Do you dread the idea of having to call up your clients to ask for payments on unpaid account balances? Do you let you financials suffer because you avoid that awkward conversation? Do you worry this phone call may affect your ongoing relationship with this member?
Do you breathe a sigh of relief when that phone call goes to voicemail?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you’re a part of the majority. Asking for money can be difficult in any situation, but debt collection carries anxiety on so many levels. But it doesn’t have to be so daunting.
Here at GymMaster, we strive to ease that process for you; and your members.
Members Can Make Their Own Payments Online
Empowering your members with the ability to make payments within the member portal helps relieve the potential embarrassment of that phone call, or denial from entry.
This new feature provides a simple and convenient way for your members to ensure their accounts are up to date, and allows facilities using access control to have more proactive restrictions as members now have the tools to rectify outstanding accounts quickly and easily.
Take a look at our previous blog post
to learn how to use this feature in GymMaster.
When Accounts Fall Behind, Automate!
The most important thing you can do is take the time to come up with a plan, including SMS templates and automations. This is so you can act quickly when you encounter a bad debtor.
As soon as their payment failed, you should be in contact with your member with an automated SMS message.
Waiting to follow up, or not following up at all, sends a clear message to your clients that their non-payment doesn’t matter to you.
- Setting up automatic emails to your overdue clients on these days is simple with GymMaster.
- Settings / Task Setup / Failed DD Payment / Follow options,
- Choose your approach (call, SMS),
- Choose when you’d like to make contact,
- Select whether you’d like your member’s tag to deny them entry when their account falls behind (and how much room for error you have),
- And finally select your template or write your message.
Next time one of your members misses a payment, or their DD payment declines, a task will be created in the “Task” option in the left hand menu. (Unless you have selected auto SMS, in which case it will go out without creating a task to check).
Set up a second SMS to go out another three days later.
Unpaid Balances Can Affect Facility Entry
When a member who is way behind in their payments continues to use your service, it can be pretty frustrating.
With GymMaster, you can disable access with your door system. It forces them to take notice and take action to regain access in a fair and expected way. As the gym owner, you have the ability to set thresholds before taking this measure – but we’ve seen it work, time and time again.
Your First Point of Contact
How do you write a debt collection message? Nicely.
It’s easy to let emotions write such emails for you; and on the other hand, it’s also commonplace for such emails to be void of any warmth at all.
Here’s a sample email to set the tone:
Our invoice x for x is now overdue by x days, and it’s got us a little bit worried.
We don’t want to worry, and we don’t want you to worry either.
If you’re able to pay it now, please do. We’d really appreciate that. You can do that here. (link to the online login page)
If you’re having problems paying, please contact us, and we’ll work something out that works for both of us.
Please give us a call.
The Phone Call
After several points of contact – say a couple of emails – you may need to make that phone call. This wee guide may help:
- Be clear on the amount, account and objectives before you make the phone call. Have it all in front of you.
- Be firm but friendly. You want repeat custom, so listen to their story. Being understanding of their explanation is the single best way to show that you’re their equal.
You may need to present a payment plan that fits within their restrictions, but it’s important to let them know that you have bills to pay, too.
- Get some sort of commitment – whether it’s a payment today, on pay day, or an organised payment plan, it’s much easier to have a date to refer back to for any future conversation and clarity of mind.