When you set up a new supply agreement, send out an invoice or chase a customer for non-payment, a cover letter is an important part of the documentation you send out – so whatever the reason for sending it, here’s our guide to credit control cover letter best practice.
First up, recognise that your cover letter is not just a friendly greeting; it serves an important purpose, and should be worded to achieve that purpose, not just to say hi.
That doesn’t mean its tone shouldn’t be friendly – especially when greeting new customers or asking for payment where you have no reason to be unhappy with the client as yet.
For reminders of overdue payments, a stricter tone can be more appropriate, but again your cover letter should stay professional and not personal or emotional.
Structure it sensibly, as you would any other letter, with your name and/or company name, office address, contact details and date at the top, as well as any useful information that applies to the specific customer, such as their account number.
In many cases, your cover letter will be seeking payment, so give the customer a reminder of their account number and how to actually pay you, and you’re more likely to get your money faster.
Once you’re past this header information and a suitable greeting, you’re into the main text of your cover letter, and this should plainly spell out the reasons why you are writing.
Again, adopt a friendly tone for new customers if you are writing to confirm their account and so on, and a sterner voice for overdue payments.
Be very clear about why you are writing, and if you have included supporting documents, like an invoice or payment Ts & Cs, refer to these in your letter so the customer is prompted to read them too.
In the specific example of seeking an overdue payment, you should also list the full amount owed, when it was due (do not give a new or extended deadline unless you deliberately intend to do so), how to make payment, and what will happen if the debt is not settled.
You should already have payment terms in place and agreed to before you start any work, let alone when you reach the point of invoicing, so refer the customer to these for further information.
Ultimately credit control is all about getting paid – no matter how friendly or otherwise your letters might seem to your customers.
By adopting our credit control cover letter best practice suggestions, hopefully you can rest assured that your communications will be well received by your customers – and will have the desired effect in getting your invoices handled promptly.