How to “gently” remind customers who bought your items and don’t want to pay

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Let’s be honest, it’s very hard to be “gentle” about asking for your money from customers who owe you. Why is this the case? Because debt reminders, no matter how kind you put it always sound “mean” to the customer. Especially after the very first reminder.

So instead of focusing on sounding gentle, you should think about how you can sound very professional and stern at the same time. Let’s jump straight into how you can achieve this:

Tip #1 – Use both personalized and automated messages

When it comes to payment reminder messages, let automated messages such as SMS or Email act as a neutral ambassador on your behalf.

You might be asking: Aren’t automated messages robotic and impersonal?

Well, yes! And that’s exactly the point. It saves you from looking like the bad guy.

If a client has to be reminded of a late payment, it’s less embarrassing for them and less damaging to your relationship if it comes from anyone other than you.

Our Sumundi Keepsales software helps you to send automated SMS reminders very easily and professionally to your customers. Customers are 70% more likely to act on automated reminders more promptly.

Tip #2 – Use the customer’s own promises as  a reminder

If the customer promised to make payment on a certain date through a text message, you can simply screenshot this promise and send it to the customer to hold them up to their word. This works a lot of the time and also squeezes out more feedback from the customer.

Tip #3 – Don’t wait for the expected payment date to arrive before starting the reminders

You could start sending payment reminders:

  • One week before payment is due
  • On the payment due date
  • Two days after payment is due
  • Four days after payment is due
  • And every day after that.

Most of the time, you reduce the frequency of the reminders because you may be worried about annoying the customer or losing the relationship.

Instead, spacing out the reminders too much after payment is due can lead to prolonged delays and a strained relationship. Bug the customer fast and quick. It keeps the customer on their toes.

Here are sample reminder messages you can use:


Hi Kwame,

We hope you’re doing well. This is a reminder that the payment date for the items you purchased on 26th October, 2021 is due today.  Payment can be made directly through our ### channels.

Best wishes,

Business Name.


Good morning,

Our records indicate that you have a payment of XX amount which was due 1 week ago. We understand that this may have escaped your attention due to your activities. Payment can be made directly through our ### channels.


Business Name

Sumundi Keepsales allows you to schedule these reminders automatically and so if you have lots of customers who owe, you can easily automate the sending of the daily reminders. Learn more here:

By doing this, not only do you save yourself time, but you increase your likelihood of getting paid on time. It also saves you from having to manually keep track of all of the payments and invoices you have floating around when they are due.

It is not an easy task to combine maintaining relationships with customers while you collect the money they owe you but with the right communication strategies, firmness and consistency, this activity can be made totally harmless.


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