I am currently doing a thesis for a company that engage in B2B.The main problem of the company right now is that about 20% (+/- 15 clients) of their clients are constantly paying their invoice late, some are even 90+ days overdue. As part my of research I have to contact these clients and do an interview with them over late-payment. I know it's a tough question to ask a client on why they are paying their invoices late. But , what are possible smart interview questions that I can ask over these late payments without offending these clients.
This is a pretty neat idea, because a lot of freelancers (myself included) struggle with late payments. What's probably really important is to get a picture of these types of companies - are there certain things that make a company more likely to pay late?
- Is the client large, medium, small, or a single-member/entrepreneur?
- Is there a chain of approval for invoices received, and how does that work?
- Do they have a set billing/payment schedule that they adhere to for all vendors? For example, at least one of my clients is a very large company with their own billing system. Even though my invoices are net 10, they pay 30 days regardless.
- How long has the client been working with the company? (Perhaps they take the relationship for granted?)
- What type of business is the client company?
- How does the client pay? Certain types of payments tend to be faster than others (ie credit card payments are quicker than checks, etc.)
- This may be a touchy subject - but does the client have cash-flow problems that cause late payments?
- Is there anything the company can do to expedite receiving payments from the client? (ie, how the invoice is received, how often invoice reminders are sent, late fees, etc.)
- How valuable is the service offered by the company (the biller) to the client? (this may give insight into late/missed payments)
That's all I can think of, but I'd bet there are some additional questions you could ask. Only one or two of these would seem to step on toes, and depending on how you ask them, they could provide a lot of insight. Best of luck on your thesis!
I Can Understand asking these type of question to your clients is very tough but surely you can put some smart question .
=>Asking for client satisfaction is very import over your work . Most of the clients pay late just because they were not happy with your work or they might need more modifications.
=>Always try to find the reason behind late payment never argue with your client for payment, be gentle and ask the reason for delay .
=>Choose payment verified clients before bidding for work . You can also have payments in different sprints of work completion .
=>Last but always try to gain faith over your client.Keep Questioning if you get a chance because this will only bring trust and you can have better outcomes.