When it comes to managing accounts receivable, asking for money is never easy – especially in situations where a customer invoice has become well past-due. So how do you balance between the anxiety of asking for payment while maintaining a good working relationship with your customer? It’s all about communications and consistency. In this article, we’ll explain why you should use templates and standardized processes for A/R collections.
Benefits of Using Templates
Pre-written letter templates and call scripts are a vital aspect of an automated and effective collections strategy. Using templates allows you to standardize your approach so you can test and refine different variations of emails, letters, and call scripts to determine which version is most effective.
Consistent Customer Communications
Consistent communication with your customers will often be the difference between getting an invoice paid in a timely manner or having that amount go overdue ... and in some cases, become bad debt.
Whether you choose to call, send an email, or mail a formal letter, communicating with your customers at regular intervals is extremely effective when appropriately worded and sent at the right time.
One of the best ways to achieve consistency in both your approach and message is by using letter templates, email templates, and call scripts.
Removes the Emotion
When a customer invoice goes 60 or even 90 days past due, it’s not unusual to feel frustrated or even a little cheated. You’ve provided them with a great product or service and they’ve decided – for whatever reason – not to pay you in a timely fashion. But remember that your goal should be to get the invoice paid while maintaining a good customer relationship so you should always keep it professional.
Using pre-written letter templates and call scripts helps to remove any frustration or emotion that you may be feeling “in the moment.” It’s too easy to fire off an email or make a phone call out of anger that you later regret based on the tone or words used. Especially when it comes to making collection calls where the customer might say something to make you upset, referring back to your call script can help you stay calm, focused and professional.
Evidence in a Dispute
Sending an email “on the fly” when you notice an invoice is past due may seem like a quick and easy way to get the matter resolved with a customer or vendor. But what you may not realize in the moment is that anything you’ve sent in writing can be brought up in a deposition if the customer disputes the invoice and refuses to pay.
That’s why we recommend carefully crafting each and every email and letter as a template that’s reviewed, edited, and examined “under a microscope” as if it might end up in court one day. It’s too easy to make a mistake or strike a bad tone when you write emails and letters on the fly.
Preparation and Automation Are Key
With accounts receivable collections, preparation is key – and letter templates and call scripts are an important part of that preparation. In addition, automating your receivables workflows and communication intervals can solve many collections issues.
That’s where accounts receivable software like Collect-IT comes in. Since all of your customer and account data are stored in the software, one simple click can easily populate an email or letter template with specific details for a particular client and transaction, saving your company time and increasing productivity. Perhaps most important, Collect-IT helps to manage all customer communication as well as standardize the process and timing of your reminders and collection letters/calls so you can stay "Cool, Calm and Collected."
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