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Be a Pro at Customer Experience - Even When Customers Can't Pay

Providing a favorable customer experience is essential for plumbing contractors. But what happens when a customer can't immediately pay their plumbing bill?

According to the 2016 Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households, 44 percent of adults say they would have difficulty handling a $400 emergency expense.

Here are three tips for creating a favorable customer experience for those who urgently need but can't afford your services right away.


1.  Create a Customer-Friendly Payment Plan

Receiving partial payment is better than no payment at all. Allow the customer to pay a specific amount up front, and then invoice them for the remainder over an agreed-upon schedule of weeks or months.


2.  Offer a Discount on Future Services

Customers realize that their current plumbing emergency won't likely be their last. Offering a five to 10 percent discount on your next call complements the goodwill you've already demonstrated and can help set the foundation for a long-term relationship when the customer regains financial stability.


3.  Keep Communicating

Courteously reminding customers of overdue invoices will get you better results than putting them on the defensive. Without letting them off the hook, empathize with their situation and be open to considering any compromise payment arrangements they suggest. While seeking payment, it's important to make sure you are complying with the Fair Debt Collection Act in your state, as certain laws and guidelines may apply. If you're ever unsure of anything, consult a trusted legal professional.

Financial difficulties can hit anyone. When they impact your customers, your flexibility and understanding will make a positive impact not just on them but on you and your business, too.