Outsourced credit control services can make a huge difference to the cash flow of a business, however having your invoices paid promptly is of little benefit if the approach ruins your customer relations. While many of our competitors adopt a simple debt collection approach to try to collect invoices, Sterling work as an extension of our client’s business, in a customer service oriented manner in order that your customers pay promptly and happily. We use an escalating approach to handle ageing invoices, resolving queries and disputes should they arise, and should your customer absolutely refuse to pay past Final Demand stage we are able to (with your prior approval) refer the account to Sterling’s separate debt recovery team or solicitor for decisive action.
Our outsourced credit control service is carried out entirely in your brand by a named experienced credit controller(s). Whilst many of our competitors use remote workers, all of Sterling’s staff work from our service centre under a team leader and service manager. Cover for absence is provided in each team so the service runs each week consistently without fail. Each credit controller working on a ledger is trained thoroughly on the client’s business, so understands the in’s and out’s of our customer, appearing to be a member of the business.
The scope of our service varies with each client. With some clients we provide support to their existing in house team operating as little as half a day each week. With others we effectively become their credit control function, sometimes managing the entire order to cash process from new customer credit checking and take-on, invoice production, collection and payment allocation.
The outsourced credit control service is tailored for each client, but generally includes:
- All payments paid directly to your bank account.
- All phone calls, emails and letters made using your name and brand.
- A dedicated phone line (with your local code, or coming off your switchboard) answered in your name during UK office hours.
- Collection activity carried out to an agreed defined process with a focus on contacting clients by phone backed up by a series of emails/letters.
- The option of ‘soft’ calls prior to invoice due date to remove barriers to payment early in the process.
- A managed service with your credit controller escalating difficult customers to their team leader or Service Manager who will act in your name as a more senior contact.
- A service based on your own accounts system (via remote access) with notes added to the system for all contacts made so that you have a real time view of all work carried out by Sterling.
- Assistance with credit limit setting and risk management, if required.
- Liaising with invoice finance or credit insurance companies where required.
- Administration of a ‘put on stop’ process if applicable.
- Weekly reports showing activity, summary of debt position and receipts projection.
- Monthly performance reports showing improvement in debtor days.
- Query management reporting to resolve customer problems and to show patterns in recurring disputes/queries and potential issues in resolution.
- Regular service reviews with stakeholders to update them on their ledger and to gather information on their clients.
- Ongoing credit checking and monitoring of all customers with reports sent should there be a significant adverse change.
- Bad debtors to be referred to Sterling’s debt recovery service at an agreed point in the process should you approve the escalation.
- Ongoing consultancy to review the order to cash process to ensure efficiency and productivity, including process up-stream from Sterling’s service.
- Optional terms of business review by Sterling’s solicitor to ensure that chances of recovery of ageing debts are optimised, and taking into account the order to cash process to ensure that you are not in danger of breaching your own terms.