Approaching the subject of incomplete payments

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Updated Oct 5, 2021

person writing out a check for paymentBetween the everyday challenges of running a successful landscaping company, the last thing you as a business operator want to deal with is customers not holding up their end of the bargain financially.

Unfortunately, this is just one of the demands of the business world, and you as an owner want to make sure that you are receiving the right payment amount without hurting your good customer service reputation.

At some point in your landscaping career, you will receive a check from a customer that does not have the correct payment amount on it. While this is most likely a small error on their part, it could also be a case of automated payments not taking into account an extra service that was provided for the month.

To keep your company’s reputation in high regard with customers while still ensuring you are properly paid for your services, check out the following tips.

Decide on a payment date

Insufficient payments can affect the cash flow of your business, so it is up to you to know how long you can wait for an outstanding balance to clear. Two options to think about when working with your clients are to carry the remainder and set a deadline.

When carrying the remainder on the account of a client you service on an ongoing basis, there is the option of adding the remaining balance they owe to the next bill.

If the work you did was just a one time job and you won’t be returning to their property for many months, you could go ahead and set up a payment deadline with the customer that is in the near future. Instead of coming across as demanding by asking for immediate payment, providing them a clear due date will help keep them on track and will let you know when to follow up with them.

Notify customers and confirm payment  

Once it’s decided when you need payment from a client, it’s up to you to reach out to them. Take advantage of more than one form of communication when trying to get in touch with customers. Many may respond positively to an email or text notification from your company, but more often than not a good old fashioned phone call yields the best results. Be sure that you do receive some kind of feedback from your customers no matter what form of communication you choose. It is up to you to know without a shadow of a doubt that the message did, indeed, get to them in a timely manner.

Once you’ve successfully gotten in touch with the customer about payment, be sure to follow up with them once their payment is submitted. Confirming that you have received the payment is also a good opportunity to remind customers of any price changes the company may have enacted since the last time they paid.

Overall, keeping the lines of communication open for your customers will ensure that they feel comfortable enough with you to discuss these payment plans or any payment issues that arise.

Be sure to always put your best foot forward when approaching the subject of payment, and remember to keep a calm demeanor and use friendly and clear language. Anger or impatience can impede the interaction’s progress, and it could potentially lose you a dedicated customer if it’s handled poorly. Everyone makes mistakes, including you, and it’s important to keep that in mind when talking to every customer.

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