Asking for money can be uncomfortable, and that’s true even when it’s owed to your business for services rendered. But formal communication from your business to a customer who hasn’t paid is important, and so is understanding how best to approach that communication. Here are three tips for writing effective request-for-payment letters to your late customers.
The Benefit of Effective Communication
In some cases, a letter clarifying the missing payment is enough to motivate your customers to pay. That’s particularly true when that letter comes from a collection agency like Business Professional Collection Services, Inc., here in northern Nevada. In fact, in many instances, initial correspondence from our agency is all that needs to be done. However, if you aren’t ready to turn over accounts to collections, you can increase the odds that a customer pays outstanding debt to your business by following three best practices.
• Be careful with your language. An effective collections letter should create a sense of urgency without coming across as threatening. Remember, you’re walking a fine line between maintaining your relationship with this customer and asking for payment. Acknowledging that your customer may be experiencing difficulties that are making timely payment challenging is a good approach.
• Stay factual and avoid emotion. Don’t use intimidating or inflammatory rhetoric. Instead, be clear about the services that were provided, what the customer owes for these services, and as well as any options your customer has for setting up payment plans. Helping your customers understand their bill can be really effective.
• Customize each letter to the customer. It can be tempting to use a standard request-for-payment letter for every customer. But taking time to customize each letter is a better approach. After all, your customers are all unique, and so are their circumstances. Bills that are overdue by 30 days are different than bills that are overdue by several months, and your correspondence should be tailored to reflect that.
Of course, writing and sending letters to your customers requesting payment for overdue accounts diverts resources from your business that could be used elsewhere. If you’d prefer to partner with an experienced and professional collection agency—and increase your chances of being paid in the process—the team at BP Collect is here to help. Contact us today to learn more about our approach to collections and what we can do for your business.