Collection Strategies To Get Your Clients To Cough Up The Dough
It’s no fun to get calls from creditors demanding payment, but as many attorneys know it’s not much better to be on the other side of the phone call. Some offices simply put off this unpleasant task, trusting that clients will pay when they can, and that ends up hurting the company’s profits. Easy TimeBill and our other legal software programs include tools to help your practice stay on top of collection activity and improve office revenue.
One of the keys to successful collection is regular communication. It is important to send clients billing reminders every month so the debt stays fresh in their minds. Even if your office has agreed to give a client an extension, let’s say waiving late fees for 90 days to give the client a chance to pay the outstanding balance, you should send monthly reminders or the debt might slip off the table into obscurity. Our law office billing software can automatically bulk generate email or regular mail payment reminders every 30 days so you know your clients are kept apprised of the latest account balances.
Although these automatic reminders are valuable, don’t let law office management software take the place of personal contact. If you haven’t received any payment or communication from a client, it can be worth a quick telephone call to check in and see how the client is doing. When facing financial difficulties people often become embarrassed and ignore their bills rather than calling creditors. If a client is having a cash flow problem and can’t pay this month, at least now you know. You can decide whether to have Easy TimeBill automatically calculate late fees, or to waive finance charges for hardship cases.
Empathy and courtesy are strong payment motivators. A client who is dealing, for example, with a divorce financial settlement is not only adjusting to major financial changes but also to major personal ones. Although you may be within your rights to demand on-time payment, you may also damage your relationship with the client. Flexibility and sympathy will increase the chance of collection and the possibility of future business from referrals.
Of course you don’t want to be so nice you drive yourself out of business. Law office billing software gives you your practice’s financial situation at a glance. You can determine how much leniency you can give clients, which clients are paying, which are not, current trust accounting balances and a general feeling for how healthy your practice is.
Ignoring your creditors is a bad financial strategy but so is ignoring your debtors. Use Easy Soft’s law office management software to stay on top of outstanding balances, trust accounting and other financial aspects of running an attorney’s office.