Despite running a successful business, bad debt or unpaid dues are unavoidable and unfortunately there will be times when you have a customer who has trouble paying you on time or even refrains to pay you at all after your service or. Especially when the economy is on its low, sadly this scenario has become quite common. Unpaid debts can really harm your business as it restricts positive cash flow and it is, therefore, inevitable to collect the receivables in order to survive.
In severe cases, neglected debt collection can eventually lead to a business filing for bankruptcy as a result of poor cash flow. It is, therefore, necessary to turn to every legal option possible to collect that money and essential to take all the steps necessary to get in contact with the debtor by the means of phone calls, emails and sending off collection letters. But what happens if you have done your due diligence and the usual process of debt collection happens to be of no success with that special client? We have put together three mindful steps to take if a customer won’t pay that you maybe haven’t thought of yet.
Contact the person in charge of accounts directly
Once you’ve signed the deal with a client you are most likely given one or two contact numbers to reach out to in order to arrange delivery. If you happen to be in the situation of unpaid dues and are not sure who is in charge of the finances, check the contacts given closely. It is possible that the numbers you were given belong to the salesperson you’ve closed your deal with, but is not responsible for payment. Go on the business website, LinkedIn or even Google and find the contact of the accounts payable specialist, the accounting manager or even the owner. You can then try calling the person in charge directly, find out about the circumstances why the invoice has not been paid yet and ask for help to finally receive your payment.
Pay the debtor a surprise visit
As it is very easy to ignore letters, emails and phone calls, pop by the company if they are based in your area and try to talk to the person in charge. If the client is aware of the outstanding amount, a surprise visit sometimes helps to put pressure on as they have no choice but to deal with the issue and ignoring your presence is not only rude but embarrassing. Better even you schedule a meeting and have a talk about why your attempts to collect the receivables have been ignored so they will have to find a solution when you’re standing in front of them.
Keep records of all your collection attempts
Don’t forget to document every single attempt at how you tried to contact the customer about the receivables. Set up an archive where all the emails will be collected, every phone contact you had and the notes that you made during those calls. If you are able to schedule a meeting or can get in contact with a higher up person this evidence will come handy to proof your attempts on how many times you tried to get in contact and how. In case you consider involving a collection agency or eventually have to take legal action, the documentation is also very helpful as you can prove exactly how many times you have contacted the debtor about the payment due and how many emails were ignored and phone calls not returned.