Whether you are running a small business or a large corporation, late payments can be the last thing you would want to encounter. This is because it affects your financial management and customer relationships. Late payments can be unpredictable. You don’t know when the client will respond. And when you can’t predict the incoming cash, managing the outgoing one becomes difficult. However, by sending a payment reminder, you can always get your payments being made on time.
A payment reminder is a document sent to a customer, reminding them to pay for the goods or services rendered to them. On many occasions, following up a customer to pay what they owe, you can be challenging. According to financial experts, one of the best ways to encourage your clients to made prompt payments is to politely communicate with them through emails and letters. Usually, a properly worded payment reminder email/letter should contain the following contents:
Contents of an Effective Payment Reminder Letter/Email
In your reminder letter, you need to introduce yourself to the customer properly. Mention your name, your title, and your company. A proper introduction will make the customer be aware of where precisely the reminder is coming from.
Write the date
For the purposes of record-keeping, it’s prudent that you include the date in which the letter is written (only applicable in letters but not email reminders).
Recipient’s personal information
Again, you need to indicate the details of the recipients to avoid miscommunication. Make sure you have the customer’s official names and address right. If you don’t include the correct details, the letter can find its way to an unintended person. Therefore, you need to be as accurate as possible to avoid inconveniences.
The first paragraph, also known as the introductory paragraph, is usually precise and direct to the point. Here, you need to alert the reader of the late payment. Clearly describe the type of goods or services you offered and still haven’t been paid. Again, you can include the date in which payments were to be made.
Here, you will explain how crucial your company needs the money. If this is the first reminder, then you will use a polite and persuasive tone. However, if it’s a second or third reminder, then your tone should be professional and assertive.
Additionally, you need to let the customer know any repercussions or consequences that may follow should they decline to settle their late payments. By mentioning the repercussions, you simply make the customer be aware of what’s coming so that they can take your reminders more seriously.
At the same time, you can clarify the types of payment you accept. This can either be credit cards, checks, mobile money payments, money orders, or automated clearinghouse, to mention a few.
Once you are through with the body paragraph(s), you need to conclude your letter with a closing statement. But before that, ensure you reiterate why it’s important for the customer to heed to the letter requirements. To be more professional, you can apologize for any inconvenience that may be caused in the due process. Then, add your name, your official signature, and title.
How to prevent Late Payments from happening
In as much as you can arm yourself with the payment reminders, there is still a way in which you can prevent the late payments from happening in the first place. Remember that if late payments are avoided, you can avoid the discomfort feeling associated with chasing down your customers. Therefore, implementing these tips will help you stay ahead of your customers.
- Be honest and sincere
Before making any purchase agreement with your clients, it’s advisable that you discuss in detail the payment terms and conditions. Let your customer know when to pay for the goods and services you are about to offer. This way, you won’t leave it up to your customer to dictate when they pay.
- Discuss time limits
The other thing you need to be clear about is the time in which you would want to be paid. As a recommended option, always indicate your repayment time frame in terms of days. For instance, payments can be made 30 days after receiving the goods/services.
- Charge interest on late payments
This is another great way to avoid late payments from happening in your business. Holding your customers financially accountable for late payments can make them stay committed to settling your debts on time. Therefore, you need to state clearly the interest charges that will be accrued to the customer’s account should they fail to make timely repayments.
Sample Letters & Email Examples
Payment Reminder Email Sample
Subject line: Payment Reminder Invoice No. [_]
Dear [Client Name]
I am contacting you on behalf of Dotty Company with regard to the following invoice number [Invoice Number].
This Invoice was due on 2nd August 2020. Despite your busy schedule, it would be great if you spare some time and confirm the receipt of this Invoice. Further, we will highly appreciate it if you make the payments as soon as possible.
Note that for our company to manage its operations and to serve you better next time, we need to organize our finances on time. Therefore, we humbly request you to make the payments in two weeks’ time. Otherwise, we would be forced to seek other alternative interventions necessary.
I have attached a copy of the Invoice for reference. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me through [Put your contacts].
Payment Reminders Sample Letter
[Senders contact details]
Dear [Customers name]
Our records indicate that invoice number [__] under your name is currently outstanding. The payment was due on [input date], which have already elapsed one week ago. We will be glad if you spend some time to review the Invoice and make prompt payments.
If there is anything we can do to facilitate the payment, please don’t hesitate to inform us. As a courtesy to our customers, we accept both MasterCard and Visa card payments. Attached is a copy of the Invoice for your reference. Thanks for your time.