A credit manager has a difficult job. They’re not only managing their own employees, but they’re fielding some of the most difficult calls from customers. They’re dealing with invoice disputes, making important decisions on customer credit and keeping the accounts receivable department in order. Effective credit managers have a few unique traits that help them to do their job well and be well-liked by their colleagues. Below are a few traits that an effective credit manager must have.
Any manager needs to be a good communicator, but a credit manager needs to be a great one. As a part of your job you are likely the liaison between collectors, sales, customer service, shipping, executives and other key departments. You also need to be able to take feedback and goals from the executive team and build them into your credit management and invoice collection strategies, communicate that to others (such as collectors and sales people) and then put it all into action while measuring the results and making adjustments to improve them.
The best way to communicate the goals and responsibilities of these various departments is by creating a complete credit policy and plan which outlines various rules and processes designed to meet overall company goals.
AN ENABLER OF SUCCESS
A great credit manager does more than just protect his or her own interests, they care about the success of their entire team and the individuals who make it up. One of the best ways to foster a team of successful collectors is to provide them with the tools and training they need to do their job to the best of their ability. Give your collectors call scripts, a process for handling difficult accounts, a guide to eliminating invoice disputes and tips for collections. Although this may sound overwhelming now, in the long run it will decrease your workload because your collectors will be armed with the right tools to make their own decisions for success.
Credit managers usually have to step in when there are particularly difficult collection cases occurring. This may be a customer refusing to pay, a customer who keeps saying they will pay but won’t or a customer asking to extend their credit limit. If your collector begins to get fed up with the situation, a good credit manager needs to be able to step in and make sure the situation runs smoothly. They need to help the collector understand what they did right and what they can improve on, as well as make the customer happy.
Having all these particular traits makes for a credit manager that can work well with others and get the job done. If a credit manager struggles to communicate, doesn’t lift their collectors up and can’t work well with customers, the accounts receivable department will surely struggle.