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How to Get Your Cleaning Clients to Pay You

Published on April 11, 2019

If you’re tired of unpaid invoices, “checks in the mail,” and promises that they’ll have cash next week, you need to change the way you do business with your cleaning clients.

This article will show you:

  • How to get your cleaning clients to pay on time
  • Procedures you can implement
  • Strategies that can help you

By the end of this blog post, you’ll have a fool-proof strategy to get your clients to pay on time - every time - with credit cards.

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Why Credit Cards Solve Most of Your Payment Headaches

It’s not unusual for a business with a recurring billing schedule to require a credit card on file.

No one balks at Netflix or their gym membership... or even their dog’s vet requiring a credit card.

Additionally, 80% of consumers prefer card payments over cash.

In other words, many of your cleaning clients actually prefer credit card payments!

Cleaning clients who complain about giving out their credit card are usually in 1 of 3 camps:

  1. Don't intend to pay
  2. Will hold your money hostage
  3. Fear their credit card will be insecurely stored

Here's how you can overcome these concerns...

Let your clients know that having their credit on file means they don't have to worry about sending their payments every month.

In addition, it means you reliably get paid while also prioritizing the importance of your cleaning clients' convenience.

Finally, let your cleaning clients know their card will be stored with a credit processor with enterprise-level security.

How to Ask Without Losing Your Best Cleaning Clients

Asking your cleaning clients for the credit card information without losing them is a simple 2-step process:

  1. Test
  2. Change, test again

Start with your worst offenders.

These are the people who never pay on time. Maybe, you even voided invoices to dodge the confrontation.

First, send them an email. After all, cash-flow-gaps are detrimental to your business.

1. Write an Email to Get Paid

Remember, you need to sell the benefit of credit card payments to your cleaning clients.

For example, you could say something like, "Your job is to relax and enjoy your sparkling clean home - 100% stress-free! A credit card on file means you don't have to worry about remembering to write a check or visit an ATM anymore."

Take a look at some of the main benefits you should give your cleaning clients:

  • “Set it and forget it”
  • Save time and effort
  • The convenience of paying online
  • No more hunting down your checkbook
  • No more ATM runs before the cleaning appointment

2. Make the Right Changes Based on Feedback

These are your worst cleaning clients.

As you know, non-paying clients are usually the most opinionated.

They look for flaws to exploit so they don’t have to pay. You can bet they’ll be looking for a flaw in the email you sent.

More than likely, you're panicking at the thought of dealing with these rabble-rousers. However, I want you to completely invert how you think about them.

You’re testing this email to iron out these details.

In other words, your angry, complaining, non-paying clients are the best possible testing ground.

Think of your worst cleaning clients as your free email editors.

If they leave, what have you lost? A headache? A bad debt write-off?

Listen to their complaints. These are sticking points.

Then, revise your email based on the feedback and address their objections.

Raise and resolve their concerns in your email.

When you’ve gotten all the feedback you can from your worst clients, test the email on the next segment.

Once you’re satisfied with the email, you're ready to blast it to the rest of your clients.

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How to Ask ALL of Your Cleaning Clients for Their Credit Card

In this step, you'll send an email blast.

Send an email to all clients requesting they update their payment information with their credit card.

After the first email, narrow down remaining clients who haven’t added their card. Then, send a second email.

In this email, emphasize the benefits again, but also let them know this is a new policy that's required for ALL clients.

New Policy: Make Credit Cards Mandatory for ALL Cleaning Clients

Avoid making exceptions to your new policy.

This means, you need to require credit cards from ALL of your clients, new and old.

More than likely, some cleaning clients will ask for an exception. However, you need to push back on them.

Emphasize to your cleaning client that this change is company-wide and not specific to this client.

Remind them that this is a change that ALL of your cleaning clients are undergoing to make life easier for everyone.

If they continue to insist on paying the old way (via check or cash), then you need to decide if they're worth the trouble.

If they consistently make late payments, then it's time to fire them as a cleaning client.

However, if they consistently make payments on time and are all-around awesome client, then it's your decision whether or not to keep them.

Give Stragglers 1 Last Chance

Have your office assistant call any stragglers for 1 last chance.

Spell out the benefits to the client, and insist they update their payment information with your cleaning business.

Keep in mind, anyone who refuses at this point may not be a good fit for your cleaning business.

Whether they want to dodge paying, or they don’t trust you as a professional, they’re essentially telling you they don't care about doing business with you. Don’t allow attitudes of disrespect to run your business.

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Get Your Cleaning Clients to Pay You On Time EVERY TIME

This is YOUR cleaning business, and you DESERVE to get paid on time, every time.

Stand behind your new credit card policy.

After all, there’s no reason to cave. Credit card requirements are a standard business practice. Anyone who tells you differently is likely afraid, or they're trying to avoid paying you.

In general, credit card processing:

  • Saves you time
  • Increases your number of paid invoices
  • Relieves staff pain points (esp. collections)

Don’t spend another season constantly chasing past due invoices and wondering if employees are skimming cash off the top of the till. It’s not worth the headache.

Now, you have all of the information you need to get your cleaning clients to pay you on time, every time!

Relate: How to Raise Cleaning Prices Without Losing Clients

Originally published April 11, 2019 7:00 AM, updated April 27, 2021 12:17 PM


Cody is a copywriter with Service Autopilot. He was writing before he could read, dictating stories to his mom. Of late, he distills business principles and practices learned from his ever-increasing trove of books and his year with SA Support into digestible blog posts designed to provide maximum value to service industry business owners.


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