Most professionals have at least a vague idea what a collection agency does. It’s obvious, right? We help companies recover overdue accounts.
But there is so much more to it, and not understanding the relationship and the far-reaching benefits could be hurting your ability to recover from the impacts of COVID-19. Once the people within your business understand more fully, rolling out a better way of recovering cash flow to rebuild your business can be much easier—and massively more beneficial in years to come.
Our core purpose, of course, is to keep our clients’ cash flow reliable by quickly collecting bills that have gone unpaid past the due date. We do that for businesses of all sizes, from mom-and-pop shops and midsized service businesses to telecommunications providers, retail giants and big banks. We also work with a lot of business models you would probably never consider.
At MetCredit, we’ve been respected debt recovery leaders since 1973, and I’m confident no one does it better—through training, exceptional people and consistent adherence to our Code of Ethics centered on Respect for every individual. And yet it costs no more to work with the industry’s best.
But how does an outstanding collection agency affect your business, the people it touches—and beyond? That’s something you probably haven’t given much thought.
Right now, it’s especially worth digging into. These six things, while they have always been important, can be the difference between recovery and failure because there are such pronounced effects at every critical level:
1) Cash Flow Improves: The first thing most new clients are surprised at after sending an account to MetCredit is how quickly things happen. We have a few regulatory and due diligence steps to follow with any new file, and a standard waiting period. But once we have the green light, our internal goal is to collect for you within 48 hours. That can give your cash flow near-immediate relief, especially if you develop a habit of submitting files as soon as they are more than 90 days old, and keep good documentation.
2) Business Processes Improve: Notice that last sentence in the above point. Clients who send accounts for collections on a routine basis quickly learn what is flawed with their processes and documentation. Our actions shine a light on what isn’t working, and reward proper diligence. That helps you identify and fix internal flaws—and benefit directly through results. You’ll probably find that fewer accounts need to be collected, and the ones that do are recovered more quickly because you’ve created a collections process.
3) Staff Morale Improves: Face it, your accounting people—and especially your sales team members—do NOT love collecting overdue accounts. In most cases, they can’t stand it, and it isn’t their area of expertise. Chasing customers to collect bills can ruin their day and drain their love of their job, especially during emotionally weighty times. Professional collectors, on the other hand, recover debt and negotiate all day long. They are amazingly good at it, because it’s the career they have chosen—and they are constantly trained, coached and supported. The integration between your people and ours is a snap. At MetCredit we’ve made it super-easy for you or your AR Manager to load accounts from the office or remotely. Suddenly, people like doing their jobs a whole lot more.
4) Customer Relations Improve: It’s often an “Aha!” moment when we remind our clients that their nonpaying account is no longer a customer. Something has broken in the business relationship, and needs to be fixed before progress can resume. MetCredit agents are trained at Solution-Oriented Recovery™ to help your customers find ways to live up to their obligation to you. The good ones come back—and they come back as better, prompt-paying buyers.
5) Your Bottom Line Improves: When you begin to recover debt more consistently, your overall Net Back quickly increases while you become a higher payment priority to all your customers. The impacts of upstream business failures are massively reduced, because you are among the “lucky” creditors to be paid early in full early while others will eventually end up settling for pennies on the dollar—if anything.
6) The Economy Improves: That’s not an exaggeration. One thing we see all the time is how collecting B2B debt triggers a far-reaching ripple effect. It HAS to: whenever you collect an outstanding bill, someone else must more proactively face their own Accounts Receivable. It’s a compounding, exponential stimulus that gets cash flowing in the economy, and keeps people working. And all you’ve got to do to help is send your overdue accounts—the ones you’re thinking of right now—for collection!
When you start to work with a collection agency for the first time, be sure your colleagues understand the benefit to them, and how MetCredit can complement their own work—while making your company more liquid and profitable. Getting buy-in from everyone involved is extremely important. Our most successful B2B clients have created standard operating procedures (SOPs) around sending files for collection—and do so like clockwork, with new AR hires trained on precisely when and how to load overdue accounts into our system.
Owners, stakeholders, and your accounting team need to understand the collections process and where the collection agency fits within your business practices. Share this article with them, and reach out to us whenever you need assistance or coaching. It’s very much worth the tiny adoption curve—and never more so than at a time like this!
You’ll soon see changes enterprise-wide, and beyond.
If you’re ready to get started, fill out this quick form. It’s something you really ought to make a priority right this minute—before you dig into that next task.
DO IT, and please stay safe and healthy.