You might think here I would be immediately talking about the credit controller – but no. Often companies do not have the right attitude to their own credit staff, and that will cause a motivational problem, one that is almost insurmountable. Like all staff credit controllers have to feel they are doing a worthwhile job and that it is view like that within the company. Too often I hear the credit department referred to as the anti-sales department. There is no profit until the company get paid; this has to be kept in mind. The company is not a bank. Credit controller will work very well when there are good guidelines and well laid out company credit policies.
Credit controllers are in general the most abused employees within any company – customers lie to them all the time, complain about them, especially when they are putting off paying an invoice, customers are aggressive, and shout and swear at them. At the same time they walk the fine line between getting paid and not causing any problems for the company they work for. These problems diminish as the company they work for is more dominant with the market or it is a multi-national.
Bear in mind – if the credit controller, like any other employee, feels a good connection to the company and that they are being protected, they will work better and more productively – win – win.
The Credit Controller’s Attitude
As with some many things within a company this comes down to training and personality. Sometimes no matter what you do some people cannot do this job – if that is the case move on quickly.
However if you are doing it and want some help read on. I work best in the mornings, I have lots of energy before lunch and therefore I will schedule anything that is difficult during this period, if I can. Some don’t fully join the world until late in the day – if that is the case for you then get the paper work done in the morning, do reports, send out mail, copy invoice, delivery notes, and when you are ready tackle the calls and talk to your customers.
Golden Rule – Never get angry, or if you do never act on your anger. Credit controllers are provoked many times each day and this is one of the main tasks of the job; learn how to deal with your own emotions. If the conversation is getting out of hand, put the customer on hold for a moment – not more than a moment as they will not be there when you go back.
Follow your own company’s credit procedures. That may sound too simple – but it is amazing how often credit controllers forget this simple task. Know what the policies are, have a copy of the credit control polocies, it is sometimes helpful to be able to email, fax or post them to some customers.