You’ll make them pay! You’ll make them all pay! OK, perhaps your billing series is so stellar that your forgetful customers actually will pay up … eventually. But before you cue the evil laugh, think about the ramifications that vow might have on your budget. How long is it reasonable for you to continue to follow up on delinquent customers?
According to Kimberly Draves, director of renewals for Emmaus, Pa.–based publisher Rodale, “The number of bills to mail should be contingent upon the combination of the outstanding balance and the cost of billing.” She goes on to say that billing a $12 balance for the same amount of time as you’d bill a $120 balance just isn’t practical.
To avoid the continuation of a billing cycle that has overstayed its welcome, not to mention overshot the very amount it’s attempting to collect, Draves suggests marketers look to the customer to determine the appropriate segments to get “tough” with. “Using credit screening before mailing out a direct mail piece, and then following that with modeling of orders coming through the door, we can identify a customer’s likelihood to pay,” she says. The benefit of all this is that the company can raise the stakes for those less likely to pay early on in the process, while still protecting those who simply need more time before the tougher tactics ensue, Draves affirms.