Successful Collections From Non-English Speaking Clients

When working in international business or when you have non-English speaking clients who are very delinquent on their payments, the tone of your collection letters must change according to circumstance and the stage of the collection process.  Many Houston French Translation workers agree that the tone should be reasonable, since the goal for most of their clients is two-fold: to obtain payment and to retain goodwill.  An offensive tone might lead to payment, but will definitely lose customers.

Don’t you realize that once you charge something, you have to pay for it?  We expect payment now, not when it’s convenient for you. You people are all the same.  You don’t seem to realize that we also have bills to pay.

Several New York Italian Translation companies suggest that their clients avoid an apologetic, self-righteous or surprised tone.  Every firm extending credit should expect some delinquent accounts.  Consider these poor examples:

I’m sorry to write this kind of letter, but you do owe us some money.  Do you think you could send us a payment soon?

I certainly was surprised to see your name on this list of past due accounts.  I can’t believe you would do this to me.  After all, I did go out of my way to give you credit.

In short, be responsible and helpful.  In the early stages, assume most people are honest and will try to pay their bills.  Treat them as customers—not as adversaries.  If, after a few attempts to collect, your reader still hasn’t paid, then make your tone more urgent and demanding.

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