The number of reminders you send and the timing of the reminders also have a strong influence on the effectiveness of the recall.
Don't wait too long to send your first reminder. In general, you can start your reminder trip five days after the due date.
The number of reminders you send and the timing of the reminder also have a strong influence on the effectiveness of the reminder.
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In the case of an overlay process where several rappels follow one another, it is critical to provide some escalations.
In practice, companies often send a strict first reminder first. And for the second reminder, the payment period suddenly becomes longer than the delay granted in the first reminder.
Increase the severity with each reminder to illustrate the essence of the reminder.
Work in 4 phases:
- First reminder, not too severe;
- A second reminder, close;
- Last reminder, with interest;
- Formal notice and collection.
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Phase 1. A first reminder not too severe
React the first time after a maximum of five days after the due date has passed. Call the debtor or send him an e-mail or letter.
Avoid standard letters. If you address the debtor personally, you will have a better chance of success.
- The reminder should make it clear that its purpose is to obtain payment.
- But don't be too strict in this first reminder. If the invoice is not paid, it may be because the customer 'cannot' or 'will not' pay, but sometimes the problem may also be with you. For example, if the goods have not been delivered as agreed or if they are damaged.
In the first reminder, you should, therefore, encourage the customer to contact you if they have any comments. Avoid terms such as 'problem' or 'complaint,' as they are too negatively connoted. Also, do not threaten the customer with possible actions and consequences.
Phase 2. Second firm reminder
If you do not receive a response, proceed to phase two.
In this second reminder, by e-mail or letter, ask more firmly for payment.
Your customer did not respond to the first reminder. You can, therefore, assume that there are no comments or questions.
The basic principles of the first reminder also apply in this case.
- Politeness is essential but at the same time,
- the customer must understand that you take the matter seriously.
You want to be paid urgently, especially since the customer has not made any remarks about your work. Costs and interest can already be announced in this second reminder.
Phase 3. Last reminder with interest
If this second reminder does not produce a result either, send the latest reminder.
Following through on your threats is crucial, or you will undermine your credibility.
The client must feel it clearly: you want to be taken seriously.
- So use strong language and tone.
- Clearly repeat the consequences of a default. It is crucial that you carry out your threats. Otherwise, you will undermine your credibility.
- Claim interest and compensation if your terms and conditions stipulate it.
Phase 4. Formal notice and collection
If you don't get what you want, follow through on your threats.
Send a formal notice to your debtor. This is the time to use a collection agency or a lawyer (before starting legal proceedings).
In this phase, you can assume that you are not the only one who has a claim on that debtor. Do not hesitate to pass on the file, well documented, to a lawyer or collection agency.
If in the first phase, the business relationship was still meaningful, in this phase, the only thing that matters is getting your money back.