Our customer service department works with clients on receivables and collections on a daily basis. Some advice they give our clients for this time of year is to make sure your bill is a priority for your customers.

During the holidays people tend to overextend themselves, and spend a lot of money, so there are a lot of bills out there. Also, with winter there are a lot of other expenses out there including snow removal and heating oil. It’s important to let your customers know that you expect to be paid before they make other financial commitments.

The longer a bill is out there the harder it is to collect. As time passes people prioritize their bills differently. If they are in the habit of putting your bill as a lesser priority it is easier to do that month after month.  Other times the customer is able to justify that they are doing the right thing being late with a payment. They may think you don’t mind or that you are okay with this.

So, how do you make your bill a priority?

It starts with communicating with your customers internally, making sure you are staying on top of them, getting your statements out regularly and making your regularly scheduled phone calls. If you have reached out to customers a few times and you are still not getting a response it may be time to get a third party involved.

If you use a third party and stay on top of your customers they will realize that you need to be paid on your terms. This time of year you may want to use a collection agency sooner in your process. If you normally wait until 90 days maybe this time of year you should use a third party at 60 days. Early intervention is important this time of year. Make your bill a priority, stay on top of it and get it collected.

Watch the video below to hear more advice from my talk with Austin:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EH_ShS7dDE4[/youtube]