The Smart Service Dispatch

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October 29, 2020

 

The Benefits of Taking Payments in the Field with Field Service Billing Software

The modern field service business needs a quick, easy way to collect payments in the field.

Most businesses these days accept credit card payments, and it’s easy to see why. Roughly 7 in 10 Americans have at least one credit card. If your field service business still collects cash payments or sends invoices via mail, you may need to modernize your practices to avoid getting left behind by your competition. Below, we’ve listed some of the chief benefits to hitting the field with billing software and a reliable merchant service provider.

Customer Convenience

By offering more forms of payment, customers can select the method of payment most convenient to them. Most customers prefer to use credit cards, since they can use them to pay quickly and securely. If you can accept such payments, you don’t have to force impatient customers to write a check and mail it out. When customers find it easy to do business with you, they will most likely purchase your goods and services again in the future (rather than turn to a competitor).

Also, most credit cards now offer points, miles, or rewards. Customers often reap additional benefits when they pay with a certain card, making it a more attractive option from their perspective.

Ease of Use

Once you have the ability to verify and process payments on site, you can do so in a matter of seconds. This means your technicians don’t have to handle cash or figure out the correct amount of change. Credit card payments reduce the probability of human errors. Such mistakes can harm you or your customer. Instead, technicians can simply scan the customer’s credit card with their device, which will then capture credit card information securely and charge the exact, correct amount. 

Do your customers pay by check? Many field service billing software systems can also take ACH payments directly in the field. Again, this gives technicians and customers one less thing to worry about. If you do recurring work (like preventative maintenance), you can save credit card and ACH payment information, charging the same credit card or bank account every time you perform service. Once saved, customers don’t have to submit payment information again, keeping transactions easy, convenient, and painless. 

Security

With the right field service billing software, payments get processed through a merchant service’s secured channels. This means no one has to dictate or write down credit card information on paper or any other less-than-secure channel. Customers will have a sense of confidence in your business when payments get handled and processed securely.

Most customers would rather pay with credit cards than with cash because they feel that it is a more secure form of payment. Paying electronically creates a record they can easily reference if a dispute arises. Field workers will also benefit from collecting credit card payments, since they will no longer need to handle (or even bring) large amounts of cash out on the job. There is always a chance that cash can be stolen or even lost. 

Upsell Opportunities

Sometimes, customers willing to purchase additional products and services can’t, simply because they don’t have enough cash on hand. When they can pay via credit card, they don’t need to worry about paying for the purchase until a later time.

This will also help legitimize your business. When customers realize that they are able to process credit cards and ACH payments easily and securely, just like they could with any other major company, your local field service business starts to look more like a major player.

Improved Cash Flow

When collecting credit card payments in the field, transactions get verified and processed quickly. Usually, these transactions are then deposited into your bank account within 1-2 days. You no longer have to print and mail customers invoices, wait for them to mail back a check, then wait for that check to clear. This also eliminates the risk of receiving a bad or bounced check. Reducing the billing cycle lets you avoid errors and missed payments.

Credit Card Processing Rates

One reason some business prefer to avoid credit card processing? No one likes sharing revenue with a credit card processing company. Before you let this factor decide the issue for you, consider all the labor involved with cash payments and mailed invoices. After calculating these additional time and labor costs, are cash payments really more lucrative than credit card payments?

Plus, these days, the intense competitiveness of the credit card processing industry helps keep rates low. Many merchant services have customer agents willing to hash out great deals for field service contractors. 

Final Thoughts

Looking for the best field service billing software option? With Smart Service scheduling and dispatch software, payment processing integrates seamlessly with QuickBooks. Payments processed out in the field with Smart Service get recorded in QuickBooks in real time. That means no double data entry. Office staff don’t have to re-enter payment info into QuickBooks once techs have collected card payments in the field.

If for some reason your techs can’t collect payment out in the field, you can instead use Smart Service to email invoices to your customers, who can submit a credit card payment through a secure, online payment portal. Collecting and processing payment is a simple process with Smart Service, no matter the situation. Request a demo today to see how Smart Service field service billing software can take your business to the next level.