Sometimes, there’s no warning. Your interactions with the customer are unremarkable, and everything goes smoothly until the work is done. Then, the invoice comes due, and they suddenly vanish into thin air. How do you deal with a deadbeat?

Defense Against Difficult Customers 101: Your Contract

The contract that you have all your customers sign is an essential tool for dealing with difficult customers. It should contain language that discusses the collection measures that you’ll take if you’re not paid. Including this in the contract gives you leverage in any disputes.

Going on the Offensive With AR Workflow

A signed contract can help protect you, but you still need to collect. Fortunately, you’ll have specific workflows in AR Workflow that are designed just for this. These steps can help:

1. Don’t wait.

  • Assign the customer to the desired workflow as soon as their invoice is added into AR Workflow.
  • Start the collections process immediately. After all, your chance of collecting drop to 50% after 180 days.

2. Set up an aggressive workflow.

  • AR Workflow lets you create and customize your workflows to include as many emails, SMS, or call reminders as you’d like. If you don’t already have a workflow that sends out more than the standard number or reminders, go to the Workflows tab to create one. Then, assign the difficult customer to it.
  • How long is your workflow? When setting up a workflow for difficult customers, consider setting an extended timeline.

3. Set up a recurring task.

  • If you want to go a step further, add a custom task to set up a recurring call with them in addition to the workflow’s automatic communication.

Maximize Your Messaging

How can you get the most from the collections messages that you send using AR Workflow? Make sure that they reflect what’s in your contract:

  • If your contract indicates that the customer will incur late charges past a certain date, then include that in your messages. A reminder that their balance will increase can be a powerful motivator.
  • If you state that you’re going to file a lien in X days in your messages, verify that this is in line with the signed contract.
  • If you reference collections measures discussed in the contract, consider attaching a copy of it to your message. A customer may become less difficult when reminded of their binding contract.

Collection problems are inevitable, but taking steps to prevent them can lessen the pain. We’re here to help if you have any questions about how AR Workflow works.

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