Late payments cost. They cost time, they cost money and they can cost customers. So how can you follow up with late-paying customers, collect payments for your services, and maintain your customers’ loyalty?

If you’re one of many organisations that’s frustrated with chasing payments, here are some tips on how you can manage this sticky situation without destroying the relationship you’ve worked to hard build.

Avoid late payments early-on

Sure, new business is exciting but you don’t want to create a rod for your own back. Prevention is better than cure, as the old saying goes. The trick is to remove any potential hiccups early in the game.

Make Direct Debit work for you

Direct debits give you, the company, control over payments. We’re not saying late payments are a thing of the past when you switch, but you’ll certainly find them sucking less time out of your day.

Seek out expertise

Free up your administration time and resources from chasing late or unpaid accounts by working with payment experts. This gives you considerable time savings, ultimately putting more money where it counts – your bottom line and allowing you to focus on what’s really important – your business and your members; thus, boosting your customer loyalty.

Set the rules

Everyone has a role to play when it comes to customer service. Any payment expert worth their salt will align with your business’ rules of engagement, enabling them to chase payments and retain your customers; all while following your guidelines.

Cashflow and customer service work hand-in-hand – and payment experts are there to underpin this all important connection.

Let’s hear about it in action:

“A big mistake is to assume that the collection function for processing member dues will be handled internally. I strongly recommend using a nationally recognised 3rd party billing company. You are in the business of changing lives and helping people achieve their goals, not chasing money. Let a billing company do what they do best, which is to manage membership dues on your behalf. In my experience it’s not worth the cost of hiring a membership administrator, even if you have multiple clubs. I’ve been an owner/operator of up to 6 clubs at one time and it was much simpler to continue with a billing company than have the HR costs of a membership services person. Let the billing party be the bad cop chasing money. And you and your team be the good cops. If you’re trying to help members in fitness, and next minute your chasing them for money, it hurts the member relationship. Take it from me, I tried doing that when I first got into this industry and quickly found out it wasn’t cool. You might pay fees, but you’ll save yourself the hassles”

– Marlin Dean (NZ Fitness Industry professional)