Quit struggling with payment collections and cancellations with these three money-saving and money-making tips.
The one color that resonates with cleaners and business owners is the color green – everyone likes making money. But the path to cash (i.e., more business) can be a pricey upfront investment for many professionals: marketing spend, paid leads, advertising, etc. The key, once you do start landing clients, is to maximize the return on that marketing investment. Ensure that, when a client finds you, there is a clear call-to-action to drive them to your business. Communicate to your clients that your time is valuable and payment isn’t an “option.” Give clients a convenient experience all while ensuring you get paid on time, every time.
There are 3 powerful yet very simple strategies you can follow to save literally thousands of dollars each year.
Make Yourself “Bookable” Everywhere
If you call a restaurant to make a reservation and they don’t answer, do you just wait around for them to return your voicemail? Most likely not – you’re on to the next best option. OpenTable has fixed this problem for restaurants in order to maximize turning their interested customers into paying customers.
The same behavior, unfortunately, goes for many clients in search of cleaning professionals. Unless you have an ongoing relationship with a client, missing a client’s call or delaying an email response can be a death wish. New customers typically move on to the next best option if they are not immediately satisfied. Especially in an industry as competitive as cleaning, grabbing those warm leads is crucial.
You want to make sure that each client who wants to book you can book you…immediately. That means you should have your schedule be on display on your website, your Facebook page, even your email signature. Allow your clients to browse the cleaning services you offer and schedule appointments at a drop of a hat, so they feel satisfied and you feel busy. Don’t have any excuses for losing out on potential revenue.
Put a Cancellation Policy in Place
Every client does it – “Sorry this is so last minute, but something more important came up.” I’ve never met a cleaner who hasn’t been cancelled on. However, the key is to make your job more important than anything else.
Put a cancellation policy in place for your appointments. Make your clients aware that your time is important because, let’s be fair here, it is. If you get a cancellation text when you (or your crew) have already traveled 20 miles to your client, that’s a lot of time and gas wasted. Institute and enforce cancellation and no-show fees to all clients. Collect their credit card information upfront with a clear “For Protection Only” message. Good clients understand that this is fair. Good businesses institute this best practice.
No More Invoicing
“So I’ll PayPal you later?” “Where can I mail the check?” “Oops, I forgot to leave cash!”
If you’ve heard any derivatives of these phrases come out of a client’s mouth, you probably have a couple reactions:
- Frustration: “I want to get paid now – My team cleaned, you pay me…that’s how this works!”
- Fear: “Oh my gosh, what if I never hear from this person ever again and don’t get paid!”
Invoicing is time-consuming and never actually guarantees payment. And don’t be fooled by techniques such as PayPal or mobile transfers (i.e., “modern day” invoicing). These processes still suck your clients into being lazy and keep you up at night thinking about when/if your payment is coming.
As soon as a clean is complete, don’t “follow up” for payment. Have your client’s payment details on file so as soon as you complete a job, you can start processing that customer’s payment as you walk to your next appointment. You’ll save time, you’ll sleep better at night, and frankly, it will even make your clients’ lives more convenient (no check writing, no cash withdrawals, no reminders).
Cleaning professionals can start adopting tools like PocketSuite and put into place best practices like the above to maximize their income per client and help their businesses grow.
Sam Madden is the co-founder of PocketSuite and an innovator in technology-driven business tool development.