converting customers to credit cards - how?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by KPD, May 20, 2008.

  1. KPD

    KPD LawnSite Member
    from Houston
    Messages: 3

    What or some of the ways you converted existing maintenance customers to credit cards. My system is in place: Quickbooks w/Quickbooks merchant services. Now I am just trying to find an organized way to convert (force) my customers to use CC for monthly maintenance services. This would be all residential and a portion of our small commercial.

    Did you use an incentive if they switched? I did read on here somehwere that someone gave $25 credits to customer who went on the autopay system.

    Did you send a flyer with a notice about it?

    Any help is appreciated! I am seriously tired of "let's see what the mail lady brought me today...pray...pray...pray".

    Thanks again!

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    I just sent a letter out over the winter explaining the change from invoices to credit cards. I didn't go overboard justifying the switch, I just said it was to improve cashflow and save time/money with postage, paper, and trips to the post office and bank.
  3. willretire@40

    willretire@40 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from VA
    Messages: 1,390

    Play the "saving the enviroment card" with no postage and wasted fuel going to the bank. Everyone seems to be going green now a days.
  4. Gene $immons

    Gene $immons LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,028

    What if they refuse?
  5. Precision Lawns

    Precision Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 283

    Just email them the bill with Quickbooks. Make them pay for the postage, envelope, check, etc. I haven't made this switch yet, but am strongly considering it.
  6. LawnTamer

    LawnTamer LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,986

    I started accepting credit cards a few yrs ago, it has been a great move for us. Here is what I do; if a client has a good on time payment history, I don't even worry about it. Why give up 2% when they pay on time anyway? Once they pay late, I charge a late fee. I then make the suggestion like this. "I've noticed you all are busy, we can set up auto payment so you won't have to worry about those invoices." This has always worked.
  7. KPD

    KPD LawnSite Member
    from Houston
    Messages: 3

    Good ideas guys! At first I considerd switching everyone over. LawnTamer, great idea about not switching the good payers!

    Keep the ideas coming. This is my project for next week.

  8. Gene $immons

    Gene $immons LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,028

    I would like to do this as well. I'm sure that this kind of switch would require some kind of paperwork (contract) that authorizes your company to charge their card.

    What would you do if there was a small amount of additional work that you did when you mowed? For example, hauling off a pile of branches for an extra $20.00. I wonder if the customer would start to think that your company was doing all kinds of extras in order to bill them more? I normally send a monthly invoice, so they do have time to look at our statement charges, and call me if there is any questions.

    Another idea I had is to decide the total cost of what a customer will pay per year, and divide that into 10 annual payments of the same amount. This way, their bill is always the same.

    sorry to ramble on.
  9. causalitist

    causalitist LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 610

    i call them every 2 months or so and remind them that 90% of our customers are on cc and we are switching to all cc billing (1st part isnt true). seems like some people just wont do it and are paroniod, then after being my cust for 2 years they give in. .. and some people give the cardwhen they 1st call without a second thought.

    bottom line, just call em and ask if they would like to set it up, join the bandwagon so to speak... it costs you, so dont give em an incentive.

    i have found that about half of the new cust who refuse cc are crappy late payors, want biweekly etc... while very very little of the people who right off the bat set up cc billing without a second thought are. excluding comercial acc obviously.

    so i suppose getting enough accounts the normal way, and then requiring cc on sign up for new cust is a good way to screen for garbage and grow with quality customers.
  10. evergreenedmond

    evergreenedmond LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 310

    We started the auto pay thing this week & it is going pretty good. My secretary & I have been calling all of our customers that take forever to pay & telling them that we are switching all of our client base to cc payment & they are following like sheep. As far as extras above & beyond mowing, bed maint. and chemicals my customers should know by now that we aren't taking advantage of them.

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