As a business owner, you’re given the chance to experience the pain of doing business with non-paying customers often enough. Regretfully, having to deal with this occasional nuisance is something that comes with being in business and cannot be avoided in practice. It can, however, be approached from a professional angle, and by doing that, it’s possible to keep the matters from escalating into the unresolvable territory.
Why you should remain calm when the customer won’t pay
Of course, not getting paid for the work you’ve done can be as infuriating as you can imagine, and this is completely understandable. However, escalating the situation by openly showing your anger won’t solve a thing. Worse yet, it will probably bring the customer from feeling guilty about not paying to feeling good about it, just to get back at you. Luckily, you still have great chances of being able to solve the problem by keeping your cool and remaining professional.
What to do when the customer legitimately doesn’t have the money to pay
You should empathize with the customer’s situation and kill them with kindness, even if, deep down inside, you want to erupt like a volcano. By working with the client and providing them the option to pay you later (or by allowing the option of making gradual monthly payments), there’s still a good chance you’re going to see your money at a later date. Keep in mind that even if the customer can’t afford to pay you right now, this doesn’t mean the current situation will remain in effect for all eternity.
How to go about customers who are unhappy with the service
This type of situation can easily be solved by planning in advance and establishing a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. If a customer isn’t happy with the service, don’t take it personally and forget about the money this time around. For obvious reasons, though, don’t do business with that person again. But when a customer wants to make excuses for not paying even after that period ends, kindly point them towards the policy and politely ask for the money you deserve.
When all else fails…
Sometimes, all the kindness and open communication in the world won’t do the trick. If you’ve exhausted every other option we’ve recommended, a commercial litigation lawyer can help you resolve the situation. Oftentimes, a letter from a lawyer is all that’s needed for a non-paying customer to switch gears and become cooperative again. Of course, this should be left as the last option on the list, but if the customer owes you a substantial amount of money, it may be well worth pursuing, since you stand to lose more than what an attorney’s hour would cost you.
In the end, it’s all about attempting to resolve a demanding situation in the most efficient manner possible. Your actions should always be carefully thought out and prepared in advance. This approach will help you deal with these types of situations when they arise in a way that is both efficient and professional.
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