• How Poor Credit Control Can Lose You Customers

    I have just seen first hand the perfect example of how poorly organised credit control can lose you a customer.

    We bought some goods from a small local company at the end of last year. The product was excellent and until this morning I have taken every opportunity since to sing their praises and recommend them to other people.

    Almost 5 months ago now they phoned to say that we hadn't paid their invoice. We had no record of ever receiving it so we arranged payment immediately and asked the girl that we dealt with to call us back if they had any further issues with our payment. We heard nothing further, and the money left our account, so we assumed all was resolved. Then this morning, I received an agressive call from someone at their company saying that they were going to take legal action against us if we didn't pay their invoice. I immediately phoned him back, to reassure him that it was not a case of not being able to pay, and I received a further torrent of threats about legal action.

    The invoice was paid immediately and I received a very courteous message from a lady at the firm thanking us for our payment and confirming receipt.

    They have lost us as a customer. They have also lost us as an advocate to other prospective customers as a result of the aggressive, disorganised way that they went about their credit control.

    Every business is entitled to be paid promptly but every business also has a responsiblity to conduct their credit control activities in a timely, organised way.

    All it needed in this case was methodical follow up IMMEDIATELY the payment wasn't received and we would have resolved it as soon as we were aware of the problem. Instead of that, they left it for months on end and then incorrectly assumed the worst.

    This whole process could have been used to get closer to us to secure future business instead of alienating us with threats regarding what was a banking error that was resolved immediately it was identified.

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