Last year brought major changes in doing business that will be felt across the world for a long time.
Credit control is no exception. And now it’s changed, there’ll be no going back.
In this post we’ll examine exactly how credit control has been permanently altered by 2020, and what you can do to adapt your business to the “next normal”.
Coming back to the centre
Almost every business and workplace has undergone changes as a result of the pandemic, some temporary, some permanent.
Most of us have come to terms with staff working from home for instance. And it’s become increasingly important to find effective channels of communication between teams. This ensures that everybody is on the same page, even if they’re not in the same place.
Accounts receivable can be an especially time- and tone-sensitive operation. If you can’t manage all messaging that goes out from one central place, things are going to go awry.
Tracking comms and chases with cloud accounting
Since remote working is likely here to stay (pandemic or not) it’s going to be necessary to manage teams distributed across different locations.
When it comes to credit control, you can’t do without a centralised system to track communications and chases consistently across the business.
Luckily, Chaser have developed a perfect cloud-based system for tracking chases. Our software allows you to see all emails and replies sent to a customer in one central digital place. This means no more duplicated emails, no missed chases, and a lot of saved time.
No matter where your team is situated, they’ll all be able to see the same comms and clearly identify what action is (or isn’t) required.
Toggling levels of tolerance
Some businesses have suffered the double blow of Covid-19 and Brexit that may have proved fatal. Others are fighting, but on their knees. This is the legacy of 2020 that we carry with us into the new year.
When businesses are struggling, everyone suffers. If they’re your customers and owe you money, it’s in all parties’ interests to find ways to make those payments viable.
Every business has different needs and pain points – something which has been made abundantly clear from the year of Covid-19. As a result, you need to tailor your payment collection methods to each customer and treat them as individual entities.
The old ways of chasing collections might not be up to this task. Using credit control software to tailor chases depending on a customer’s needs and sensitivities is now an absolute necessity.
You can’t effectively manage dozens of customers with different accounts receivable requirements by yourself. Chaser allows you to set tolerances for individual debtors, and to automate the style and frequency of your chasing.
In a world changing as quick as it is in 2021, powerful software allows you to do other human tasks you’re best at.
Offer payment plans
Chasing collections through cloud software is only part of the solution. If a business has no choice but to take more time to pay, it’s worth setting up a payment plan for them to make good on their debts.
After 2020 we should all get used to asking when and how customers can pay rather than blindly demanding immediate settlement. A little leniency can go a long way.
Debtors who follow a prescribed plan are more likely to survive and clear their payments than those who are over-pressured and go under.
Offer payment plans for customers with cashflow issues, but make sure to chase the agreed plan due dates strictly.
Make it easier to pay
There aren’t really any people working today that don’t know how to access straightforward online payment portals.
A payment portal makes the process from chasing to delivery of funds much shorter and simpler. This leaves fewer excuses about payment runs, invoice processing or admin issues.
Make things as easy as possible, so when your customer has the funds, there are no further barriers to settling their account.
Very few people are sad to see the back of 2020. We’re all hoping 2021 will be safer and more prosperous for everyone.
One way to ensure this is with mutual understanding. If we all give our partners and suppliers the benefit of the doubt and a little lenience when necessary, we may all make it out of the current crisis together.
What’s clear is that things won’t ever go back to how they were before. The world is fully digital, and your credit control methods must be cloud and software based if you’re to ride the bumps in the road ahead.