Chances are, you’re always updating your auto detailing business, bringing in new buffers, maybe a fancy portable washer system and some top-notch cleaning tools. While you’re on a roll here, maybe it’s time to upgrade the way you accept payment for your services.
We’re talking of course about credit cards, and if you’re currently unwilling or unable to accept these pieces of plastic as payment, you’re cutting drastically into your company’s bottom line. Some examples: Maybe your customer drives a company car and his business only pays by credit card.
More important, maybe your customer wants to partake in one of your up-sell services, but he’s only got enough cash in his wallet for what he originally called you to do. Whipping out the ol’ credit card might be an option for this customer but — noooooo! — you don’t accept credit cards.
That means the fabric protection service you offer for $60 isn’t going to happen. Neither is that polymer paint protection up-sell that brings you an additional $50 to $75 per. And that ozone treatment to get rid of foul odors….there’s another $50 to $100 out the window.
If your auto detailing business doesn’t accept credit cards, you can also kiss off plenty of opportunities to provide other added services such as engine shampooing and dressing, paint chip repair and headlight restoration. And don’t think for a moment that credit card logos featured prominently on your web site and company literature don’t encourage potential customers to book an appointment. Because they do!
In addition, there’s the peace of mind that comes with having a service that pretty much guarantees the funds will be in your business bank account within 48 to 72 business hours. Checks bounce like Silly Putty, or they take days to clear the bank. And if you do get a check back for non-sufficient funds, you have the added headache of contacting the customer and coercing real money out of them.
Not only that, but it’s much easier and cheaper for auto detailers to accept credit cards today than just a few years ago. These days, you can actually process credit card transactions via your smartphone. There are several mobile credit card processors that will furnish you a card reader that quickly and easily attaches to your smartphone. Just slide your customer’s card through the device and the money’s en route to your account.
Companies like Square (see: https://squareup.com) and Intuit GoPayment (visit: www.intuit-gopayment.com) only charging you — the merchant — a few percentage points of the transaction total and the funds are usually deposited in your account in less than 48 hours. These processors will even furnish you with the equipment needed at practically no cost. Even PayPal is getting in on the action, indicating that they too will soon be offering a card reader that plugs into your smartphone for mobile transactions.
Another nice feature of these smartphone credit card processors is that you can send an invoice from your cell phone to your customer’s email In box in a matter of seconds. You can also keep track of your credit card transactions and better manage your database of customers.
Like your business itself, the key word here is portability. And with credit cards, you can offer your hand car wash and express detailing services at events or shopping malls where hundreds of vehicles and owners gather, offering them quick service and payment with just a quick swipe!