Debt collection media

Recovery media The efficiency of cash collection Depends on many factors internal to the company:

  • organisation: Existence of a credit management department? If yes, is it located under the financial or commercial direction?

  • business culture and practices : Who owns the customer relationship? Is it reserved for salespeople or does the collection team have full discretion to contact purchasers directly and apply their collection scenario?

  • process: Quality and relevance of the collection and disputes management process. Is debt collection management is linked to customer risk management (credit analysis, blocking / unblocking of accounts, etc...)?

  • IT systems in place: if Excel is the main tool used, performance reached cannot be optimum.

  • … etc.
Once these key points are set, it remains an essential question. What are the means used to communicate with customers in order to speed up the collection process?
There are several collection media, each with its own particularity.

The classic media

  • The mail (postmail): A real emblem of debt collection, mail is now used more in the advanced stages of the recovery process, when it becomes necessary to formalize exchanges with acknowledgment of receipt. The disadvantages of mail are numerous:

    • Printing, insertion and mailing time. Several days are needed to reach the recipient
    • Opening rate. Many letter never find their recipients and go directly to the garbage
    • The lack of interactivity. Replying to a mail is not instantaneous at a time when ease of communication / reply has become a natural requirement

  • The phone: Another important media, the telephone is the mean to use to clarify orally problems with his interlocutor.

    A part of the art of receivable collection is possible thanks to the telephone that allows to develop a personal link with its interlocutors and to set a framework to "guarantee" the future payments. The disadvantages of the phone are:

    • It is unsuitable for communicating on account statements with many invoices (several tens or hundreds)
    • It takes time and depends on the immediate availability of its interlocutor

  • The fax: Fax appears to be obsolete but it can be relevant to contact certain types of buyers. Indeed, the fax has the advantage of being instantaneous and benefits from an acknowledgment of receipt.

    A condition of its effectiveness is that it is always used by the customer and that the fax number is the number of the person to be contacted or at least of its department (a fax sent to a standard number for the whole company has small probability to reach the good recipient).

  • The email: E-mail is the media that benefits of the best rate of reply in debt collection. Advantages of e-mails are numerous:

    • It is sent to a custom address. You are almost sure to reach the right recipient(s)
    • It is sent instantly
    • It is possible to attach an account statement or an invoice copy as an attachment
    • It is easy and fast to reply to an email, even more if it is interactive
    On the other hand, it is inadequate to deal with problematic or conflicting situations. The feeling is often exacerbated in the exchanges by emails. In this case, it is necessary to avoid escalation and then take his phone to remove misunderstandings.
  • Customer visit: A meeting is often an excellent way to solve problems and lay the foundations of a mode of operation allowing to smooth exchanges and payments.

    Although it is time-consuming, this solution is relevant with strategic customers or the ones requiring a specific process to align receivable accounting on one side and payable accounting on the other side. However, it is not always feasable due to many constraints (time, distance...).
  • Your Cash Collection Software available for all sizes of companies

    Collection media in My DSO Manager

    It is possible to use many stimulus media in My DSO Manager and in particular the most effective.

    Interactive emails are a creation of My DSO Manager to make interactions with customers and internal staff (sales, customer care center ...) more efficient and relevant.

    E-mail, interactive e-mail, SMS, postmail, fax, phone allow to chase up customer in a custom and efficient manner.

    See more with the online demo.

The new "dunning" media

  • SMS: Rejected by the purists, the SMS has some advantages and is adapted to certain situations. For example, to chase up an artisan who is all day on his job with his phone rather than his computer, but you will disturb if you call him.

    Another example a reminder of payment of due date by SMS for an individual person seems very relevant. The SMS is nevertheless unsuitable for most other situations and business relationships.

  • Interactive e-mail: This new media is proposed by My DSO Manager, an inovative debt collection software. It is based on email but allows to enhance the interaction thanks to a sharing of the information contained in the software and the possibility for the recipient (s) ) (Client or internal actors) to interact on a dedicated page with the collector. This media is very effective and appreciated because it is simple to use for both the sender and the recipient.
Although e-mail (or interactive e-mail) stands out from its competitors, there is no good or bad collection media. Each one is adapted to some situation. A good collection scenario combine several types of media with phone, e-mail, postmail...).
The choice of your recovery media depends closely on the characteristics of your business:

  • Customers types (individuals, big accounts, SME…): The collection strategies and how to do them depend in part on who your customers are.

  • Domestic or export business? Sending postmail won't be efficient if your customer is in a far country..

  • Number of open invoices: Having customer accounts made up of hundreds of invoices with an average value of 50 euros or a few bills of several tens of thousands of euros has a significant impact on the communication medium used. For example, phone can be used only in the second case.

  • Organization: If you have to inform several people of each restart done (sales manager, purchaser ... etc), the relaunch by e-mail is more adapted.

  • IT systems: What are the communication capacities provided by your ERP or collection software?

  • …etc.
It is therefore necessary to define the stimulus media according to the multiple realities of your company and its clientele. There is no ready-made solution but coherent processes that must be created with a lot of pragmatism.
The quality of communication and exchanges with its customers is essential and as in any professional process, this point must be reflected and industrialized with appropriate tools.

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