In order to stay in business, business owners have to be compensated for their services and thus collect payments from their customers. However, some customers get behind on their payments for one reason or another. There are many ways to create a payment request letter based on how many times you need to ask the customer to submit their payment. The first payment reminder needs to be friendly since there may actually be a legitimate reason for their nonpayment. In many cases, a courteous reminder to pay the bill is all that's necessary.
Sending Multiple Payment Request Letters
If you've sent out multiple reminder letters to no avail or haven't received any communication whatsoever from the customer, there's a good chance that they may be seriously sick or experiencing financial hardship. After making several attempts to collect payment without success, you'll need to send out a final reminder that clearly asks why the bill has not yet been paid. You can let them know that severe consequences will happen if they don't pay their bill. Although the consequences can vary based on the company or individual, the most common ones are repossession of the goods, termination of their account, or taking legal action.
Here are a few important documents that you may need to include along with your payment reminder letter:
• A copy of the customer's original bill
• The date the payment was due in addition to the word 'Reminder' stamped on the bill with the amount clearly highlighted
• The address where their payment needs to be sent should be clearly indicated
• A modified invoice that provides the amount due along with the customer's account number, late fees, or interest accrued
• Include a pre-addressed stamped envelope
Make the First Payment Request Letter Polite and Friendly
The first reminder letter for payment needs to be as friendly as possible and sent soon after the bill is overdue. Basically, this assumes that your customer innocently forgot to pay their bill. Although the letter is polite in nature, it doesn't mean you have to use flowery words or language. The letter still needs to get to the point that you haven't been paid and that's clearly what you're asking for. Also, be sure to mention any alternative payment methods such as paying the bill online.
Each time you send out another payment reminder, focus more and more on the consequences of nonpayment. Let them know that the consequences are serious, although you still value them as a customer as well as their business. Regardless of how hard it is to get customers to pay their bill, it's never more efficient or better to use a rude or derogatory tone. Remain professional at all times.
Writing a Payment Reminder Letter
When you initially send out a payment reminder letter, it's better to gently remind them about their forgotten bill rather than threatening them with legal action. At this point, you're basically giving them a 'nudge' that they need to take care of their bill. Essentially, you're being polite and just alerting your customer that their payment is late and that they need to submit it as soon as possible.
Here are some tips on writing your request letter:
• Use a professional business letterhead since it will make your demand letter appear more formal and official overall. Clearly state the reasons why you're sending them the letter.
• In a clear and chronological manner, outline the facts behind your reminder letter.
• State how you intend to pursue legal action in a court of law if your request isn't met. Also, include a distinct timeline you expect your demand to be met.
• Create copies of your letter and any responses that you receive.
• Never use derogatory or threatening language since this will only make the situation worse.
• It may be best to use a mailing option whereby the customer will need to sign for it. In doing so, you'll know that your customer actually received your letter.
Request Letter to Client for Payment Sample
2100 West Boulevard
Newport, Maryland 73647
RE: First Request for Late Payment
Dear Sally Johnson,
This is a payment reminder letter to formally inform you that your payment of $167.44 is now past due. The full payment of $167.44 was due on September 1, 2015 for account number 764839333. Please submit the amount due including your account number by return mail. I have enclosed a copy of your invoice that was submitted to you as well as the total due highlighted. Also, I have enclosed an addressed, stamped envelope for your convenience.
Kindly disregard this reminder letter if you've already submitted your payment by credit card or mail. If you've not yet made your payment, however, please do so without delay.
Thank you for your quick response to this matter. You are a valued customer and we appreciate your business.
(sign your name here)
Smith Catering Services
(list of enclosures)
By Andre Bradley