Here is a well-known fact about me — I adopted a little dog named Winslow about three years ago and I love him! Here’s a little known fact about Winslow — in addition to his love of walks, toys, and people — he loves his veterinarian. Yup, that’s right! If my dog could talk, he would tell you that he loves his vet, Dr. Rich.
Dr. Rich is a mobile veterinarian who makes house-calls for annual checkups, vaccinations, and general checkups. I can email him if Winslow isn’t feeling well and he lets me know if he thinks he should stop by. There are so many benefits to having your vet come to you: less stress on your pet, convenience, and a personal relationship with someone I trust.
One thing that’s not convenient is his (admittedly) antiquated method for collecting payments. Dr. Rich likes to joke (knowing I work for PaySimple) that the way he takes payments is “pay difficult.” He literally handwrites invoices so that I can mail him a check in return. But, as much as I might try to convince him otherwise, he seems happy with his low-tech solution for these three reasons, which I will now formally de-bunk.
“Fees. Who needs ‘em? Not me.”
Forbes wrote a great post citing that 55% of small business owners chose not to accept credit card payments because of a fear of fees. In an increasingly cashless economy, for a customer, tracking down a checkbook to pay an invoice is like… herding cats. Not to mention that it adds ‘trips to the bank’ a regular to-do to Dr. Rich’s already busy day. The costs might seem like a barrier, but isn’t your time worth more? That’s not to mention the benefit of getting paid immediately rather than waiting of the ol’ check in the mail.
“I like sitting on the floor with the animals while handwriting and calculating invoices.”
While I appreciate the charm, it doesn’t give him any insight into what his customers are ‘purchasing.’ Dr. Rich is losing the opportunity to collect customer data in a comprehensive solution that could help him gain a better understanding of his business, help him earn more repeat customers, find trends in his daily and monthly cash flow, and save the hassle of filing paper.
“My customers don’t mind my system.”
True, it’s not going to keep me from calling him next time, but in a service based industry, it’s important to remember that customers want what is most convenient for them. Setting himself apart from his competitors is key to making his services the first choice. His mobile business makes it easy to work with him; his use of email makes it easy to ask a quick question. But, accepting the payment type I like to use would make it SO much easier to pay him on time. Additionally, with a switch, he will undoubtedly take the headache out of chasing down late or missed payments from the inevitable customer who can’t find their checkbook and will put a check in the mail after the due date.
The care that Dr. Rich provides for Winslow is second-to-none and I wouldn’t go anywhere else, but I can’t speak for all his customers. And more importantly, for Dr. Rich, I’m sure that he could save so much time and actually enjoy his practice more by embracing electronic payments and customer management!
If you are customer, let us know about a service you love that could be that much more convenient if you were able to pay by credit card or electronic invoices. If you are a business owner, what are some barriers you have to accepting credit cards?