2. Verify the disputes
When your customers dispute one or more invoices, it is crucial that you give them priority and take action as soon as possible. It is not only because your products have short shelf lives, but also to show your customers that you take the trade relationships seriously, and that you would like to receive their payments.
Sometimes the disputes are proven. They could originate from inefficiencies in your organisation's processes, such as: • The quality of the products is bad • The quantity of the products is not correct • There are errors in the invoices • There are problems with shipment
However, sometimes the disputes are unproven. Your customers might just want a discount.
As a result, the first step you should take in handling disputes is to check if the disputes are well-founded. This is where the records of all the communications between you and your customers come in handy. Go through them and find the clues you need.
When it comes to the quality of the products in international shipment, it may become tricky to verify the disputes. In our experience, the most effective action most companies can take is getting proof of the spoilage on-site.
The settlement process of such disputes often speeds up after this verification. While verifying disputes is not always possible and you may not have the time or resources for it, you can consider making use of others' expertise in this matter. More information on this in the guideline "6. The key to successful collections of disputed invoices" .