It takes a long time to convert a prospect to a customer, so you don’t want to mess it up when an invoice is disputed. Even your best customers and those you’ve built a mutually beneficially relationship with will challenge an invoice from time to time. The trick is resolving invoice disputes in such a way that help you collect what you are owed while keeping your customer relationships intact. Here are a few tips to get you started.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Resolving Invoice Disputes
- Be professional and mature, even if your client’s behavior isn’t.
- Always begin resolving invoice disputes with a friendly and understanding outlook and attitude. Invoice disputes happen for many reasons. For example, maybe the invoice or their questions about it got stuck in their spam filter or yours— that’s a big issue According to the National Association of Credit Management (NACM) who found that 49% of those employees responsible for accounts receivable collection are not taking steps to ensure their emails are not getting stuck in a customer’s “spam” or “junk” mailboxes.
- Stick with the facts using dates, emails, call notes, etc. whenever you talk with a customer about the invoice in question. This way you are able to speak knowledgably and professionally.
- Be tough but remember to be fair. We all get distracted and miss a deadline from time to time.
- Escalate the situation to managers or executives when the invoice being disputes is over $x or goes beyond terms a certain number of days. (Be sure to define those parameters and build them into your invoice collection policy and strategy).
- Track the reasons for invoice disputes. Is the customer saying they already paid the invoice? Are they disputing information on the invoice? By doing this you can implement new procedures to prevent future disputes.
- Be afraid to confront your customers about late payments and invoice disputes. The faster things are resolved, the faster you get paid.
- Be rude to a customer, even they are the ones at fault.
- Type emails and send them right away if you’re frustrated with a customer.
- Collecting invoices and resolving invoice disputes can be extremely frustrating, but sending an emotionally charged email is no way to get there faster; nor is it good for customer relationships. If you’re feeling a bit frustrated write your email (with the send to line blank), take a lap around the office to settle down, and reread your email to make sure the wording is professional and helpful before you hit send.
- Refuse to admit fault. Many times the customer is not to blame for an invoice dispute, apologize if you are at fault and let them know you are there to set resolve the problem.
- Delete emails or throw away call notes! You never know when you will need to look back on that information in the future, especially when it comes to resolving invoice disputes.
There are many other tactics that you can use when resolving invoice disputes and help avoid them all together. For example, did you know that nearly half of late payments are due to missing information on purchase orders and other administrative mistakes? Learn more techniques for avoiding and resolving invoice disputes in the white paper below, click the button to get started.