Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Debt collection

I'm doing debt collection for my family business. It's not fun but it has to be done.

It's not like I'm nervous on the phone, or hate talking to customers, or anything - I absolutely LOVE ringing people to say that their order is now available for shipping and could I have a new expiry date for their credit card. How beautiful are the feet of those that bring good news, and all that. (Incidentally how can feet be better or worse? They just do the propulsion, it's the letter itself that can be better or worse looking!)

But somehow I get the idea that people aren't going to be too happy when they get a letter telling them to pay up. They're probably a Ruddism aka a Working Family with not much money to spare. They probably feel guilty for not having paid it already. They might even feel helpless with not enough cash in the bank at the moment because of the price of petrol.

And now I've sent them a THIRD nice letter and had no response. Will they be happy to hear from me on the phone? I think quite possibly NOT.

So I fire up the database. Get the phone number. Psych myself up for this harrowing ordeal. Oops, get the invoice record up too just in case they ask me what it was they bought. Take a deep breath. Dial.

"Optus advises that the number you called is disconnected. This has been a free call."


So now I have to go to White Pages online, find the right number, and then go through all that again.

It's really amazing how many important and urgent things crop up when I'm in the middle of a list of debt collection jobs. The phone has a voicemail message, it tells me when I pick it up to dial. That might be a customer wanting to place an order, quick, play the message! My water bottle is empty, quick, refill it! If my throat gets too dry while I'm on the phone it sounds very unprofessional. An email comes in, it might be a reply to one of the letters which would save me making a phone call! A thought comes to my head, quick, blog it! Log on to Facebook! Take an extended lunch break! PROCRASTINATE AT ALL COSTS!

Running a small business really is a LOT of fun.

1 comment:

Keira said...

Someone has to do it. Try not to feel too bad. I did a tiny bit of debt collection work a few years ago and you know sometime people just do not want to part with there money.