As a lawn care business, focusing on your customers’ needs is paramount to your success. Being customer-centric doesn’t just apply to the way you conduct business and carry out your jobs in the field, though; it also applies to the way you accept payments from your customers.
Your customers’ expectations are shifting when it comes to how they pay for your services, and it’s crucial that you adapt to this shift in demand to ensure that your customers are satisfied and your business is paid promptly and consistently.
Convenience Is Key
In this increasingly digital age, customers have come to consider instant gratification as the norm. This demand for instantaneous results goes beyond expectations for products or services and applies to how customers expect their payments to be handled, as well.
Today’s customers expect a smooth, frictionless payment process — and you need to provide one to keep them happy. They don’t want things to be complicated, and they don’t want to jump through hoops to make a payment. Think of the payment process as the last step of the customer journey; it can be the cherry on top of a delicious sundae, or it can be a misstep that leaves a bad taste in the customer’s mouth despite a high quality of service.
When you make it easier for your customers to pay the way they want to, you ensure that the focus remains on the quality of work that you provide and that you won’t miss out on clients just because you don’t offer their preferred method of payment. You can count on receiving payment for your work sooner, too, by allowing your customers to pay in the way they prefer.
As payments technology continues to evolve and methods like contactless payments, payment links and payments via text become the norm, you stand to set yourself apart from competitors by offering the latest payment options. On the other side of this scenario, you stand to give your competitors an edge if you don’t quickly adapt to offer new payment methods.
How Do Your Customers Prefer to Pay?
While collecting cash from customers might be fine for a neighborhood kid pushing his parents’ lawn mower around neighbors’ lawns, it simply isn’t how your customers prefer to pay a legitimate business. Even for small businesses, customers expect that they’ll be able to pay with their preferred payment card. In fact, over 80% of U.S. consumers prefer to pay by card in general.
When it comes to paying recurring household bills, like those for services like yours, the preference to pay by card holds true for those in the United States. According to a recent study by GoCardless, 24% of U.S. consumers are very likely to pay for household bills using a debit card, while 23% are very likely to pay using a credit card.
It’s also worth noting that direct bank debits, which dominate this segment in the other markets surveyed throughout Europe and Oceania, are also on the rise in the United States with 14% of respondents stating they are very likely to pay in this way. Tom Rotem, Chief Executive, Chargify, notes that, “automated card payments have been the de facto standard for many years [in the U.S.], but we’ve seen an upward trend in revenue processed through ACH payments which increased 112% from 2017 to 2018.”
Being able to process both card and ACH payments is of paramount importance for lawn care companies aiming to streamline their customers’ payment process. By ensuring you have the capability to accept both credit card and ACH payments, you build the foundation your business needs to leverage industry-leading features like credit card readers in the field, mobile check capture and other competitive functionality that can quickly, seamlessly and securely process customer payment and provide a greater customer experience.
Easing the Process of Paying
Payment tends to be the final step in the process of acquiring services, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late in the process for a bump in the road to come between your business and future revenue. Even if booking and receiving service goes smoothly, a customer who encounters an issue during the payment process or discovers that they can’t pay in the way they want to is less likely to hire you for future services.
The flip side of this same idea is that making payments simpler for customers helps to ensure that they will rely on you for their future needs. By minimizing the number of interactions and clicks needed to submit payment, you remove a hurdle for your customers and make service seamless.
In addition to ensuring you can accept payment in whichever form your customers prefer, also take steps to make sure that you can offer recurring payments for those who want them by securely storing payment information for future use. This enables you to provide your customers with a truly effortless process, especially for services that recur on a regular basis.
A payments program that allows for automatic updating of credit cards is yet another way to smooth the process. Automatic updaters safely store your customers’ card info, identify expired cards or inactive accounts, and update expiration dates and account numbers automatically. Working in tandem with recurring payments, automatic updaters offer your customers a true set-it-and-forget-it payment method while ensuring that your business will not lose revenue due to expired payment methods.
Secure recurring payments turn your lawn care business from being a chore that customers need to think about into an effortless, reliable service that makes their life that much easier and ensures a reliable source of income for your business on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. By taking steps to process payments in the way your customers prefer, you reaffirm your business as the right choice in their eyes and prove that you’re ready to provide the services they need. To see just how convenient integrated payments processing can be, learn more about WorkWave Payments today.