Bad debt is one of the things that most take the sleep of entrepreneurs. After all, having a high number of arrears can make the continuity of the operation unfeasible. In addition, the enterprise needs to make more expenditures in order to recover the arrears. But, after all, do you know how to reduce bad debt in your business?
First, you have to keep in mind that there is no ready formula: the excellent way to reduce bad debt is to avoid it. In this perspective, attitudes and planning must be done by the entrepreneur. Thus, he manages to obtain a recurring payment in order to develop his business.
Let’s show you what you can do to deal with this situation in a professional way!
How to Ask for Payment Professionally?
There are several collection techniques that the financial personnel must use to perform professional collection work; we go to them:
Make the first contacts impersonally.
Each delay has a reason, and it is not always a sign that the customer is malicious or will no longer pay. Therefore, the first contact reporting the delay should only serve as a form of warning or reminder, not least because forgetfulness can be one of the reasons for non-payment.
What caused the payment delay?
Get in touch with the customer, but at first, try to understand the delay’s cause. Knowing the reason, it is easier to help you understand that you are not only charging but also helping you to solve the problem. Remember that this delay may be the customer’s way of showing dissatisfaction with delivering the service or a defective product. In addition, you may be surprised at what prompted you to postpone payment.
Ask whether the debt bill has reached them.
You can then proceed with the pleasantries by asking whether they have received the debt bill you have sent to them (even though you are sure they have received the bill) and whether they have checked the bill. Usually, you send this bill to the client about one week before the due date. If your client has an angelic heart, by accepting this bill, they will have their awareness to pay the amount without waiting for the due date and, of course, without waiting for your collection call. When you ask about the bill and even if they answer that they haven’t received it, you certainly already know the truth, or you can also explain about telephone billing so that they can no longer evade their bill.
This is a great technique, as it warns the customer without being invasive. Just send reminders by SMS or e-mail, that is, collection messages, just informing the debt arrears. In this method, the client does not forget the debt and, if it is well-intentioned, begins to think of ways to pay it off.
It is an excellent way to prepare you for a more personal call or contact. However, it is almost impossible to stop sending a message to the defaulters every day. Therefore, the best way is to adopt a collection system like Invoice Quickly that does this service for you.
Offer Different Options
It may also be an excellent method to reach out to the borrower one way or another and offer different options to pay the debt.
For example, You can reach a person who owes you $70000 and make an agreement that will pay $10000 in cash and the remaining $60000 in 6 months. Or it could be the option of $70000/12 months.
The customer will probably have some problems because he is unable to pay the debt. At that time, you need to come up with solutions. Remember to negotiate and give in, if necessary. It is better to enter into an agreement than not to receive.
Get Rid of Problematic client
If the company has a group of clients who continuously cause trouble, the company should permanently cancel its dealings.
For companies that are still in the development process, this may seem like a waste of revenue, but it should also be considered that they will not receive this revenue regularly.
If a client closes all forms of communication, the process of canceling his subscription is easy because he is waiting to complete the transaction in the first place.
Understand how to approach the customer in different media
With the use of the internet, it is increasingly easy to contact anyone. Still, it is necessary to know the best approach for each platform and how to charge a customer by email, SMS, telephone, or even by WhatsApp.
Therefore, do not use the same text or the same form of contact in all communication networks; create a special way in each of them:
SMS messages are great for sending an impersonal warning and for frequent reminders. The text must be formal and objective.
Low cost, high effectiveness, effective and non-invasive (as long as the customer who provided your number).
If used in the wrong way it is harmful, for example: sending a message to the customer who does not have debt or if used exaggeratedly.
An e-mail is an excellent way for an impersonal first contact, but it is also an exciting platform to send negotiation options, such as discounts and benefits to the client if he settles the debt.
In this contact, be direct, but take the time to put more information and arguments in order to try negotiation.
Zero cost (as long as it is the only means of contact), not embarrassing.
Low efficiency, compromised delivery.
This is a contact that needs a lot of attention, as there are several ways to use it. It can be used for warnings and reminders, but it can also be used for a more personal and friendly conversation.
