It might be a little late for New Years Resolutions, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait until next January to get your debt collection process in order. Any month could be the perfect opportunity to start new policies or simply recommit to the ones you already have in place. This type of focus on your collection practices might also inspire you to take on projects that will make the entire collection process easier once they are completed.
If you have been frustrated with your previous inability to maintain a consistent focus on collecting outstanding debts, now is as good a time as any to renew that focus. Stating a verbal or written resolution is a great way to force yourself to commit to it.
Here are some ideas for financial resolutions that you can implement at any time in 2018 to improve the consistency of your debt collection process:
Follow Up On Time
One of the biggest problems plaguing individual debt collectors is a failure to consistently follow up on unpaid invoices and outstanding debts. This is a clear sign to the debtor that you are not on top of your game, but it can be hard to stay on top of debt collections when that is just one of the many tasks you are burdened with.
Forcing yourself to commit to a resolution that you will devote a certain amount of time every day or every week to keeping up with debt collections is a great way to make sure that you are following up with debtors in a timely manner. This sends a clear message that you will not permit the debtors to miss payment dates.
Clarify All Credit Terms Up Front
Another resolution that creditors can make is to commit themselves to clarify all of the terms of the credit they are offering before completing the sale.
Many times, especially on big-ticket items, we are so focused on closing a sale that we either gloss over or completely neglect to address the credit terms. This can create big loopholes on the back end when debtors are confused by or outright dispute collection attempts.
Remain Calm During Collections
Debt collection can be an incredibly frustrating endeavor. When forced to attempt to collect outstanding debts from people who are either unwilling or unable to make their payments, any debt collector will experience moments of extreme frustration. Like any person, you have probably had moments of weakness where you either said or did something in the heat of the moment that you later regretted.
Make a resolution that you will be the bigger person and find the strength to remain calm, regardless of the circumstances. While this can be easier said than done, it is a noble effort that will lead to much better collection results.
Regularly Retrain Staff
When you first train your staff to properly handle unpaid invoices and outstanding debts, they are likely to follow all of your instructions. However, as with any topic that is not essential to daily operations, the policies and practices your have in place will likely loose their effect over time.
Make a resolution that you will regularly retrain your staff to properly handle any interactions they may have with debtors. This could mean anything from an annual class to simple weekly reminders. The important thing is that you keep the debt collection policies in the routines of all employees.
Follow All Regulations
We have written a number of posts covering the plethora of regulations surrounding the business of debt collection. Those regulations become even more complicated when dealing with international situations.
If you have been known to violate any of the existing federal or state regulations, you should immediately make a resolution that you will no longer violate those rules. If you are unable to stick to that resolution, it is probably time to turn your collection accounts over to a commercial debt collection agency. If you don’t have the time to research international debt collection regulations, then you should probably turn those accounts over to an international collection agency.
Whether you are already following these resolutions most of the time, some of the time, or part of the time, resolving to follow them all of the time will produce positive results for your collections that will show up on your company’s bottom line. Don’t wait any longer to make your next resolution!