No business owner likes to wait to get paid. Once the work is completed, the customer should pay their bill in a timely fashion – it’s only fair, right? While this seems like common sense and common courtesy, many business owners struggle to get paid promptly. What can you do to encourage your customers to pay on time? We have a few tips and tricks that we’ve seen work well in the past.
Set Clear Expectations
Make sure your customer understands the payment terms before you start any work. If appropriate, you can request a deposit or even place a hold on their credit card for the amount of the invoice (be careful with this, though – pre-authorizations work best when you plan to capture the funds within a week). If neither of these options are practical for you, consider asking your customer to sign a form indicating that they understand the payment terms and will abide by them. You could even consider withholding final delivery or completion of the product to encourage your customers to pay on time.
Don’t Wait to Request Payment
Do you go through your book of business and send all your invoices for the week (or even month) all at once? This is just asking to not get paid quickly! Request payment from your customer as soon as the product is delivered or the service is rendered. Even if you offer terms that give customers 30 days or more to pay, it’s important to start the clock ticking. Plus, your customers are more likely to pay when the product or service is fresh in their memories. Once a few days or weeks go by their urgency will diminish – but yours will not.
Offer Multiple Ways to Pay
Wherever possible, offer your customer several ways to pay their bill. We’re not just talking about cash vs. credit card, although it’s useful to offer both. Offer your customers ways to pay online or from their phones so they can settle up when it’s convenient for them. If the customer must pay in-person, options like Apple Pay let customers get on their way more quickly and with greater peace of mind. In short, encourage your customers to pay on time by making it easy for them to do so.
Automate Reminders and Follow-Up
No one wants to hound customers for money, but some people will need a few reminders before they finally pay up. Automate these as much as possible. Your accounting or business management system may offer a way for you to send periodic email or text reminders if a bill remains unpaid. Set up a few friendly messages – you can always tweak them if you find they don’t encourage your customers to pay on time.
Every Little Bit Makes a Difference
We know you work hard to make your business a success and to treat your customers fairly. That’s why we’ve made it our mission to remove the stigma of credit card processing by delivering honest and pain-free payments so that our customers can focus on what’s most important – taking care of their own customers and teams. We would love the opportunity to show you how we can help, and we encourage you to give us a call at 1-855-360-0360 or drop us a line on our website to learn more.
PS – Still struggling with how and when to reopen your business? Check out our tips.
PPS – Encourage your customers to use touchless payments, for your safety and for theirs.