Collection Letters: Don’t slow payments with lousy communication
It may not seem difficult to write a simple debt collection letter or follow-up collection notice. But the fact is, a badly written letter can slow the process of getting paid … and people send poorly written letters all the time!
There are some surprising mistakes that people make when crafting letters. One common mistake is writing an emotional letter using overly aggressive language or silly threats. Unfortunately, emotional letters only communicate that you’re emotional, which doesn’t make your customer want to whip out the checkbook.
Another mistake is making the assumption that the debtor knows about the debt and has ignored any previous attempt to collect. While the customer may have indeed shoved your last letter aside, it’s best not to assume that’s the case because if it’s not, then you just come off as hostile. Again, that’s no incentive to pay you.
The ultimate mistake is to beef up the consequences of not paying beyond what they are. It’s true that the letter needs to be firm and stating consequences for non-payment is important information for your customer to have. But it’s also true that the letter needs to be 100% factual.
Escalating consequences beyond what they actually are can come back to bite you down the road. And besides, you’re a person of your word; so stating the facts accurately is the only way to go.
The consequences of making all of these mistakes in one letter can be devastating.
You want to make your debtor want to pay you, not ignore you or worse, not take you seriously.
Effective notices that communicate what you intend are short and to the point, void of emotion and solid on the facts.
Our best advice: write your collection letters before you need them, and then use them as templates. That way, no matter how aggravated you may be your letters will remain professional and on point.
We have sample letters right here on our Blog along with practical tips for writing great collection letters. Check it out!