The customer support needed in material delivery was shared in the last post as under:
The fourth component was payments:
Some standard areas where customer support has to be resorted to in a payments process are as under:
- Clarifications on payment terms – normally sales teams have a final authority
- Special offers, like early payment discounts – again sales / customer coordinators have a final or a near-final say in this
- Penalty / interest clarifications on delayed payments – the accounting folks are the SPOCS here
- Payments remitted but not received – accounting again
- Incorrectly applied payments, where payment is adjusted against an incorrect invoice – this links into the cash application process
- Incorrectly applied payments, where payment is applied to a different unit or to an incorrect customer – this links into the cash application process
- Unavailable confirmations for payment adjustments – collections team
- Customer statement reconciliations – collections team
- Adjustments of debit notes or credit notes and its impact on the payment amount – accounting department
- Checks / cheques bounced / not honored – again accounting
- Bank commissions adjusted in payment – accounting
- Settlements for disputes and disagreements – collections team
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Interesting article. I just wanted to get some clarification. If there is a dispute about the quality of the product delivered (i.e. service), are you saying that the collections team is responsible for getting resolution. I would have thought that at that point, it would be the joint responsibility of quality control (review nature of complaint & root cause), and sales (re-negotiating payment & terms based on report of quality control). Looking forward to everyone’s input from a number of perspectives.
You are correct Patricia, the collections team may need to do initial follow up to ascertain the causes. It will be the Sales or customer support team which will have to chip in. Normally this would result in sales returns. Collections will have to ensure that appropriate approvals for accounting are in place and the amount moves out of the collections purview.