Minimising The Risk That A Customer Will Refuse To Pay

Practically every business will, at some point, come across a customer who refuses to pay. This is, unfortunately, one of the downsides to running your own business. The issue when a customer refuses to pay is the fact that it means your business is out of pocket, which if you have completed a service or sent specialist products, isn’t fair. Of course, one could argue that the business industry isn’t fair, which is true. However, that doesn’t mean that you should just sit back and take it when a customer refuses to pay you for a service or product that they have received.

When a customer informs you that they aren’t paying, it can be incredibly upsetting and stressful, especially if you know that the service or product that they received was exactly like you promised it would be. Although you cannot prevent customers from giving you the run around when it comes to paying you, there are some steps that you can take to minimise the risk of not being paid. By taking these steps, you can reduce the need for constant worry that you won’t get paid on time by your clients.

Use business agreements

One of the best things that you can do to help reduce the risk of customers refusing to pay you is have business agreements in place. By having agreements in place that state that your customers must pay for the service or product that they ‘buy’, you can reduce the likelihood that they will refuse to pay. Have a rule in place that says that before you sell a product or service to any customers, you expect them to sign an agreement that states they will pay once the service is complete or they have received the product. That way if they then refuse to pay, you have proof that they have already promised to reimburse you.

Resolve things amicably

In instances where a customer refuses to pay, the best thing that you can do is attempt to resolve things amicably. What this means is arranging a face to face meeting with the offending customer to discuss the issue in an amicable and adult way. Ask the customer why they don’t want to pay and what their reasoning is for refusing to do so. It’s surprising how easy it can be to work through these kinds of issues when discussing them face to face, so this approach should always be your first port of call before doing anything else.  

Get professional help

The next step that you need to take if talking has not done the trick is to get some professional help. It may not be a route that you want to go down, but if you are going to get the money back that you are owed from your customers, it is a route that you need to use. When it comes to getting professional help, one of the best things that you can do is opt to use services like Portfolio Credit Control to find a credit control specialist to hire, who can help to make dealing with these kinds of issues easier. Or, there is the option of outsourcing these kinds of tasks to an outside debt collection agency and leaving them to deal with the issue for you.

Add interest

Anyone who fails to make payment, send a letter explaining that for every day/week that they put off paying you for, you will be adding interest to their bill. Often, the threat of added interest being put onto a bill will force people to act and make payment even if they don’t want to. So this could be an option that is worth considering, as you never know, a simple step like this could be all it takes to get your customer to pay up what they owe.

It can be difficult to ensure that a customer will pay you what they owe, and there are never any guarantees. All you can do is take the steps above to help minimise the risk of a lack of payment.

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