How to follow up with finesse
Getting paid shouldn’t be a hassle. Unfortunately, sometimes it is.
Bar-none, making a debt collection phone-call tops the list as the least appealing job when running a business. But once you’ve made the call, heard the promises and agreed on a solution, what’s the best way to follow-up to be sure the customer does his part?
Try this: Send a “Thank You” email.
In the subject line, put “Thank You” and in the body, put into words what you understand the next steps to be. Re-state the promises your customer made and your expectations of that promise including relevant dates.
And above all, end with a statement that requires a response. It’s not further promises you’re after by doing this, nor is it necessary for him to re-agree to the promises he made during your conversation. It’s merely to confirm that the email was received and read and that your understanding of the conversation is accurate. As an example:
Thank you for taking the time to talk with me on the phone today and for letting me know that you received my invoice dated January 10.
As agreed, I’ll watch for a check in the mail by the end of next week for payment in full. Late fees have been waived as per today’s discussion. I’ll call you when the check arrives.
I’m especially appreciative of your feedback about our communication throughout this last project. Your insight has inspired improvements that will benefit us both as we work together on future projects.
I believe you mentioned launching the next phase the week of February 10. Did I get that date correct?
In many cases, a simple follow-up email is all it takes for the customer to follow through.