Collections: Customer excuses, payment delays rising dramatically

From CFO Daily News: Customer excuses have been spiking in recent months, especially for small- and mid-sized businesses. And you can thank the coronavirus pandemic for it.

A recent survey from the UK uncovered that 59% of businesses say they’re running into more excuses for past-due bills.

Specifically, this survey focused on small- and mid-sized businesses and their current cash flow challenges more than a year into COVID-19. And you can bet there’s a similar situation over on this side of the pond.

Of course, every excuse thrown up is another threat to your company’s cash flow.

Unfortunately, it’s not just the excuses – the number of late payments has risen, too.

Just about half (48%) of UK businesses have seen late payments increase substantially since the start of the crisis.

Bracing for customer excuses, new and old

So how confident are you that your team can handle any and every excuse thrown its way? Yes, your staffers are collections pros, but these are unprecedented times bringing new customer excuses.

First, you’ll want to sit down with your team to see if they’re seeing a similar phenomenon and/or any new excuses for non-payment.

Do this as a team so that everyone can hear what each other has run into.

Then bring on the role playing! Have some staffers assume the customer role and hit their teammates with some of the newest and most compelling excuses for nonpayment. Then see how they’d respond. You can work together to craft new responses for these new times.

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