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Sometimes, You Have To Tell It As It Is! Kim Radok February, 2017

Mostly when contacting our customers for the unpaid invoice, we take a customer service style approach. Occasionally however, we need to be more assertive and say it how it really is! For instance, when you have to tell the customer that the trading relationship is going to have to change. The causes of these situations include:

(i) where the customer refuses to co-operate and organise a payment of outstanding invoice(s);

(ii) their behaviour in raising countless credit claims or adjustments, many of which are found to be without merit;

(iii) the customer advises they will pay you when their customer pays them;

(iv) where the appropriate person is never available or return contacts, or

(v) their payment history and broken promises are such that you have to close their credit facilities.

When forced to contact the customer in such circumstances, there are specific tasks which should be completed. By completing these tasks properly, you have both the authority and facts to support your case.

(i) Make sure you have management's authority to advise the customer of the problem and your solution to the issue.

(ii) Check and make sure of your facts.

(iii) Be prepared for adverse reactions by taking an unemotional and factual approach.

(iv) Always maintain a professional demeanour to help prevent from saying things you may regret later.

There will always be occasions when you have to tell the customer you are no longer willing to deal with them under the previous arrangements. If you are forced to do so, always act in a professional and no nonsense manner. It is not that you are telling them how it is, which causes problems, it is how you do it. 

If you would like to know more on this subject, contact Kim at