Ok, I realize you will probably never “love” paying credit card fees. I should probably change the title to, “Why you should not want to shoot your credit card processor when you get your monthly statement.” EVERY SINGLE BUSINESS ON THE PLANET HATES CREDIT CARD FEES. If that is the case, why do the majority of businesses accept credit cards?….
Simple, because it makes them more than it costs them, if that wasn’t the case, they wouldn’t accept them. How does this apply to home inspectors? The same way it applies to all other businesses, i.e. people spend more when they pay with credit card. There are literally dozens of studies that prove this time and time again, when people pay with plastic, they pay more. When you go to Vegas, do you put dollar bills down on the table or plastic chips? It has been proven that when people pay with plastic, they not only spend more, but are more impulsive. How does this affect you as a home inspector? In reality, it depends on if you offer any add on services. Do you offer radon or mold testing? How about septic or pool inspections? Is your roof, attic, or foundation inspection an optional, “add on” product? If you have any add on services like this, then you need to make sure your customers know, from the very first contact, that you accept credit cards instead of waiting until the inspection is over. If you wait until the inspection is over to inform them that you accept credit cards, it is too late to take advantage of the benefits of giving your customers that option. Over and over again, we see the businesses that encourage credit card use have significantly higher average transactions than those who don’t. If you are looking to increase your income without having to increase the number of inspections, simply notifying customers, from the very first contact, that you accept credit cards, is an easy way to do it.
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Not only will customers spend more, on average, when they pay with credit cards but did you know currently 70% of Millennials (i.e. consumers ages 18-34) say they only shop at businesses that accept credit cards? “Well,” you may say, “that is just the younger folks.” Wrong! Nearly 58% of those ages 35-44 also say they only shop where credit cards are accepted. Right now 64% of Americans report using less than 3 checks per month and 52% of Millennials say they do not even have checks. Do the realtors who refer customers to you know which inspectors accept credit cards and which ones don’t? I would be willing to bet that most do. So, what happens when their client asks them if you, the one they referred, will accept their credit card? Exactly….they tell them no and then refer them to someone else. If you don’t accept credit cards, you are losing business, whether you know it or not.
Accepting credit cards is a simple way to increase your average transaction size and it ensures you are not losing business because you only accept cash or check. As much as you hate those credit card fees, if accepting credit cards can increase your bottom line while saving you time and money (see my article on why it is important to get paid before the inspection to find out how receiving payment when you book the inspection will save you time and money) then getting that monthly statement from your credit card processor may just become the highlight of your month.