credit constraints, are more sensitive to weak consumer and commercial demand, and often have to prioritise securing repeat business over getting paid.
What this means for you
As SMEs move quickly to put together ‘recession proof’ strategies, a natural focus is on the finance function. After all, this is where the cash flows in and out of the company. In a volatile economy, prevention and prudence is a better strategy than looking for a cure once things have gone wrong.
You are probably operating on a carefully managed cash flow. If payment from a customer is late, it can cause a chain reaction slowing down all aspects of business. You may have had to furlough staff, and your debtors may be withholding payment as they themselves are struggling. Now more than ever it is critical to start automating as many of your financial and administrative processes as possible. This will ensure that you can stay on top of your data, debtors, and creditors, and to free up your time and mental capacity to focus on other areas.
From credit control to collections, your goal should be to speed up payments and use a debt recovery process when necessary. It is easiest to tighten up receivables and create good payment habits in advance of a recession, when customers are more likely to have excess cash.
Figuring out our role
Chaser has always been about helping small and medium sized businesses to succeed, and putting them on a level playing field in terms of getting paid for their work. Our guiding principle has been to do one thing, and do it well. We’re proud that our razor sharp focus on automating invoice chasing over the past 6 years has propelled us to become the market leader in cloud credit control. We’ve cultivated an extremely engaged and positive user base, and it’s thanks to these users that we’ve won multiple awards over the years, and received over 400 positive reviews.
Chaser’s credit control automation provides fully customisable and personalised email invoice reminders. These reminders are successful in getting over 80% of invoices paid and require little to no time investment, once the initial setup process is complete.
However, user feedback was that for the small number of customers that refuse to pay, they had no solution. Customer relationships and repeat business are simply too important to the majority of our users to consider a traditional debt collection agency, and too often they ended up writing the debt off. We knew we needed to help.
We’ve got a product we’re extremely proud of and nearly 6 years of data and insights on invoice chasing best practice. And now we’ve identified a clear natural progression for Chaser, which makes sense for us as a business and for our users. We’re excited to combine our invoice chasing app with our talented team of experts to offer a debt recovery service tailored to SMEs.
Say hello to Chaser Collections, considerate debt recovery for SMEs. It is a service offered within your Chaser account at the click of a button. All communication is carried out by the Chaser team, so you know the people you’re in contact with are the same people who are contacting your customers.
The service is being led by two Chaser veterans, Beth Oddy (Head of Collections) and Alex Chenevix Trench (Senior Collections Executive). This successful pair has worked together on several leading programmes in the last year: ChaseAcademy, our Virtual Credit Control training programme for Accountants and Bookkeepers (check out some of our great feedback here), and our Cashflow Recovery Initiative (an emergency response to Covid-19), which provided free credit control coaching to SMEs around the world.
We’re excited to finally open up debt collection to SMEs. Our focus is on empathy, and consideration. We work with your customers to reach a resolution that works for everybody. We use the data available within Chaser to know when to reach out, what is the best channel, and what type of language will elicit the best response. Perhaps most importantly, we act as a mediator between you and your customer - allowing you to maintain a positive working relationship with them while still getting paid the money you’re owed.
It’s time to stop choosing between getting paid or maintaining customer relationships. You need to arm yourself with the best tools possible to ensure you emerge from this recession successfully. Chaser Collections should be an essential part of that process, boosting your cash flow without jeopardising future business.