There are all types of businesses where serving the customer quickly just comes with the territory. Those businesses that offer any type of emergency or urgent service either in-home or at your location can experience issues with cash flow because there will be times when customers and clients are not prepared to pay.
There are all types of businesses that fall into this category of emergency services and serving people on short notice. Everything from the veterinarian, plumbing and heating contractors, septic repair services, HVAC professionals, and restoration contractors to name a few. Your customers rely on your quick expertise to make their lives easier.
In return, you should be able to rely on their prompt payment. But as we all know, sometimes that doesn’t happen. We recognize and we are sure you have experienced this over time, that many consumers are not prepared to pay at the time of service. It can be part of just serving customers quickly. But there are ways to improve your cash flow when you serve emergency customers.
If your organization serves customers on short notice, check out our expert tips on how to get paid quicker before implementing debt collections.
Layout payment expectations in advance of visits
This is a reminder that you should always lay out how you expect to be paid in advance with your customers. And this is critically important when you have to show up on short notice. If you are a plumbing and heating company and you receive calls for emergency services, you and your staff should make it standard operating procedure to inform that customer of your payment policies before your people show up at the home. If you’re a veterinarian practice and are called to have a pet seen for an emergency, the same holds true. Inform the customer that you can accept all types of payments on site.
Offer multiple ways of payment onsite
Speaking of accepting payments, your company should be equipped to receive many forms of payment. Not just at your office but that includes on-site as well. We’ve got to a point in time where people don’t even have a checkbook anymore and are relying on other forms of payment. Your team should be outfitted to process payments immediately. If you don’t have this capability already, you should contact your credit card processor and ask them about the tools you need to process payments remotely. This includes accepting credit cards as well as other forms of payment such as Apple Pay.
Customers should understand their obligations before leaving
If your customers are unable to pay at the time of service, they should fully understand their payment obligations to your business immediately. That goes for serving them at your location or if you went to their home. If for example you’re a veterinarian and you serve somebody on short notice, and they are unable to pay, they should leave with a physical copy of an invoice. The same holds true for serving a homeowner in an emergency situation. Make sure they have a copy of the invoice when you leave the home. If they are not home, leave it in the mailbox or door. And it is perfectly acceptable to follow up the next day to make sure that they received that invoice.
Professional debt collections save you time and money
The best collection agencies will have professionals that help businesses that serve people in emergency situations. Professionally trained collectors understand that you may have gone out of your way to serve the customer and showed up in their time of need but they also understand how to work with a consumer that may just have been unable to pay but still required your services. If your business continuously serves people quickly and on short notice, and it’s just the nature of your industry, it’s a very wise decision to have a collection agency by your side. Your business may require an ongoing need for professional debt collections so it’s important for you to find a good fit and have that agency in place.
Check out the list of some of the industries we serve. And if your business requires you to be on call or serve customers quickly, contact our team today and book a free consultation!