Have you ever heard your customer say, “The check is in the mail”?
What should you do when you hear that phrase? And what should you do if the check doesn’t show up?
If your customer has broken several promises for payment or the check never shows up, it becomes obvious that your customer is attempting to stall or delay a payment.
It’s not unusual throughout the collection process, to hear other excuses like the mail being slow or someone forgetting to sign the check.
When you hear that phrase, there are some questions you can ask your customer that will help to firm up their promise of having mailed the check.
Ask for the check number and reconfirm the address it was mailed to. This will help to further your customer’s commitment. Your customer may not have mailed the check in the first place, and if that’s the case, these questions may prompt a trip to the mailbox as soon as you hang up the phone.
You should also agree with your customer that if the check is not received by a certain date, that you’re prepared to take further action. We’ve all heard the horror stories about how slow ‘snail mail’ can be, but the truth is, most mail is delivered within 3 days! So, if the check doesn’t arrive in a timely manner, your previous agreement has paved the way for you to take the next steps toward collecting.
If it is a large payment, you can suggest they send it using an overnight courier or even schedule a personal pickup yourself. You may wish to grant a bit more grace to a good customer. If you agree to wait a couple more days for them to send the payment, also agree that they will overnight the check in the event that the check does not arrive within the grace period.
By controlling the situation and having tracking capability, you shorten the time it takes you to find out that there is a bigger problem. If the check still does not arrive after all of these efforts, it might be time to consult your collection agency.