The first step to communicate a sense of urgency with your delinquent customer is usually to send a collection letter. Understanding how to create the perfect collection letter will help you increase your odds of getting paid. Here are some characteristics to consider in drafting your letter especially on larger delinquencies.
Consistent Structure with a Personalized Touch
Following a general format when creating your collection letters will help ensure that you include all necessary information. With that being said, addressing each unique situation in a personal manner will go a long way in emphasizing the importance of the issue and show that the letter is not simply an “automated reminder.”
Include All Relevant References
Explicitly state the original payment agreement and the date the payment was due. Make sure to include the invoice date and if possible a description of the merchandise.
Handle Communication in a Polite, Yet Firm Manner
Express that payment is past due and that it should be resolved as soon as possible, but do so in a polite manner. In initial letters, include “face-saving” communication techniques that show that the payment issue may have been an inadvertent mistake. Communicating in this manner will help your customer see that you understand mistakes do happen and you are simply trying to avoid this situation becoming a bigger issue.
Include the Desired Time for Response
Make sure you state the time in which you expect payment or to hear from your customer if there is a problem with immediate payment.
The format, detail, and firmness will vary based on the age of the delinquency. Our Collection letter ebook has further suggestions and samples letters.