What Are the Benefits of Requiring Upfront Payment?
1. Client Satisfaction
2. Reducing No-shows
3. Increasing Revenue
How Do You Avoid Problems with Upfront Payment?
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May 19, 2023 · 4 min read
Payment policies probably aren't something you want to think about, but you may want to consider upfront payment. Below we dive into 3 reasons why upfront payments can help your practice thrive.
Everyone likes a healthy, happy, and beautiful-looking pet, but not everyone enjoys paying to care for their furry friends’ care.
If payments are a pain point for your veterinary practice, consider using an upfront payment policy. Payments with Chckup can help your clinic avoid common issues like late payments and overdue veterinary bills.
Payment policies are a subject few veterinary professionals like to discuss, but you will want to consider upfront payments for several essential reasons.
With upfront payments, your clients will pay the entire bill before receiving treatment.
This may not seem like a big deal at first, but requiring clients to pay the cost upfront offers several short-term and long-term benefits for your veterinary practice.
Client satisfaction is one of the highest priorities in veterinary medicine.
The best clinics provide outstanding veterinary care that focuses on the pet's needs and clients’ preferences. Such preferences and needs extend to paying bills.
Routine checkups might not be expensive, but what about root surgeries or other specialty care? Pet owners do not want hefty bills hanging over their heads while worrying about the health of their fur babies.
Requiring upfront payments is an excellent way to keep pet owners happy. It offers them transparency about the situation and eases their mind after a procedure as to whether or not their pet is okay.
It also helps build trust and establish long-standing relationships.
Many veterinary practices struggle with no-shows and cancelations. Clients may schedule an appointment, forget about it or balk at the potential bill, and fail to show up.
Some will even cancel or postpone their appointments due to concerns about debt.
Upfront payments help minimize such problems by enforcing commitments.
If a client has to pay the entire amount upfront, you can bet they will arrive on time on appointment day.
In addition, you will not need to worry about labor costs and compensation for your office staff, as much of those costs are covered before the appointment occurs.
Good veterinary clinics maintain a client-first mentality.
At the end of the day, though, your practice is a business, and most veterinary professionals forget this.
Your practice will not survive very long if your total revenue does not exceed your expenses. And this isn’t just veterinary medicine. This is true for every other industry. It is a law of business.
Another significant benefit of requiring upfront payment is increased revenue and improved cashflows. Upfront payment policies lead to higher client satisfaction, which results in more clients coming to you for veterinary care. More clients equal more revenue.
More money upfront means more ways to invest in growth before paying your costs. That ultimately leads to thriving practices.
Additionally, clients might not pay the bill for weeks if you send it in the mail after a procedure.
Delayed payments can mean cash flow backups and financial uncertainty for your clinic. You can avoid these issues by implementing an upfront payment policy.
Upfront payment is one of the best solutions to satisfying clients, reducing no-shows and cancelations, and increasing overall revenue. However, this does not mean conflicts will not arise.
Here are three practical ways to prepare for these conflicts and avoid potential problems in the future:
Provide accurate estimates:
The trouble often comes when a clinic requires upfront payment but provides an inaccurate estimate.
If the estimate is too low, the client will pay more than expected. This will give false expectations to pet owners and they might never come back.
You can preserve your reputation and prevent this fiasco by providing accurate cost estimates.
Train your office staff:
Discussing medical bills and required payments can be touchy.
With adequate training, your veterinary staff can handle a sensitive subject, like finances, with ease
You can have necessary conversations without annoying your clients or offering misguided financial advice.
Offer various payment methods:
Some veterinary clients prefer to write a check, while others exclusively use credit or debit cards.
As such, you should offer multiple payment methods with your upfront payment policy. This ensures the payment process is convenient and easy, with as little hassle for the client as possible.
Another solution is to offer other forms of payment/financing.
Whether it's procedural financing like CareCredit, ScrathcPay, Sunbit, etc., or working with pet insurance providers, you’re giving pet owners an alternative to one of the biggest barriers that they face when caring for their furry friends, cost.
While many veterinary practices use post-care billing methods, an upfront payment might be a better way to go. This method requires clients to cover treatment costs before arriving at your practice. No need to send bills or payment reminders to pet owners anymore. It is an excellent way for your clinic to maintain long-standing relationships and steady income.
At Chckup, we have the tools and know-how to turbocharge your veterinary practice.
We can improve your collections with payments and help you achieve your clinic's goals.
Schedule a free demo with us today to see what we can do for you!
If you're in the veterinary field and you're interested in giving your practice the extra hands it desperately needs, book an 8 minute demo with Chckup. Our platform helps busy practices handle call overload, boost revenue per client, and increase client satisfaction by providing actionable insights and easy-to-use technology to help you stay on top of everything.Book an 8 minute demo