Debt Collection Process
Our debt collection effort starts with verifying the contact information provided by our clients and gathering additional information on the business to be used by the debt collector. We email, fax and mail a short demand letter to the debtor typically within one business day of receiving a claim. However, the primary communication method in our debt collection process is the telephone augmented by e-mail as appropriate.
When we can get the debtor on the phone, we can find out through a series of questions what the real reason is for unpaid bills. Determining the real reason can have a dramatic impact on the approach the debt collector will use. Just simply demanding the money typically does not work. Instead, we often need to get a
solid understanding of the debtor's business, current business prospects, working capital position, secured debts, personal guarantees, etc.. Once we have this information and we understand why they aren't paying, we can come up with a strategy to get as much money as possible as quickly as possible.
In addition, our professional and courteous approach to all collection activities protects your relationship with your customers, whilst allowing ICS to still achieve the desired results. This approach works by ensuring:
- All contact made is both precise and professional
- That the debtor has as many options to pay as possible
- That any demand for payment is friendly but assertive by always striving for Payment In Ful
- The utilization of the ICS & CRB data bases to assess the debtor's history, ability, and willingness to pay
- Each account is consistently monitored to ensure all commitments are being met
- Any account unresolved is addressed by proceeding with the next most relevant and appropriate follow-up activity needed.
- Finally, throughout the entire collection process, you can be safe in the knowledge, that our staff are well trained and industry experienced to act in the best interests of our clients and to ensure we maximize your cost savings on Debt Collection.
Unlike others, we never aspired to be the largest commercial collection agency, just the best. We are able to provide our customers with a business model that allows for flexibility to meet each client's individual needs, whether in reporting or creating a specialized and client specific collection program.
Debt collectors take a very different approach on a commercial claim than a retail claim (e.g. against an individual for credit card or medical debt as an example). In our many years of experience, we find that most debt collectors that start off as retail collectors really struggle to become great at business debt collection. The mindset is so different when dealing with a professional organization, large corporation, or small business owner versus an individual who can't pay his bills. Many collection agencies that provide both retail and commercial collections have their debt collectors' move back and forth between both types of collections.
Our debt collectors take a custom approach on each claim. They review all of the documentation provided by our clients before making the first call. A great commercial debt collector needs to understand how businesses work and the role of contracts (including sales orders, purchase orders,invoices, return merchandise authorizations, pricing discounts, sales tax laws, freight and shipping charges, returns and return policies, and other general contract terms).
They also try to develop an understanding of the company that owes the money and the individual they are contacting prior to calling. The more insight a debt collector has when performing the collection process, the higher the success rate. There typically are two initial factors that are critical to success understanding the real reason the debtor has not paid and understanding the debtor's personality to determine the best way to negotiate with the individual.
Often times debtors do not initially reveal the true reason they did not pay their bill. Getting a debtor to talk is a key part of getting the money, so listening and letting them explain their situation has multiple benefits. We learn about the business, the personality of the person we are talking to, and the names of other people who are involved that we may be able to leverage later. We listen carefully to excuses and explanations, and ask questions to figure out what is real and what is a smokescreen. Catching a debtor in a fabrication or misleading story can ultimately be a powerful tool in accounts receivable collections.
Once we understand the real reason they did not pay, we can come up with a strategy to get the money. We have an 85% success rate with claims against open businesses. This rate is so high because our collectors are highly trained, have lots of experience, listen carefully, and once they have figured out how best to collect, they make it happen.