For field service professionals, getting paid on time can sometimes be a challenge. Late payments can be a frustrating and potentially damaging aspect of running a company, and the nature of a field service business can be more conducive to this issue.
However, there are many tactics that business owners can deploy to help mitigate issues with delayed or forgotten about payments. Here are seven invoice tricks to help you get paid faster.
1. Electronic Invoicing
The first step is to make the shift to electronic invoices because issuing paper invoices comes with many disadvantages when compared to other forms of billing. They’re easily lost and forgotten and the number one reason field service companies receive late payments. If your field service reps are manually filling out invoices after their assignments, that’s time that could better be used for core aspects of their jobs. Electronic invoicing is a much more efficient way of submitting bills and is typically more preferred by consumers and businesses.
How to create, view and email an invoice in mHelpDesk (and get paid!)
2. Early Payment Incentives
When designing ideal payment terms, it’s relatively common practice to create incentives for customers to pay their invoices earlier than the terms specified. Typically, this can be in the form of a 1 to 3 percent discount on services if paid within the first week of invoice receipt. This is a surprisingly effective tactic that leads to quicker invoice reconciliations and positive business cash flow.
3. Better Defined Payment Terms
Although terms like “Net 30” and “2/10 Net 30” may be perfectly understandable to business owners and accounting representatives, not everyone is up-to-speed on industry-specific payment terms. To avoid confusion from customers when reviewing electronic or payment invoices, it’s much more beneficial to write out the terms of the invoice directly. For example, rather than stating “Net 30” on your invoicing, it would better if you wrote out that “all payments are due within 30 days of invoice receipt”.
Want to update your Terms and Conditions in mHelpDesk?
Just go to Settings > Templates > Invoice PDF and update the Terms and Conditions and hit Save.
Watch our tutorial to learn more, including how to personalize your invoices with your logo.
4. Late Payment Penalties
Some business owners shy away from penalizing customers for late payments as it may be taxing on the relationship. However, this is an essential piece of running a successful business and should be given the attention it deserves. Although an instance of late payments can be dealt with on a case by case basis, you should still have an identified late payment policy that you can enforce if need be. In many cases, this is another way to incentivize timely payments from customers without the need for intervention.
5. Pre-Invoice Notifications and Reminders
When booking appointments online or scheduling recurring services, pre-invoice notifications can be another great way to ensure timely payments. Pre-invoicing reminders are a great way to ensure customers get a breakdown of the services they are about to receive, their appointment dates, and when the invoice is due after the job is completed.
Set up a Pre-Invoice Email to Customers in mHelpDesk
Here’s how: go to Settings > Notifications and go to the Customer section you see here below and select Customize Email under “Job is closed” and set up the message for your customers.
There’s plenty more notifications you can set up in mHelpDesk!
6. Well-Established Client Relationships
Getting paid on time can be a direct result of well-established client relationships where there is a clear understanding of expectations and trust. By spending the time necessary to speak with customers and build a good report regularly, many late payment situations can be avoided through open lines of communication and friendly reminders–don’t forget to make use of automated notifications!
7. Mobile Payments
A great way to reduce late payments is to turn to mobile payment solutions, which allows you to collect payment on the road or immediately after a job is finished. Customers appreciate the convenience of being able to complete their payments right away, and businesses don’t have to deal with the hassle of chasing payments down the road – it’s a win-win! Another big advantage: you get paid faster! Check out how long it takes for your checks and cash to process compared to mHelpDesk.
mHelpDesk Users: Set Up to Collect Mobile Payments Now (It’s Easy!) >>
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Late payments can be a painful reality for many business owners to deal with. However, by following these seven tactics, you’ll be much more likely to receive timely payments and continue to have long-lasting relationships with your client base.
Ready to improve your invoicing and collect faster?
With mHelpDesk, you can create customizable, professional-looking invoices anywhere, anytime and then sync them with QuickBooks for a seamless experience. Schedule your free demo today!
Last modified: October 19, 2018