Wouldn’t it be nice if all your customers actually paid within the time-scales that are specified in your terms and conditions? Realistically this hardly ever happens. Over the past few months, it has become more obvious that as a small business the longer it takes for a customer to settle their account and also more apparent that the bigger the company the less likely they are to pay anywhere near the settlement time …
However that changed last week, when I went to a client to test their equipment, the site was one of the best that I know – no paper or files littered under desks, staff happy to close their computers down when asked and more importantly, they even asked if I would like a cup of tea or coffee!
Once the job was completed I returned to my office to upload the results to our test results system. These results are then converted by an electronic document sharing program and sent to our client web portal so that they can login and collect their results, asset register and certificate. In most cases this process is usually completed within 48 hours but today they were ready at the end of the day, so I sent the access ID and password for the portal, along with the invoice.
Well imagine my surprise when I came into the office the next day to find an email response from the client stating that the invoice had been paid and should be in the account by the end of the day. Well I checked the bank account and found that the invoice had been settled within about ten minutes rather than the settlement time of 14 days. What a dream – now a reality – but if only they all would pay like that!
On arrival I explained that I would like to see someone from the accounts department and would not leave until the account had been settled. To show that I meant business I even took my sandwiches in preparation for a long wait. It’s a shame but the long wait never happened as about 10 minutes later my cheque arrived and I left via the bank of course.Of course we know that this is not normally the case – a client paying within a short time. Last year I had another client who after 10 weeks had not settled their account, so after the normal letters and telephone calls, I took a very different approach to debt collection. I decided to visit the client and personally request my account to be paid.
Until next time …I pride myself on providing a first class service in Health and Safety testing, I just wish sometimes my clients would also adopt a similar service when it comes to account payment. And on that note, if you need your office equipment PAT Testing or need to talk about any other aspect of Health & Safety in your workplace, then do give me a call on 0330 6600264.