The B2C Playbook for Chasing Unpaid Invoices Without Damaging Client Relationships

June 23, 2022

You’re busy dealing with lots of customers and are proud of your business’ reputation. You like to look after your customers and that includes keeping an efficient invoicing and payments process. 

Yet the reality is it can take far too much time dealing with your accounts and checking all your invoices have been paid. 

A report by Tide, an online banking platform, discovered that the average UK SME is chasing five outstanding invoices at any one time, taking up to 1.5 hours a day.

Ultimately, chasing unpaid invoices is wasted time with no guarantee of a positive outcome. 

But a good credit control process can help stop that.

Being experts in effective debt collection without alienating people, our best practise invoice chasing process helps you retain good working relationships with your customers and get paid. 

Best practice invoice chasing

Implementing a strict credit control process reduces overdue payments and helps to create positive customer relationships. Check out our 12 Step Checklist to Reduce Late Payments blog, which gives some sage advice on setting up payment terms, doing credit checks on new customers, and much more.

As part of your credit control process, create these email templates to use when accounts are overdue:

  1. 2-3 days overdue – in the subject line, always state the company or individual’s name and invoice number. Keep the message friendly: ‘Hi [Tim], I hope you’re well. We’re sure that this is an oversight, so just a gentle reminder that our [insert invoice number and date] is overdue. If you have any queries do get in touch.’ Sign off politely and attach the invoice.
  2. A week late – include ‘Overdue Payment’ to the subject line. Then politely remind [Tim] that the attached invoice is outstanding and ask if there are any issues that you can help with.

You could also remind [Tim[ that late payment fees of X% interest will be added for every day/week that no payment is made after XX days, as stated in your agreement. That should prompt them into paying immediately.  

        3. 10+ days late – give [Tim[ a call; that usually results in payment. After the initial pleasantries, ask if he received your emails about the overdue invoice and take it from there. Do they have any concerns that you can help with? And when can you expect payment?

        4. 2 weeks late – this email needs to be firmer while remaining polite: "Hi [Tim]. We now require your urgent attention to our outstanding invoice, which was due for payment on [insert date]. This payment delay is becoming problematic for us, so it would be great if you would let me know as a matter of urgency when payment will be made. Best regards."

        5. 30 days late – in this email, politely remind your client of your service agreement and state that you are now entitled to charge X% interest per day/week of the unpaid invoice. End with: ‘We would prefer to avoid this for your benefit, so please settle this invoice immediately,’ attaching the invoice. 

        6. Extremely late final reminder – include the words ‘FINAL REMINDER’ in your subject line. The body of the email could say: "Dear [Tim], further to my previous emails, I’m contacting you again regarding [invoice number] for [invoice amount due], due for payment on [due date], which remains unpaid. As we’ve not heard from you, unfortunately we need to begin legal proceedings against [company/individual name] to receive the amount owed."

Seeking legal advice can feel overwhelming. Try mediation first, being a cheaper way to resolve issues. The Civil Mediation Council’s website provides more information on this. 

If you do need to get solicitors involved, be prepared for a lengthy, expensive process.

Or Consider Paycada… 

Automated fintech systems like Paycada save all that hassle and improve accuracy. 

Integrating easily with your existing software, like Xero, Paycada has additional tools to fill the gaps and offers a better customer experience, freeing you up to get on with growing your business.  

Paycada is a fintech solution with a big difference. 

Paycada uses the latest in communication technology, providing superior tracking facilities to recognise customer behaviours – their payment and interaction patterns – dynamically adapting its automated responses to get you the results you need. Prompt payments!

Get in touch to discuss how our systems will help your business.

Created by Paycada experts

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