Are repeated email reminders not getting your “please pay me” message through? Do your weekly voicemail reminders seem to be going into a black hole?
One of the most important parts of training your customer to pay is diversifying your communications channels. It's imperative that you follow up through various channels. Make sure you have your customer’s phone number, mailing address and email address, and make sure you’re using all of them.
In our experience, sending one type of message again and again won’t get great results. Some things to think about:
Contacting your customer through the same channel over and over can get annoying or, worse, turn your follow-ups into white noise. Using multiple channels will help you cut through the clutter.
Single Channels May Get Missed
What if your customer rarely checks email? Or hates talking on the phone? Or has a sleepy assistant managing their paper mail? If your customer has hundreds of suppliers to pay, an email reminder just doesn’t cut through the noise.
Vary the Cadence
One tactic that is often effective is to “cluster” your communications. In other words, send a printed reminder, then, a few days later email them a copy of their invoice, then a few days after that, give them a call. Then give it a rest to see if you get a response.
The Institute of Financial Operations offers up these stats:
- 83% of respondents admitted to losing between one and 225 invoices a month
- 2% said their workplaces lose between 226 and 350 invoices a month
- Only 15% said they never lose invoices
Our recommendation? Add new follow-up methods to your accounts receivable mix. If you normally send print invoices, send an email or pick up the phone now and again. For large customers or those just around the corner, make an appointment for a face-to-face visit. A friendly discussion may be exactly what’s needed to make sure your invoice is the next one paid.