The first collection letter should only be a friendly reminder. Assume that the customer has forgotten to pay and courteously invite him/her to pay promptly. Most people will make a payment after a couple of reminders. If there is no response to these reminders, you should assume that the customer is not paying because of financial, medical, or other personal difficulties.
Suggestions for a typical format:
- Send a copy of the original bill.
- Stamp on it Reminder or Past Due and highlight the amount past due.
- Include a short statement indicating the amount due, the due date, late charges (if any), and the account number.
- Make sure the address where the customer should send payment is plainly indicated. Including a pre-addressed envelope for payment (with or without postage) is also helpful.
If the customer has not even made a partial payment after a couple of gentle Reminder Collection Letters, you can send a final reminder collection letter to ask why the customer is not paying. A final reminder letter should explain that there will be consequences for continued nonpayment. If no payment on the amount owed is received, then you will need to take a more aggressive approach in follow-up collection letters.