For service businesses offering in-home and mobile appointments, it can be tempting to leave collecting customer payments up to service providers — especially if the business isn’t using appointment scheduling software with integrated payment processing. However, while you might think collecting payment in person after the service is finished is a good idea, it can create a host of problems for the business and the employees responsible for collecting payments.
Here are five reasons why you shouldn’t leave collecting customer payments to your employees.
If your business offers in-home and mobile appointments, your team already has to travel with all the equipment needed to perform the service. On top of that, they have to think about tracking their time, planning routes, and avoiding traffic to arrive on time. Throw collecting payments into the mix, and they’ll also have to factor in time to collect the payment at the end.
Processing customer payments in person can be time-consuming and requires another piece of equipment (a POS machine) for your employees to remember and maintain. If you allow customers to pay in cash, you’ll need to equip your service providers with change. In addition, you can’t guarantee that a card machine will work at the customer's location. If this happens, your service provider will have to spend time trying to fix it or phoning through to the office to process payment manually — all of which will delay them getting to the next customer.
Leaving providers to collect customer payments increases risk if you allow customers to pay in cash. By the end of the day, employees could have a lot of money either on their person or locked in their vehicle. If they’re traveling for appointments, these vehicles will be left unattended for large portions of time, increasing the risk of theft.
As your business grows, so will the number of customers and transactions. Your team will likely grow, too, as you hire new service providers to meet the increased demand.
Leaving employees to collect payments after the appointment isn’t scalable because you’ll need to purchase additional payment machines and keep track of increasing numbers of payments from different sources.
The most efficient way to collect payments is through appointment scheduling software with integrated payment processing. Depending on the software you choose, you can charge customers upfront for service appointments or take their card details to be charged once the appointment is completed.
Although everyone business owner thinks they can trust their team, it’s important to note that leaving payment collection to your providers does increase the risk of fraud. Since it’s harder to track, providers could pocket cash payments or manipulate payment records to make it look like customers didn’t pay the full amount. If this happens, you’ll contact the customer for payment, they’ll claim they paid, and you have to decide who to believe.
Finally, another reason you shouldn’t make employees responsible for collecting payments from customers is it makes it harder to maintain an efficient system for tracking payments. This increases the risk of misplacing payments or not being appropriately compensated due to miscommunication.
The most efficient way to collect customer payments is online using appointment scheduling software with integrated payments. This is the preferred payment method for 83% of customers, and online payments have a digital paper trail, and the software pulls reports, so it’s easy to track your sales figures. In addition, if you collect payments online, you get paid instantly, so you don’t have to waste time chasing invoices and late payments.
Your service providers already have enough responsibility providing high-quality services to customers; they shouldn’t be responsible for collecting payments too. Switching to online payments saves time, offers more security for your customers and employees, and is easily scalable as your business grows.
Make collecting payments easier with an all-in-one appointment scheduling software like MarketBox. Book a call to learn more.
Find how to stop clients canceling medical appointments in your healthcare practiceRead Story