As earlier mentioned in our previous post, the goal of our Credit Application Form must be getting the necessary amount of customer/consumer information that allows us to determine the granting of the requested credit.
We now want to dwell on a particularly important aspect that, to this day, many companies still do not pay the attention it deserves and is the cause of many headaches when it comes to keeping our Working Capital healthy. This is none other than the process of creating new clients where the Credit Application Form is even more important, if possible.
The process begins when the future client/consumer decides to acquire our goods/services on credit and fills out the validated forms, either internally or externally by a credit agency. It is essential here to know the following data:
- FULL name and surname of the applicant.
- COMPLETE company name in case the client is an SME/self-employed person. Especially important! Do not confuse company name with commercial name here.
- COMPLETE address.
- Profession of the applicant (and eventually of his/her spouse)
- COMPLETE bank details, in accordance with the SEPA regulations in case we are going to collect our invoices by direct debit.
- As you can well imagine, this process requires high doses of ACCURACY and CONFIDENCE, to accurately determine whether the applicant will be able to obtain the required credit in accordance with what we have established in our Credit Policy.
This last aspect is key and is one of the cornerstones of our Policy and answers, first, the question of why we should have a Credit Policy and, secondly, why the Policies differ between companies and markets, which popularly is known as Know your Customer (KYC)
In the event of encountering a request from a pre-existing client/consumer, we must also have an agile and precise system that allows us to respond to the needs of the applicant who needs to increase their Credit Limit.
Note: the fact that a client requests our services again does not necessarily imply that he is satisfied with them. Unfortunately, and especially in the retail sector, there are some people whose “modus operandi” consists of gaining the trust of their suppliers to defraud them (or the credit insurers
In both cases, new or existing clients, the credit form is the basis on which the decision matrix is based, as we will have established in our Credit Policy.