One of the key roles of the credit or accounts receivable employee should be to become the trusted communication channel between the supplier and the customer. The fact is most credit and accounts receivable employees lack the authority to make any key decisions. Therefore becoming the trusted communications channel between the supplier and their customer does make sense.
Unfortunately however in this day and age, many businesspeople still believe credit and accounts receivable employees are only de-facto debt collectors. As such, they believe these employees only purpose is to demand payment for the unpaid invoice.
The weakness of this philosophy is that demanding payment today as the first step in following up the unpaid invoice, is frowned upon by most reasonable businesspeople. Following through with this tactic on the first contact, also risks alienating the customer for no good reason and often causes problems later if legal action is required.
Whilst the key objective for credit and accounts receivable employees to obtaining payment for the unpaid invoice as quickly as possible, there are many other strategies available. One of these strategies is to think of your credit and accounts receivable employees as part sales support, part customer service operators and information gathers. To support this thinking, it is essential to train and support your employees so they become the trusted communication avenue between the supplier and their customer.
Developing your credit and accounts receivable employee as a trusted communication avenue creates many benefits which soon become apparent as this strategy becomes entrenched in your business psychic. In the next blog, I will talk about what benefits this approach offers your business.