Protecting Against Bad Debt
As countries across the developed world impose measures to stem the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, Collections teams will again be bracing themselves against the issues and challenges of making reminder calls when their contacts are working from home.
Placing calls and making those all-important Right Person Contacted calls can be a vital part of managing high-value accounts, but it is not the only way to reach late payers or resolve queries, disputes and claims.
The Key Issue
The main challenge then is keeping contact details up to date for remote workers, many of whom are reluctant to share personal numbers. Some of our clients came through the COVID experience and followed a fully remote model.
Here are some lessons we have learned about getting through to customers to make Collections calls.
Campaign for Contact Details
It is worth sending regular emails to your account contacts to check that the details you hold are up to date. In addition, where phone numbers are not available, try out short Teams or Zoom calls, inviting all your contacts from the customer account.
This helps raise the accountability levels and gain buy-in from their colleagues to maintain contact during remote working.
Regular Risk Reviews
Supplies shortages, transportation problems and inflation numbers are among the most severe impact of the pandemic for Collections teams. The destabilising effect has caused a record level of mergers and acquisitions this year and fewer than predicted insolvencies.
KPMG predicts that the trend will continue strongly in 2022, with high levels of M&A and external investment being sought to keep companies afloat. Keeping in touch with customers and building rapport over time helps you spot potential risks early before withholding payment becomes a more serious issue.
Whatever credit risk model your company has in place, increasing the emphasis on this could help you identify supply chain or cashflow issues that can affect your own receivables turnover.
The final tip we had from clients concerned close integration of their ERP and SKU systems and our Invoice to Cash automation platform.
With fewer people around to troubleshoot, the integration of systems takes a huge burden from your IT teams and your Credit Teams. The data flows smoothly, without error, and using closed-loop feedback tools within Corrivo, our clients’ collectors could spot problems at an account level early and intervene before the late delivery of invoices became the root cause issue behind late payment.