Almost every accounts receivable department and credit and collections manager is looking for that quick fix. How can you increase the amount of cash flow you’re bringing in without adding any additional work onto your already spread thin department employees? Sometimes many accounts receivable departments can feel like they are running in place just trying to keep up with the daily tasks – which often leads to frustration and irritability.

There is one collector who truly found the answer to this problem. Although it seems a little too simple, it really does work and all it takes is a little patience and practice to implement it.

Years ago our company had very few credit and collection issues, and we didn’t have a system to help. Instead, we had Lynn – our accounts receivable management clerk. Lynn was one of those extraordinary people that you only meet occasionally in your life. Our president happened to step into Lynn’s office during one of her collection calls and she was impressed, to say the least.

She was on the phone talking to someone about their children and laughing. The conversation went on for several minutes and Lynn ended the call thanking them and confirming that they’d be sending a check overnight in the mail to bring their account into good standing.

Her mantra was “Kill Them With Kindness.” And it flat out worked. Customers truly loved Lynn and we’d often get emails thanking us for having such a wonderful person on staff.

Keep this in mind when you’re hiring or training for accounts receivable management positions. Make sure that you find someone that is personable. This doesn’t even have to be something you hire for in the future. You can implement this now! Take an interest in your customers and their lives. Start practicing your manners and tone on the phone and enjoy calling your customers. It’s important in the accounts receivable industry to value relationships and have an uncanny ability to turn a difficult collections call into an enjoyable experience.

On top of the kind and warm attitude of Lynn, she was also using an accounts receivable automation tool. This allowed her to forget about the endless email reminders, collection letters and stuffing envelopes. Instead, all she really had to do was focus on fostering her customer relationships and having great collection phone calls. Since the automation tool was sending these reminders and invoices out for her, alerting her to past due accounts and telling her who to call next, all Lynn really needed to do was continue “killing with kindness” as her cash flow expanded and her past due accounts dwindled.