If you have a business that extends any kind of credit or grace period to your customers, you know that there are some who will stretch out repayment to the maximum or not pay altogether for services provided. Here are a few key reasons a customer may not pay and some ways that your company can potentially avoid these scenarios.

Generally, not paying on time arises from one or more of the following reasons:

The consumer has a genuine dispute –

        No matter what you do, there will still be consumers who dispute their bill for numerous reasons. You can try to avoid this scenario by thoroughly documenting the transaction and any contact that you have with the consumer.  A signed agreement or acknowledgement of services and fees, a contract stating exactly what services are being provided and payment expectation along with a detailed intake or contact form can greatly reduce the possibility of a disputed invoice. Feel free to reach out to Debt Recovery Solutions of Ohio for some examples of the documentation you may want to consider if your current intake form is not getting you the information you need!

They are just busy, overwhelmed or just disorganized –

        Some consumers are just plain busy or in over their heads. But, as a service provider, you are due the balance that you are owed. Make your unpaid invoice a priority for them. Be sure that you don’t fall into the trap of ‘just letting a past due account go’ because you don’t want to deal with it. Have a clear process in place for contacting your consumer once their bill goes past due. This process can include calls, letters and turning accounts in to your collection agency or attorney. A simple call or letter telling them ‘We know life can be hectic, but if you get this bill taken care of, that is one less thing on your plate’ can show the customer that you are empathetic. They may be more inclined to pay your bill than the 5 others they have sitting in front of them. Be professional and courteous, but remain persistent and you will put yourself at the top of your ‘busy’ consumer’s to do list.

The consumer doesn’t have the means to pay the account –

        Some consumers don’t think they can afford to pay your bill. Collection agencies work with these consumers to find ways for them to resolve their balances – even when they think they can’t. When your process of calls and/or letters does not work, it may be time for the professionals to take over. Sending an unpaid account to a collection agency ensures that you are not breaking any consumer protection laws. It also takes the burden off of your company and its resources. Trying to collect on an unpaid bill takes time and time is money. Your company and staff can free up valuable time by sending the account to collections once your efforts have been exhausted. Professional debt collectors are trained to find ways to help consumers find ways that they can get their unpaid bills taken care of. Check out our testimonial page here https://drsohio.com/testimonials/ and see a couple of instances where DRS helped consumers out who thought their bills could not be resolved.

The consumer is unconcerned –

        Sometimes, a consumer receives goods or services and they simply do not worry about paying for it – it is not high on their priority list. You need to change their point of view and convince them that your bill is a priority. Your office should proceed with your in-house collection processes, but this type of consumer can be a good candidate for getting turned in to a collection agency. They aren’t paying you and you may not be able convince them to. Getting notices and calls from a bill collector can get their attention. It lets them know that you are serious about collecting what is owed to you.

The consumer is dishonest –

        Fortunately, this scenario is the most rare. Most consumers fully intend to pay the debts that they incur. There is not a lot that you can do to avoid the dishonest consumer. Just make sure that you have done everything in your power to document every interaction. All paperwork is properly filled out and you have gone through your in-house billing processes. Generally, these consumers are turned in to collections and written off. Sometimes collection agencies can find a way to collect from the dishonest consumer. However, truly dishonest consumers may provide false information up front and simply locating them may be a problem.

Hopefully, some of these tips for avoiding unpaid invoices have been helpful and you can use them to make good decisions on how to handle any past due consumers you may have. Should your office need the services of a collection agency, please contact Debt Recovery Solutions of Ohio to see how we can help you out!