By David F. Giannetto, WorkWave
Across the field service industry, the payment transaction is one of the most important steps in the order-to-cash cycle. Field service companies of all sizes must understand how they can control their payments process and how the right partner can help them achieve a significant competitive advantage.
Most field service companies view the exchange of money as an event that takes place between themselves and their customer, forgetting that what happens to the money once it moves from the customer into the payments processing system can have an even greater impact on their company and their success than any number of customer transactions. Traditionally, this money was then controlled within the system by payment processors. These processors have significant leverage over their customers, and therefore have a long history of charging high rates, adding unexpected fees, and delivering poor customer service. Only the very largest companies had enough buying power to change these dynamics, and even then, only with limited success.
Enter payment facilitators.
A general rule of business is that whoever controls the customer relationship has the most leverage. Payment processors were able to overcome this rule because they controlled the movement of money across many individual, disparate companies, and those closest to the customers, such as software companies, did not influence it. By becoming payment facilitators, software companies are taking back this leverage—and returning to the more natural order of business—by unifying their customer base and using this larger buying power to their customers’ collective advantage. Here are three ways customer-conscious payment facilitators are helping service companies improve their performance by influencing the payment process on their behalf:
- Better Rates And Increased Advocacy
By aligning with the right payment processing partner, in this case, a payment facilitator, individual companies are joining a collective of sorts. The payment facilitator can advocate on their customer’s behalf regardless of the size of any one individual company. Business owners can suddenly find themselves keeping more of each dollar they earn, simply by choosing the right partner—profit that they could not gain via any other method on their own. This “free” profit can be used in any number of ways to help them grow their business. As they grow, their ability to realize additional savings often increases.
Where once a small company was forced into complex, fee-riden payment schemes, the right payment facilitator can give them all of the advantages of the largest companies in their industry. This levels the service playing field and allows them to compete in the market based upon what they know best: providing the best service.
- Improved Processes And Better Customer Support
A good payments processing partner should be looking to provide innovative field-oriented payment solutions that make it easier for a service business to process payments. This advantage is maximized when the processor also offers the software platform used by field technicians because only they can create a highly integrated solution. This allows the technician to utilize one solution instead of toggling through multiple portals, mobile apps, or websites to complete a transaction.
This advantage also applies to workers in the back office. With any payment solution, problems will arise; everything from suspect transactions to wholesale outages across the entire processing system. Workers in the office are typically responsible for researching and resolving these customer issues. The right payments partner makes this significantly easier and, if it is also the same partner providing the software solution, workers only need to connect with one help desk, who can see the entire picture of what transacted between the end customer, the technician, and the systems.
- Overall Customer Experience
Today, companies must meet the demands of the customer for that customer to feel as if they had a great experience. Customers want quicker, easier, and more secure payment options. This means the service provider must offer similar payment methods to what they are used to, such as Venmo, PayPal, or other forms of contactless and digital wallet payments. Especially in today’s environment, offering alternative methods of contactless payments can allow customers to stay in their comfort zones.
This not only gives them a good experience but also builds trust, making them more likely to use that same service company again and increasing customer loyalty. This increases customer lifetime value and opens the door for service companies to convert one-time service transactions to longer-term recurrent contracts—the goal of every good service operation. Ultimately, this allows field service businesses to remain competitive and grow their business with returning customers and great word of mouth marketing.
As important as the payments processes are to service companies today, they will become even more important in the future as consumer demands and payment processing options increase. Choosing to work with the right payment provider allows for better rates, processes, and customer experiences, all while making sure businesses stay competitive within their market.
About The Author
David F. Giannetto serves as WorkWave’s Chief Executive Officer, where he is focused on creating a strong organization of empowered employees that understand customer and industry needs, and through great collaboration and teamwork, execute to great effect. His goal is to solidify WorkWave’s position as industry leaders and become the trusted advisor that helps customers grow and succeed in every area of their service business.
For nearly 40 years, WorkWave has been building best practices into its market-leading field service and last-mile software solutions to allow companies to increase revenue and profit, and become best-in-class operators who can outpace their competition. Its solutions empower service-oriented companies to reach their full potential through scalable, cloud-based software solutions that support every stage of a business life cycle, including marketing, sales, service delivery, customer interaction, and financial transactions. WorkWave is a trusted partner for thousands of customers across a wide variety of industries, including pest control, lawn care, cleaning, HVAC, plumbing and electrical, and last-mile delivery. WorkWave’s award-winning culture and solutions have been recognized in the SaaS Awards, the Cloud Awards, the American Business Awards, the NJBIZ Best Places to Work Awards, and the Stevie Awards for Great Employers.
WorkWave is a division of global enterprise applications provider IFS. For more information, visit workwave.com.