The business of debt collection is never pleasant, but it is necessary. It’s just part of the business world. If companies aren’t receiving payments for their invoices, they need to take the appropriate steps to ensure they’re getting the money they’re owed, which means working with a commercial collection agency.
From the perspective of a collection agency, it is important to keep a good balance between exercising legal authority and not going too far in collections methods. Here’s a quick overview of debt recovery strategies in Lexington, KY and some tips for you to consider:
- Research: Before taking collections action, it is important to develop a detailed profile of the delinquent customer. Get all the paperwork you can, including invoices, contracts and anything else that can help you speak knowledgeably about the situation they’re in. You should never go blind into communication with a customer.
- Document: Take notes about everything you discuss with the delinquent customer, particularly any comments they make about the situation. These comments can be useful in the event of a dispute over debts in the future. Place your notes into tracking software or any other systems you use while they’re still fresh in your mind, and add other details as they come up over the course of the case to keep the file updated.
- Be professional: Always do your best to be pleasant and professional when speaking to the delinquent customer. Something as simple as the tone of voice you use can make a big difference in the success of the conversation and whether or not the customer will comply. You can ask if they require additional information or need any help—try to develop an understanding of their side of the story so you know how to speak to them, but still do your best to stay detached from the situation, keeping in mind that your job is ultimately to get the debt paid in full.
- Avoid confrontation or harassment: If the delinquent customer blames another person or entity for the nonpayment, contact that other person and make sure this is accurate information. If the delinquent customer attempts to escalate the situation with anger or abusive language, remain calm and suggest calling back later. Even when they are angry, do your best to carefully listen to what the customer says and try to make the dialogue as constructive as possible.
- Provide options: It’s important to leave the customer with some options for how they will pay off the money they owe. It may be possible to develop a payment plan that allows them to pay off the debt over time rather than in a lump sum. Keep in mind, though, that the goal is to get the customer to pay off the entire balance of the debt as soon as possible. If you do come up with a payment plan, make sure you’re clear about the terms, then document the agreement in writing so you can easily share it with that customer.
- Enlist an attorney: Ultimately, nothing is going to be more effective at getting your debt collection situation handled quickly and favorably than bringing in an attorney. A lawyer specializing in debt collection cases will be able to pursue payment within the letter of the law, and will emphasize the point that the goal is really just to ensure everyone is doing the right thing.
For more information about debt collection management in Lexington, KY, contact Oakley & Oakley LLC today.