In the 26 years that Member Solutions has been in business, we’ve discovered that there are ways to alter member payment behaviors to ensure prompt and predictable cash flow to your facility. Here are 10 tips to reduce your delinquencies and facilitate collections with our managed billing services.
1. Avoid statement or coupon billing methods whenever possible.
Customers that pay by statement or coupon are 23% more likely to become delinquent than those who sign up for auto-pay. Enroll customers for bank draft or a credit card option. It’s a double-win for you: Customers are more likely to pay on time and electronic payment options save you money.
2. Get email addresses from every customer.
Email is one of the fastest ways to communicate with your customers. It has become an effective tool in delinquency management. When we send email reminders as part of our payment collections service, we provide a direct link to our customer-only website where your members can make payments and update their billing information.
3. Provide a contract copy promptly when requested.
Your agreement is legal proof of the customer’s obligation to pay. The quicker we receive the agreement, the better chance we have in recovering your funds.
4. Select due dates early in the month.
If a customer does miss a payment or has a declined or returned payment, Member Solutions has a better chance to recover your funds within the same billing cycle when payments are due when a new month starts. We recommend setting the 1st or 5th of the month as the due date for all of your members.
5. Know who’s delinquent.
Our most successful clients know how and where to find this information online. Here are ways to stay informed:
- Review the delinquency report at least twice per month.
- Sign up for Email Alerts. We’ll email you and any staff member you designate whenever a customer has a returned or declined payment.
- Examine the Activity Report on a weekly basis. Not only will it provide you with a list of new accounts and funding activity, but it also will list any customers with an active follow up that is preventing or delaying billing.
6. Work together with Member Solutions.
The clients we see with the lowest delinquency percentages work with our team to make it easy for members to manage their accounts and make payments. Some clients prefer to be direct with their members, while others prefer a subtle approach. Either method will increase collection results, so long as you’ve communicated your preferences to our team.
Once you know who is past due, you can simply hand your customer a Member Solutions’ business card and say “Member Solutions has informed us that they have been unable to contact you. Here’s a card with their website and contact information.” Once a customer is aware that you may know that they have a billing issue, they are more likely to pay on time to avoid embarrassment.
7. Ask your customer to provide you with their most accurate billing information.
Have them provide it to you directly rather than obtaining it from a driver’s license or previous billing account which may be outdated. Ask the customer to verify their vital billing information when they are signing the agreement.
8. Make sure that your customer knows that Member Solutions is servicing the billing portion of their agreement to avoid having payments charged back.
Your endorsement of Member Solutions provides your customers with the reassurance of your professionalism and commitment to quality service. Place the Member Solutions Decal in your business and hand out Contact Cards, both provided free of charge. Talk about our Customer Account Access Website, designed specifically for your customers to make payments, update their billing information, print payment history, or contact our Customer Service Team.
9. Offer settlements to members who have trouble paying.
The longer an account remains delinquent, the less likely you are to receive payment. When a customer is no longer attending class or using your facility, they are more likely to stop paying altogether. Once an account reaches 90 days delinquent, we recommend automatically offering the customer a settlement for a percentage of the remaining balance. This could bring you income in the form of a lump sum payment and leave the customer on better terms which could result in new customer referrals or re-enrollment in the future.
10. Don’t accept payments at your business.
Generally, we discourage our clients from accepting payments at your place of business. Accepting payments creates more work for you and increases the likelihood that your customer will receive delinquency phone calls and correspondence when they are not past-due. Worse yet, it also increases the chance of double billing your customer when the payment is not reported immediately to Member Solutions. Finally, once you accept that first payment, chances are it will occur again and diminish our authority when the customer decides not to pay.