A key to successful debt collection is the assumption that most people are honest and want to pay you. That means you need to treat customers with respect during the collection process.
Start by trying to find out why a customer is not paying. Has he fallen on hard times—a lost job or ill health? Or is he withholding payment because your product was faulty or your service was poor? Make sure to be a good listener. When you understand the situation, you can come up with solutions that will help the customer pay you. Keep a customer’s total payment history in mind. If she has paid on time over the years, don’t jump on her with a collection call the first time she’s late.
Finally, remember that friendliness will help a customer want to pay you first.
Ken Yancey CEO SCORE Washington, D.C.