4 tips to use when chasing customers for payment
Chasing customers for payment can be a frustrating task, especially if you aren’t getting the answers you are looking for (i.e. a definitive date for payment); there are a few things you can do, however, that will provide you with a structured chasing strategy and therefore have more chance of success.
Use a mix of chasing
Using only emails to chase for payment will likely ineffective in the long run. Emails can be easily ignored, therefore if you aren’t receiving replies from customers to yours emails it is a pointless exercise to continue sending further emails.
Phone calls are less likely to be ignored and therefore make it much more difficult for your customer to be evasive; these calls should be backed up by emails outlining what was discussed and next steps so that you have a record of your conversations should legal action be necessary.
If phone calls and emails still don’t find resolution, sending letters to your customers will up the ante in relation to chasing. As letters are perceived by the recipient as a more formal way of communicating and therefore have more gravitas
This is a vital aspect to a collection strategy, particularly if you share chasing duties with a colleague. Making notes of each contact with a customer, and the outcomes of said conversation will ensure that during your next contact you understand the entire history with a customer. If you haven’t managed to reach the appropriate person, ensure that you leave a message and take note of the person you spoke to; following this send an email to state you had rung and left a message. Your notes will also assist you if you have to take legal action by showing you have complied with the court’s pre-action protocols.
Prepare for the call
Prior to making a call ensure that you fully read notes regarding their account, as well as looking back over emails between yourselves and your customer; this will make you feel more confident on the call as well as convey your professionalism, but also encourage quicker resolution.
Set a follow up date
If you have not found resolution to your phone call (i.e. no set payment date, more details are needed, approval is needed from another area of the business), ensure you let your customer know when you will contact them again; this will give your customer a deadline and therefore the incentive to find resolution.
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