Granted, sending out a final demand letter is something no Collections department wants to resort to — and some collectors even think of the tactic as a formality or a Hail Mary. But these letters can be effective.
When employers craft that final letter the right way, not only do they increase their chances of getting paid, they also boost their chances of keeping the customer.
Here are the four essential elements of final demand letters, courtesy of Credit & Collection expert Blair DeMarco-Wettlaufer of Kingston Data and Credit:
Clear deadlines, personal touches
1. Choice. Collectors shouldn’t waste time getting into why a customer hasn’t paid. All you want to do here is give customers a chance to pay before you send them to collections.
Example: Before we send your file to a collection agency, we’re sending you this letter to give you one final opportunity to resolve your account.
(For added urgency, include the name of the collection agency.)
2. Deadline. The letter must always include a clear, final deadline for payment.
3. Instructions. Give the customer clear instructions on the payment options that can be used to bring the account current.
4. A personal touch. Throughout the entire letter, try to keep a personal tone and make it clear that your company wants to maintain a good business relationship. Also, always provide a good phone number, where the customer can call with any questions.