How to deal with non-responses?

Provided that you haven’t used the sentence similar to “If we don’t receive your reply, we do consider our balance correct and confirmed by you” you really need to get the majority of the confirmations back. Simply sending them out and hoping to get everyone to reply in reality is just, to be blunt, naïve. People forget, they don’t see what’s in it for them or they don’t even receive the request. Be the reasons what they may, you need a structured approach to all non-responses.

First off make sure you have one person in charge for the whole process. The replies are delivered to one person who initially collects them and enters all required information to one table (i.e. name, contact, confirmed balance, any relevant comments etc.) This way all the information is accessible from one source.

Now that the information is available from one table, you have an overview of all non-responses. What we suggest, is having a separate column for information about any follow-ups made (i.e. date, by whom the follow-up was made, who replied from the other party, what promises were made etc.).

Make sure initial follow-up is made to all the suppliers or customers who haven’t replied to certain date. Any agreements, information received should be left into this table. The very first follow-up may be in the form of an e-mail or resending the confirmation letter. It depends on how many non-responses there are though. If there are only a few, it may be more efficient to simply call them.

Everything is depending on the situation as always, but keeping a record of all and making sure every step and information is stored somewhere, ensures structured approach, strengthens relationships (because you’re not asking the same thing all over again for an example) and also helps you in your process of confirming balances.