Only 44.6% of pet owners have pet insurance, so more than half of payments will come directly from your clients — and with that inevitably comes late payments. Learning how to deal with late payments (and ideally reduce them) is essential for maintaining a healthy cash flow in your mobile vet clinic.
Here are three steps to deal with late payments, plus tips on managing the aftermath of overdue payments in your mobile vet clinic.
The first step to reducing late payments in your mobile vet clinic is communicating clearly with customers. If you don’t collect payments then and there, you should send an invoice immediately following the appointment. The invoice should contain
Tip: Include a specific due date on the invoice instead of the generic “30 days” so clients have a clear deadline.
If you haven’t received payment by the due date, send a payment reminder. It might also be a good idea to send a reminder a few days before the due date, especially if you have penalties for late payments, to remind customers to pay on time.
If, even after sending a payment reminder, you still haven’t received payment, contact the client to find out why. Negotiating a payment plan to clear the outstanding balance might be necessary.
Involving lawyers or debt collectors should be a last resort. But if you still haven’t received payments 30 days after the due date, and haven’t heard from the client, send a demand letter. If you send a physical letter, request a signature on delivery to confirm they received it. If you’re sending via email, turn on an automatic read receipt.
The easiest way to deal with overdue payments in your mobile vet clinic is to prevent them from happening in the first place by collecting payments online. If you use an appointment scheduling software like MarketBox, you can collect client payments upfront or store their details to be charged once the appointment is complete to avoid chasing late payments.
As an added bonus, online booking is the preferred booking method for more than 70% of customers, and it makes scheduling mobile vet appointments easier too.
Even if you take steps to reduce late payments, the occasional one will still occur, so you must have practices in place to mitigate their effects. If late payments from customers are impacting your ability to pay suppliers or staff, it might be necessary to seek out a business line of credit to cover the short periods between payments.
Additionally, if you’re dealing with repeat offenders, it’s important to know when to fire them as a client. Sometimes the hassle of dealing with late payments isn’t worth retaining the client.
To learn more about MarketBox, the first appointment scheduling software for businesses offering mobile services, book a free personalized demo with the team.
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