American Profit Recovery a collection agency that serves many industries including countless small businesses has made quite an impact in the collection industry by advocating a diplomatic touch to collections. With offices near Boston, Detroit and Charlotte, the agency has helped many types of businesses with unique situations.
One question commonly asked is how to collect money during the holidays. Another question is if a business should even attempt to collect during this time of the year or wait until January.
A few tips for businesses struggling with late paying customers during the holidays:
Don’t Wait: Many business owners and those with responsibility for receivables might put late and non-paying customers on their to-do list for January after the holidays. Many people in small business either feel guilty or are busy themselves. The best advice is not to wait. Regular statements and follow ups are key to keeping lines of communication open with consumers.
Diplomacy and Tact: A business should always approach late and non-paying customers with respect and dignity but during the holidays, staff should be much more aware of the need for this as well as the effectiveness of doing business in that manner. Letters should be worded strongly but carefully and any follow up phone calls should be handled with care and a certain amount of understanding.
Holiday Cards and Other Notes: This is not a tactic to make customers feel guilty. It is however another way to show appreciation for a customer’s business and a gentle way to let them know that despite the delinquency, their business is still appreciated. If a business does not send out holiday cards, it might be a good time to start. Customers often stop doing business with a company after the collection process but that is not always necessary. Thought and consideration can go a long way in saving a customer.
More tips and advice on how to navigate collections through the holiday season including an educational video can be found here; http://www.americanprofit.net/blog/2012/11/how-to-collect-money-during-the-holidays/