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question, making the switch to next day credit card...

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by leafitalawn, Feb 13, 2007.

  1. leafitalawn

    leafitalawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 108

    I will start the season with approx. 88 returning customers who are not on file for credit card. I'm pretty sure somebody's had this problem, but how do you think I should go about getting their cc #'s ? I mean, I know that I have to talk to them, but should I be offering an incentive? Or, should I just tell them that's how it's going to be? I really don't know what to be expecting in the terms of "churn", and definately want to minimize it. Thanks in advance.. Also, is it possible to process a batch of credit cards for a whole days worth of mows at once to save time.?.

  2. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,157

    I think to try to force 88 people to use CC'c might cost you some customers.

    I had over 200 and none of them used CC's they got the bill each month and paid it and sent their check back in in....

    the more CC's you wipe the higher your transaction fees., especially if you swipe carsd every day for each visit.... you probably costing yourself what 2% each swipe.....you swipe once a month, rather than every week, youd be saving yourself a bunchb over the mowing season....remember that 50 cent and 2% service charge all come out of YOUR pocket, no the customers....

    88 customers @ 25 bucks a cut.... @ $1 CC charge per swipe @ 25 swipes(cuts) per mowing season, that 2200 bucks.... now if you only swiped once a month during the billing seaon.(6 months) your % service charge woul remain the same for the year, but your transaction fee woud drop @ 50 cents, that only 528 swipes or 264 bucks VS $528....

    Not much, but money's money....

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    I wouldn't force the current customers to use credit cards, I don't see that going over too well. For some reason it's just hard to get old customers to change how they do business with you. Offer some incentive, like you said. Perhaps...say you are raising your rates....offer a lesser rate hike if they go to CCs (or none at all) Just make it look like they are getting a deal. I'm in a similar position, where I've changed my billing system and I just decided to 'grandfather' in the old customers.
  4. LawnGuy73

    LawnGuy73 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,945

    Before you do anything, do as I did. Send out a survey asking your customers if they would be interested in paying by credit card, and see what your response is. When I did this I found that only a hand full of people were interested, so I decided to hold off for now.
  5. leafitalawn

    leafitalawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 108

    Yeah MarcSmith,
    I actually thought of just processing once monthly. Not only will it save on per transaction fee, but I think would be way less time consuming as well. I'm probably going to have to call each one individually :(
    I think I'm going to try the I won't raise price/+ incentive route. I just need to think of that incentive now...
  6. StBalor

    StBalor LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 798

    Do what Epic said, send them all out a letter telling them that you will now be accepting credit cards. Then in the letter ask them to reply if they are interested. Switch these people over and all new clients bill their credit card.
    Every year resend the letter to those who did not switch over. 88 lawns, you do not want to lose them by forceing them to switch.
    Even go a step further and call each one a few weeks after sending them the letter. Ask them if they recieved the letter and if they would like to go with it.
  7. leafitalawn

    leafitalawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 108

    Excellent idea. I guess it really would be asking too much to "force" already good paying customers to switch over. I think I'm going with this idea.


    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    I think what you'll find is, it's really easy to get NEW customers to go with the CC's, but like pulling teeth to get the old ones to convert. I got this idea from another member...just give a higher price for paying by check...if it's a $35 lawn, it's $35 by CC or $38 by check. I only had one new customer go with the higher option.

    If you charge enough, the processing fees shouldn't be a big deal. Especially if you have payroll, knowing when you're getting money in is worth paying a small amount vs. crossing your fingers and checking the mailbox everyday :laugh:
  9. leafitalawn

    leafitalawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 108

    Thanks, that's kind of what I was figuring. It's just good to hear it from others before trying..

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