It is also an interesting place to present benefits in paying off debt (such as discounts) and starting a negotiation. However, be careful not to be invasive.
Low cost, high effectiveness, effective and non-invasive (as long as authorized by the client), as there is no character limit, the text can have more words.
The danger of blocking and loss of your WhatsApp number if many customers report you for SPAM, no automatic tools for mass or automated sending. WhatsApp has been the most-used channel by fraudsters, so it does not generate trust.
Using a collection agency.
A collection agency may make collection attempts on your behalf so that you and your employees can dedicate your time to other work in the business. Suppose you decide to hire a collection agency. In that case, it is essential to thoroughly review the agency’s quality, asking for references and verifying complaints with your state attorney general’s office or local best business office. Your contract with the collection agency should be explicit about the terms by which it empowers the collecting agency to act on your behalf and what the agency will need to be paid.
Don’t be afraid and do it within the law.
When a customer does not make the payment, your company suffers – it is money that does not come to the cash register – therefore, being afraid to receive what is rightfully yours is a big mistake made by several beginning entrepreneurs. You shouldn’t feel guilty because the service has already been provided or the product has already been delivered – and this has cost your business.
The buyer does have his rights, and how to charge a customer must follow the rules of the consumer protection code, but never forget that you, the merchant, also have rights under the law.
If the company has exhausted all possible means to collect “late” invoices, it must resort to the court as a last resort.
The company collects the largest amount of information and contacts a lawyer to discuss the best way.
The late collection amount may not equal the amount of time and money that will be spent on legal procedures. Therefore, the available options should be carefully studied
Professional Payment Request Email Templates
The initial step you should take when seeing that your client has not paid for the job is to contact you. It may be that he forgot to make the payment or that he lacked money. You, as a consumer, probably have already failed to pay off a debt. So put yourself in his place and ask if anything has happened. When talking to him, try to understand the reason for the delay. It may be that the payment installment was too high. Or else the agreed date didn’t work for him. The important thing is to understand the reason and propose a solution that works for both sides.
Our tip is that this charge should always be made by email. Thus, you have a record that you contacted the defaulting customer asking for payment to be made.
Not sure what to write? Here are some email tips:
E-mail 1 (suggestion: forward two days after expiration)
Subject: [Your Business’s Name]: Invoice #005 Past Due
Hi [Client’s Name],
I looked at my account and saw that the payment for the job I did for you was not made. Did something happen? If I can serve you with something, please let me know.
I’m waiting for your answer.
[Your Business Contact Details]
Email 2 (suggestion: forward if the customer does not reply to your previous email within a week)
Subject: [Your Business’s Name]: Invoice #005 Past Due
Hi [Client’s Name],
Last week, I issued you an email regarding my payment. Did you get to read it? I would like to know if something happened because I checked my account and saw that the invoice has not yet been paid. Let me know when you intend to make the payment? So, I can redo the invoice for you with the right date.
[Your Business Contact Details]
As soon as you have an answer, redo your invoice, now with the updated date, and forward it to the customer.
While using the Invoice Quickly, you don’t have to worry about re-invoicing. This is because it is possible to register the invoice with a fine and interest if the payment is made after the stipulated period. The criterion of how many days after the due date the invoice can be paid is up to you: we give you the option of up to 29 days.
Have a Quality Software and control defaulting customers
Using quality software to automate your company’s processes helps in total control of all defaulting customers.
Invoice Quickly offers several modules, such as financial control, sales, inventory, in addition to issuing tax documents.
It is also possible to have control over all paying and delinquent customers, facilitating and organizing the entire collection process of the company.
The best of all advantages is that Invoice Quickly charges your defaulting customer for you. It automatically sends email notifications of the collection due, so the default decreases, and you only care about your work.
You issue booklets, recurring or installment charges, and your customer receives them by email, WhatsApp, or SMS.
Manage your payments, find out who hasn’t paid yet, and how your cash flow is—all of this on the platform or in the application.