On a recent drive through my neighborhood, I noticed a new “For Sale” sign on one of the homes on my street. The house was built five years ago, and has already sold twice. Sign of the times! We are a transient society. People move. Businesses move. While frequent moves can mean a boon for the real estate and construction industries, they can create an issue for a small business if delinquent customers move and you have no way to locate them.
From now on, assume that customers are going to leave, and make sure that your customer contract has an applicaiton section that gathers as much information as possible. A little planning goes a long way! If the inevitable happens, and a customer moves without paying you, at least you will have some information to begin searching for them.
Along with the bad news that customers are on the move is the good news that there is a ton of information about people online. Try searching on social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, and you will be amazed at the information you will find.
When you are considering hiring a collection agency, make sure to ask about the agency’s skiptracing ability. Skiptracing is the process of finding people and their assets, and it is an essential part of bad debt collection. Too many businesses focus on getting the lowest contingency collection rate and then wind up paying extra for essentials like skiptracing. Although you want to keep your costs of collection low, you should make sure you work with a reputable agency that has the ability and willingness to work to find your customers. NEVER pay an additional fee to your agency or attorney for skiptracing.
Make sure that you provide all customer data (even if it is outdated) to your collection agency, as they can use the old information to search for new information.
Skiptracing is only one of the services a collection agency can provide you. Want to hire a collection agency and not sure where to start? Download our free e-book today!