Communication in the workplace is vital. From keeping a team motivated to building good relationships, communicating correctly can make all the difference. When it comes to communication with customers, it is important to be professional but friendly so that you can build strong relationships and secure new, and repeat business but good communication also plays a vital role when it comes to getting paid.

It can be difficult to keep on top of customers, especially if you are a smaller business and most of your time is being spent with customers who have exceeded their payment terms, however good communication with clients should be considered much earlier than this.

Call 1 – After sending the invoice

First impressions count, and this call will probably be the first time your credit control department will have contact with the client. This is an opportunity to build a rapport with the client and address any issues that they may have. Check that the invoice has been received and confirm the payment date verbally. This gives the client a chance to voice any disputes that they may have with the invoice, allowing your team to deal with the issues within the payment terms. This call shows your clients that you are on top of your credit control and lets them see that you are professionals.

Call 2 – Before the due date

This call can make all the difference to getting paid, it shows your client that you are expecting to be paid and it should encourage them to prioritise your invoice. It allows you to find out about any potential delays and enables you to work with or apply pressure to your customer, depending on your relationship. Some businesses may take this call as an opportunity to acquire repeat business.

Call 3 – Just after the due date

The client has missed the payment date but it may not be a huge problem, but you don’t know until you call them. Some businesses will call within 24 hours, some like to give clients a few days, but don’t leave it too late. You want to apply some pressure to the clients but remain friendly and upbeat to encourage payment as quickly as possible.

Call 4 – Apply pressure

Despite all your best efforts, payment has still not been received. It is rare that two cases are the same so staff must use their initiative to resolve the situation, but it is unlikely that a friendly approach at this stage will yield a result. It may be time to be more assertive in your communications. Some businesses are unsure about pushing too hard for fear of damaging customer relationships, but it is important to evaluate a customer’s value if they don’t pay. Read more about how to recovering debt without putting your clients off, here.

Call 5 – Ask for help

If your efforts are not resulting in a payment then it may be time to admit defeat, this does not necessarily mean that you should write the debt off though.

Debt recovery agencies, such as Commercial Domestic Investigations, work with a highly trained team to recover your debt. We know the difference between “can’t pay” and “won’t pay” and employ a professional but firm approach to recover unpaid invoices for you. If you want to speak to a member of our friendly team about your credit control requirements, contact us on 08444 159200 or email