Debt Collection Has An Image Problem
As a business owner, you are well aware that you have to spend money to get money. Before you invest any money in marketing, you think carefully about which marketing strategies will give you the best return on your investment. During the pandemic, business owners have also been resourceful about seeking funding through grants and loans. Why don’t business owners give as much thought to a major source of income for businesses everywhere, which is when customers pay for services they have already received? Granted, this is only an issue in certain lines of work. By the time a food truck customer takes the first bite of their burrito, an amount equal to the retail price of the burrito is already in your possession; you got the money straight from the customer’s wallet or bank account or from the credit card company. In many businesses, though, billing and bill collection takes considerable effort, and the businesses keep using the same strategies, with limited success. Your employees keep bugging the customers to pay past due bills, and some of them don’t; then you turn the debts over to a collection agency. There is an easier way, and it costs almost nothing except time and the salary you are already paying your company’s billing department. Unfortunately, not all cash flow problems are this easy to fix; many of them require the help of a small business lawyer.
Emotional Intelligence: The Missing Ingredient
How do you feel when a creditor calls you to remind them that you owe them money? You probably are not very happy to hear from them. Too many calls related to unpaid obligations owed by consumers to businesses escalate into threats and name-calling very quickly, followed by avoidance and “drop dead” letters.
You have probably heard your grandma say that you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar, and when it comes to debt collection, the bloggers at FinTech Futures agree. They think that debt collections should be as customer-focused as marketing. You have heard of customer personas for businesses, like Becky the soccer mom to whom Contemporary Christian radio is marketed. Understanding Becky’s values and pain points is as important when you are trying to get her to make a payment on a past-due amount toward a gym membership as when a laundry detergent company tries to get her to buy their brand of detergent. Think about your customers as people and about their hopes and struggles. If you don’t know much about your customers; that is part of the problem; get to know them better. They will be more willing to pay what they can toward their debt to you (especially if you are flexible about amounts and timetables for repayment) if they feel that you have made an effort to understand them. Good customer service is for debt collection, too.
Reach Out to an Attorney Today for Help
A Washington DC small business attorney can help you develop dispute-proof payment policies and resolve existing disputes related to payment. Contact Tobin, O’Connor & Ewing for a consultation on your case.