Collecting money from customers is a common challenge for pest control operators and small business owners. Gaps in the payment process often persist as companies grow. The problem of getting paid can even linger as your business becomes more established.
Luckily, there are ways to ensure you get paid. Today, we will cover our top five tips for safeguarding revenue.
#1: Monthly Credit Card or ACH Payments
The backbone of successful pest control companies includes recurring revenue. One of the best ways to sell and manage recurring versus one-time service is through monthly credit cards or ACH payments. Most customers prefer a monthly fee that covers all services, regardless of when they are performed. If they don’t see bugs, they see the monthly charge as well spent—if they even notice it.
Credit card or ACH payments are also advantageous if the customer decides to dispute the charge, which brings us to our second tip.
#2: Service Agreements
Nothing should be sold without a Service Agreement. These agreements serve as indisputable documentation of what is agreed to and expected from all parties.
If a customer is unhappy and has paid with a credit card or ACH payment, they can take their dispute to the appropriate financial institution. The pest control company can then fight the dispute through that institution. If everything is well documented, and the Service Agreement is complete and signed, it’s easy to win the dispute and it takes the company out of the decision.
#3: Payment Up Front
Billing after the service is always harder to collect, which is why payment before service is the best policy. Pest control companies that bill after will spend more time, money, and aggravation collecting payment. Many will hire a full-time collections person.
Payment before service and setting up autopay will get the company paid and reduce the need for extra expenses and office personnel.
#4: Early Payment Discount
This tip is most applicable to commercial accounts. You can incentivize upfront, early, and auto payments by offering a small discount depending on which option is chosen. The incentive is appealing because of the perceived internal rate of return.
#5: Late Payment or Denied Payment Penalties
Even when using on-file credit cards or ACH information for payments, pest control companies can still face challenges. For example, an overdrawn account or an expired or frozen credit card can interfere with getting paid.
Building late or denied payment penalties into your Service Agreement can provide a means of ensuring consequences, which can deter such issues.
Regardless of how you set up your payment process, be sure to document it. You should have clear and concise Service Agreements and precise internal policies and procedures. Check out our Business In A Box if you need help creating these internal documents.