The Revolution in Query Resolution

There’s nothing more frustrating to a credit controller than to pro-actively chase a debt, establish that the invoice is in query, and for it to remain unresolved. So, what can be done to speed up the query resolution process?

First let’s take a look at the main reasons why some queries aren’t resolved quickly enough:

1. The resolution of the query means me spending time pulling all the information together – I simply haven’t got the time…
A good credit controller will make sure that you are properly equipped with the full details of the query received from the customer. They will take full and complete details from the customer and pass those onto you.

They will ensure that you have the necessary information regarding the conduct of payment of the customer account, so that you know whether there is any pattern of queries or whether this is an isolated incident. They will also advise you of any other overdue invoices that have not been paid or confirmed by the customer so that you can discuss these and the overall account at the same time (if required).

The more information they provide, the easier and quicker it will be for the query to be resolved.

2. Resolving queries is low down on my list of priorities, I have other targets and query resolution isn’t one of them…
Good communication is vital. It is important that departments support each other to achieve the business objectives. There is little or no point in making a sale if it is not paid for.
The credit control team should be an extension of your customer service, they are there to help develop and build relationships with your customers. And good customer satisfaction typically results in great client retention.

3. The resolution of the query means a difficult conversation with my customer, I’d rather not have that…
We all know that burying our head in the sand does not make a problem go away. The longer a query remains outstanding, the more difficult it is to deal with. Clear and documented communication with the customer throughout the sale process, along with clarity on the cost and timing of invoicing, means a reduced likelihood of receiving a query upon submission of your invoice. Invoicing promptly after the sale is also good practice whilst the sale is “fresh” in the mind of the customer.

4. The query is lost in my inbox, I receive hundreds of emails everyday…
Emailing queries to individuals is not an effective way for credit control to deal with them. A good query resolution tool will log details of all outstanding queries centrally, define responsibility for the resolution and flag those that are overdue for resolution.
Not only does the query log give an overall picture of the level of queries within a sales ledger, it often acts as a good motivator in getting the individuals concerned to resolve the queries assigned to them – nobody likes to be named and shamed!

So let’s look at how we can manage the query resolution more effectively:
• Central logging of all queries with visibility for all to see
• Defining responsibility for the resolution of the query
• Recording and monitoring the length of time for which a query has been outstanding
• Central reporting on the reasons why queries arise to identify specific areas for improvement

Not all finance systems have a credit control module and a good query resolution tool. But then not all systems are the same.

Find out more about Visibility™, the real-time query resolution tool from OnCloud.

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