What is a collections representatives?
A collections representative does the brunt of hard work in the accounts receivable department. These are people that are actively calling and emailing accounts to attempt to collect from past due accounts. Their overall main goal is collect money and reduce the overall accounts receivable for the company, however, there are many roles they play leading up to this that often get overlooked.
Roles of the Collections Representative
Collecting money from customers is not an easy task to take on. This is often a conversation where tempers run high, however, the collections representative has to remain calm and level headed throughout the entire ordeal. A collections representative has to consider themselves as a customer service agent to the customer, as well. If the customer has an issue with the order and is disputing payment on the product or service, the collections representative is the first line of defense and has to display proper customer service in order to fix the issue and collect payment.
The collections representative should maintain a good relationship with the sales department and be in constant contact with them. The sales department is often times setting the idea of what credit terms will be like for customers, so they should be agreed upon with the collections department. Many times, the sales department has built up a solid relationship with the customer, so the collections representative should be comfortable employing help from the sales department when needed for collections efforts.
A collections representative should be pulling and presenting reports monthly for the supervisors of the collections department. These reports include their average length of time spent collecting from customers, their customer account’s average days late, number of collection emails/letters sent, reduced accounts receivable and more. This shows the amount of effort spent by the collector in order to receive payment and can help keep track of whether the current tactics are working.
These roles that a collections representative fills are in conjunction with their regular duties of calling customers, sending reminders, collection emails and past due notices, and dealing with customer invoice disputes. In order for a collections representative to do their job well, they typically are acting as a collector, customer service representative, sales liaison and data reporter.