It is within your rights to contact customers who have neglected their payments. However, your methods must take an ethical approach and comply with federal standards.
Using harassment to coerce your customers to pay their dues can have costly legal consequences. In serious cases, unprofessional conduct could jeopardize your company and your reputation.
Keep customers informed
You can encourage prompt payment from your customers when you provide clear expectations for financial obligations. When you begin working with new customers, disclose your policies for handling payments, as well as any consequences they may incur for failing to make payments on time.
As soon as you notice past-due customers, redirect their attention to your payment expectations. Promptly send correspondence informing customers of unpaid dues and reminding them of the consequences. If your communication does not result in payment, you may need to consider other options.
Show respect and professionalism
Handling customers that have not made payments can cause discouragement and frustration. However, your decision to continue to show respect and professionalism can help you maintain your dignity and credibility as a company. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, you should never threaten customers or use obscene language. Excessive calling, deception and misrepresentation are all forms of harassment.
If a customer still does not make payments after you have exhausted your resources, you have other options. Using care, you may pass the customer’s information along to a collections agency or take the case to court. You can also report the customer’s actions to the credit bureaus which may provide a payment incentive.