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It’s time for your credit control to catch up: Part 6, ABT (always be thanking)
In the final part of this credit control series, Brad Ewin from Chaser looks at an underrated but absolutely crucial element of effective credit control. The enormous positive impact that consistent ‘Thanks for Paying’ emails can have on customer relationships and your cash flow.
Thanking your customers for paying their invoices is incredibly underrated. When executed correctly ‘Thanks for Paying’ emails are a boon to your entire credit control function.
Every finance team who wants their credit control function to keep up with today’s table stakes can leverage ‘Thanks for Paying’ emails to achieve anything from encouraging future timely payment, through to guiding customers onto direct debit.
Every. Single. Time.
Whenever a sales invoice of yours is reconciled, whether the payment was timely or not, you should send the customer an email thanking them for payment.
These go a long way in showing your customer you’re human and you care, bolstering customer loyalty and ensuring you have a long and fruitful business relationship. In addition, they encourage timely payment in future.
We humans are simple creatures and a pat on the head for doing a good job makes us want to do a good job again, whether we’re consciously aware of it or not. Sending a ‘Thanks for Paying’ email can never do any harm, so take a few minutes to fire off a quick email thanks every time an invoice is paid.
Three steps to success
In structuring your ‘Thanks for Paying’ emails, you need to be aware of a few things.
Firstly, keep it short and sweet. Your customers are just as busy as you are and they’re just as swamped by emails. If they see another one from you it’s going to be doubly good when it’s not just a thank you, but it’s also quickly and easily read.
Secondly, ensure you’re sending it within the 24 hours, immediately following their reconciled payment. Any longer and it’ll look like an afterthought. Or, worse, it’ll seem like you’re not on top of your work and are incompetent.
Finally, hit two birds with one stone. Just by sending ‘Thanks for Paying’ emails, you’re already reaping the cash flow rewards via customer loyalty and timely future payment. You can simultaneously leverage these communications opportunities with your customer to achieve a slew of other things.
Just received payment from a PITA (pain in the a**e) Customer? End your email with an innocuous question inquiring what you can do together to help close payment sooner next time. Have further outstanding invoices? Instead try the route “thanks for paying this, where are we with that?” How about converting the customer over to direct debit? Simple: tell them its benefits and provide them the quick and easy steps on how to switch.
Consistency is key
You can only reap the benefits offered by ‘Thanks for Paying’ emails by being consistent. If your credit control function is outdated and manual, you’re opening your business up to big risks in sending ‘Thanks for Paying’ emails late. Or worse, forgetting entirely.
Inconsistent sending of ‘Thanks for Paying’ emails is detrimental. Thankfully, automated ‘Thanks for Paying’ emails are just one of many benefits automated credit control can offer your business. Automated credit control is the new normal for finance teams today.
And that wraps up this series. Thanks for coming along this journey with us from asking the right questions from the offset, through to thanking your customers for paying. By incorporating this series' lessons into your business, your credit control function will be up to par with the best. Enjoy the cash flow boost.