Hi Everyone, 

It’s Hector here! Not sure what’s happening by you but in my neck of the woods, there have been a lot of April showers. The streets have become a little flooded, there are puddles everywhere, and the weather continues to be gray, drizzly, and cold. Naturally, before I go out anywhere, I put on my galoshes, especially since I don’t want to step into any collection puddles.

Along with these rainy days, it’s frustrating to have to deal with customers and clients that may keep breaking promises to pay, causing the past dues to pile up. Following below is my quick list of things to bear in mind while waiting for the sun to shine again. 

Keep calm on the phone – I’ve been there so many times when I have called on past due customers who don’t keep their promises to pay and sadly, I’ve become a little angry at hearing the same excuses — or hearing new excuses. We’re all human and it’s inevitable that we’re going to get frustrated when a promise for payment is not kept. But therein lies the difference between the collection men and boys. Those who keep calm and continue to talk professionally will eventually get the money. Those who lose it, will not only be on the receiving end of a phone call that is summarily hung up, but they’ll also lose the opportunity to collect the money as well. 

Don’t write anything nasty – Even one email that is snarky or has any words or phrases that are inappropriate can be sent over social media within minutes. This could possibly damage your company’s reputation, could give your current clients pause to use your company, and could even lead to a legal predicament. So, if you are ever inclined to immediately write something to a customer/client when you are not at your emotional best, wait a day and let a colleague read the email first. In most cases, waiting will help to put your emotions and message in check. 

Think of Kenny Rogers – “You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em.” As a broad rule, by the third broken payment promise it’s time to send the claim out to a third-party collection professional. Of course, there are many factors that may play into why you might want to still work with the customer but if it’s purely a situation in which the customer has lost all credibility, then outsourcing the collection, while working those past dues that still have plenty of life to them, is a much more cost-effective situation. 

Hope the above helps you to walk around the collection puddles. 


Hector the Collector is a credit, collection, and human resources advice column by Nancy Seiverd President CMI Credit Mediators Inc. Your thoughts and comments (nseiverd@cmiweb.com) are most welcome!

All Rights Reserved

Sign Up for Our Free Monthly Newsletter – COLLECTION CONNECTION!

    Share This

    Share this post with your friends!