There are times when customers fail to pay as agreed. The professional way of asking money from these customers is through a collection letter. Here are some tips on how to write one without offending your valuable customers.
- Make sure to collect all necessary information about your client and his account. Mention relevant details in your letter, such as date purchased, money owed, when payment was due and any partial payments made. Be specific about how much and when you expect to be paid to prevent misunderstandings. You may attach a photocopy of the original bill and highlight the amount he still owes. This will add legitimacy to your claim.
- When writing your letter, you should sound personable but serious. Keep it under one page and be courteous. You must simply remind your customers that their balance is overdue. Set a near deadline for settling the payment.
- You should also ask your client to contact you if they are having any problems. You may talk about a different mode of payment that would ensure that you get paid without needing to force money out of your customer. Mishandling the situation may lead to further complications.
- If your customer does not respond, send another letter, in a firmer tone than the first one. State that you are sending a follow-up letter about the overdue payments and that you are expecting a quick response from the customer. If your customer still does not respond, make succeeding letters even more demanding. Warn them about consequences if they still do not pay. However, do not forget to maintain courteousness throughout the letter.
- Provide acknowledgment. If your customer pays the bill, or makes a partial payment in response to your collection letter, do not forget to acknowledge this in your next letter with the updated balance and credit due.
- Remember to keep track of the letters you are sending. These are important documents since they show that you were trying to negotiate with your customer. If they fail to respond, they need to take note of the consequences. You may need to use them as evidence when the time comes.
- In your final letter, state the number of times you have tried to correspond with them but failed to do so. Give them one last chance to appeal and set another deadline before proceeding with the necessary sanctions.
- You may send them a letter of notice about the cancellation of their account or you may bring this case to your attorney. Whatever the penalty, you must still inform the customer about your next course of action and explain why you have decided so. This is to maintain professionalism with your customer.
- If you still want to maintain ties with this customer, you may opt to send an inquiry collection letter instead. Acknowledge that the situation must be hard for him and that you are willing to offer new terms as long as they contact you.
Writing a collection letter is quite a challenge. You have to maintain politeness while asking your client to pay for his overdue bill. It is even more difficult to make him pay the bill, especially if he is under tight financial problems as of present. Do not forget that you hold the name of your company and you must refrain from using any offensive language when addressing your client.