- 20 Feb
Chasing Invoices Via Social Media
I noticed an interest in chasing unpaid sales invoices via social media and I thought it would be good to add something about this to our existing comprehensive credit control guide.
Chasing Unpaid Invoices Via Social Media
The first question is whether this is the right channel to use or not?
I think the truth is that if you have resorted to using social media such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+ to chase your invoices, you have probably missed out a key step in the credit control process, establishing early on the contact number, email, name etc. of the people you should contact about the payment of your invoices. These allow you to make contact privately in order to chase payment.
Naming And Shaming Late Payers
Whilst there may be an argument for using social media channels to make a non specific enquiry about who to contact (assuming you don't have the contact details as above), the only other use would be the "naming and shaming" approach that I have seen recently via media such as LinkedIn.
I saw a couple of examples recently where a supplier published the details of a customer that had not paid them, including personal details such as their mobile phone number (a possible breach of data protection regulations) in order to embarrass the customer regarding non payment. In the examples I saw, where there was a customer response it was defensive and counter attacked the supplier - something that is unlikely to lead to you getting paid.
Some may put forward the Government's mandatory late payment reporting as support for this kind of action. However, this initiative is quite different, in that it calls on larger companies to regularly report their payment performance for publication. Completely different from being rubbished on Twitter by a disgruntled supplier!
Using social media to apply pressure to late payers may sound like a good idea, but it is discouraged according to Government advice, and we think it is unlikely to further the cause of getting you your payment. At the same time, it exposes your business to some serious potential risks.
Risks Of Publication
There could be all sorts of ramifications if you start making information about debts between you and your customers public, via social media (or any other method of publication for that matter). These could include:
- Breaching the confidentiality terms of the underlying contract with them.
- Infringing their data protection rights.
- Breaching consumer credit regulations (if they are individuals).
- The risk of defamation or libel - particularly if you have not understood some aspect of the situation.
On balance, social media is best avoided as a credit control medium - its far better to establish their relevant contact details up front, and use them to follow up, albeit with escalation to higher authorities if required.
Help With Credit Control
If you need credit control help, consider using a professional credit control agency.
- 17 Nov
Need Help Chasing Invoices?
Do you need help chasing your unpaid sales invoices? Our focus is often on sourcing finance for our customers, but in some cases it is a credit control service that they need, and we have plenty of options available.We have a number of providers that can offer these types of services, and using them can both speed up your debt turn, get your invoices paid and remove the need to employ your own...
- 02 Aug
Credit Control Agency
One of the credit control agencies that we work with have been able to provide some first class credit control support to one of our clients, who needed help getting their unpaid invoices collected in. The agency took over the collection of the invoices from customers and they have improved the speed with with they are paid, reducing our client's debt turn. So they have a good track record of...