Having a good credit controller is key to healthy accounts receivables. Whether you’re a finance team of five or your receptionist is your superstar, this is crucial to strong cash flow.
We’re in the game of AR automation, but we also have a team of AR specialists who work for clients to manage their credit control. For us, automation isn’t about removing people from the equation. It’s about removing the manual, repetitive jobs from credit controllers’ workload. This enables them to focus on high-risk customers and high-value work. People still bring the magic at the end of the day.
We’ve learned a few things over the years about what makes someone a good credit controller. Here are our top three things to look out for when hiring a new credit controller or tapping someone in the office to pick up that role:
1. They pick up the phone
This is crucial and it’s harder to find these days. Picking up the phone and talking to customers can often be the difference between a debt being paid or it sitting around unresolved. Email and SMS reminders work really well at keeping on top of recent amounts due. For those customers whose debt is edging out to 60+ days though, it’s unlikely to get results.
This is where a credit controller who stops, picks up the phone and has a chat to the customer directly can really make the difference. They can understand whether the customer does want to pay but is just going through a difficult period. Or, whether the situation and debt is actually now high risk and needs escalation. If the customer is valued and usually pays their bills on time, they may have been too embarrassed to reach out. By picking up the phone your credit controller is deepening that relationship. It also offers them the opportunity to find a solution, such as a payment plan, then and there. Either way, by picking up the phone, your credit controller has ensured the debt doesn’t just sit unattended.
2. They build relationships with your customers
Knowing the people behind the invoice is invaluable. It’s much harder to say no to, or ignore someone you have a relationship with. A good credit controller knows this. And this is why they build relationships with customers, in particular with those who make the payments happen. Having a relationship with those responsible for payments ensures that you’re far more likely to be top of the ‘to be paid’ list when times are tough. They’re more likely to talk to you if there are going to be difficulties paying, or if there’s a problem that needs to be resolved.
3. They’re proactive
Sometimes the difference between getting paid on time or invoices ending up in the 60+ days is a gentle ‘pre-reminder’. High performing credit controllers know this. An email, automated with tools like CreditorWatch Collect, to ‘check-in’ ahead of payment being due can go a long way. It doesn’t need to be annoying, rather it should be helpful. Ensuring the customer has all the invoices and info they need in order to pay on the due date (or before if you’re lucky!).
A good credit controller can be hard to find. If you’re struggling and need help, we’d love to have a chat. Our team of AR Specialists can get on top of your debt fast, all while maintaining strong customer relationships.