Collection letters have two goals:
- To get you paid
- To keep customer good will
Collection letters typically go to two types of customers:
- Those who have hit a tight spot, but really do want to pay
- Those who are facing a failed business, who have given up and are unlikely to pay
The first customer is our focus for the purpose of this post because this is the customer who wants more than anything to resolve the debt. The reality is, your efforts to work with them in a respectful and reasonable manner will be appreciated in part, because you’re helping them reach their goal: to be current. Therefore, the tone of your initial letter should be of a friendly reminder nature in the hopes of retaining the existing positive relationship.
Our Collections Timeline can help you decide when to make a call, when to send a letter and when to begin using a more forceful tone. Naturally, starting out with a friendly reminder letter is a fair and professional start. Without the benefit of understanding the circumstances surrounding the past due account, it’s best to assume it’s a simple oversight where a nice reminder letter will do the trick.
From there, space your contacts about 10 days apart using a more formal tone with each one. In the upcoming weeks, we’ll post a few sample letters to help get you started on your way to writing collection letters that will get you paid.