Welcome to the third and final blog in our series offering you advice for effectively managing your AR processes in challenging times. If you missed them, click here to find the previous tips: Part 1 and Part 2.
So, now that you’ve assessed your receivables situation, adapted your collections strategy and ensured business continuity in any environment it’s time to look at what actions you can take to manage and optimise business relationships, both with your customers and your teams.
Tip 5. Manage customer relationships
It’s important to talk with your customers as much as possible to find out how they are dealing with the current situation, if they have any particular problems or how they foresee the next couple of months. This allows you to find solutions together (payment plans, early payment discounts etc.). Additionally, you may need to inform them of changes in your operating structure (new business hours, how best to contact you etc.). Customers will certainly appreciate a supplier who is by their side supporting them through difficult times and will be more likely to show their loyalty when business gets back to normal.
With an AR automation solution you can choose to talk to certain customers in priority (industries in difficulty, highest outstanding amounts etc.), send bulk messages to quickly reach out to a large customer base, or give customers access to a portal to access invoices, payment plans, aged balance and messages in real time.
Tip 6. Make collaboration a priority
Collaboration is key and with so many working from home, being on top of your customer communications has never been more important. You must ensure business continuity and provide the same level of service to customers, including making sure questions are answered in a timely manner, disputes are addressed quickly and tasks are offloaded to the right team members.
AR automation allows managers to create, assign and monitor tasks directly from the CRM-like solution, collaborate with your team and co-workers as if you were in the office (minus the free coffee!). It also helps keep stakeholders up-to-date and ensures management can oversee team performance and ensure the collections strategy is correctly adapted to the situation.
Tip 7. Take care of your team!
Maintaining positivity and engagement within the team is not easy when people work remotely from different locations. Why not motivate your team with small challenges on cash collected? Reaching a goal as a team can be a great way to keep them motivated and make them feel part of a team.
Use internal forecast team goals to set up an amount to be collected weekly or monthly. Follow team activity and adjust workload as needed to help those who may be having difficulty.
You can be creative with your goals! Motivate your team with fun challenges. Set up rewards according to the percentage of achievements. If goals are 100% achieved, you can compensate the team when everyone’s back in the office!
For more tips on how you can effectively manage your AR process in challenging times download our eBook now https://info.esker.com/eBookAR7Tips