Before we even talk about how to automate payments, perhaps we ought to address the why.
Small business owners often attempt to limit administrative costs by taking care of billing and payment tasks themselves. But logging every payment manually can take up a lot of precious time and when time is money (and sanity), is it really worth it in the long run?
Offering flexible payment options and ad-hoc booking systems can also make it very difficult for small businesses to keep track of outstanding payments. With disorganized manual systems that are hard to decipher, there end up being more questions than answers when it comes to payments.
No one should end up losing money on a sale because of disorganization!
Small businesses, like Buddies tutoring service, don’t have time to waste manually logging students and payments when there is English to be taught, but that is exactly what was happening until recently. The Buddies team was manually logging every new student, session and payment into a Google Sheet, and then manually billing each student separately.
Buddies decided to switch to vcita’s automated platform so clients could book and pay for appointments directly on their website. As a result, they were able to reduce admin time by 20%, convert 90% of prospects into paying customers, and decrease no-shows by 25%!
Sharon opened her wellness studio, Amber Moon Studio, to fulfill her passion for helping people achieve health and happiness. Chasing down clients for payment doesn’t exactly mesh with a zen attitude, but that is what Sharon was forced to do until she found vcita.
By implementing the vcita automated platform, Sharon’s clients were able to pay upon booking. She was able to cut admin time in half and increase earning potential by 20%. With the help of vcita, Sharon is now able to focus on helping her clients achieve their goals, rather than worry about the hassles of payment collection.
How to automate payments on vcita
As is true with most business models, there is not a one-size-fits-all when it comes to automated payments. Depending on the type of customer you cater to, and how hands-on, or off, you want to be, vcita offers a number of options when it comes to automated payments so you can find exactly what you are looking for.
Let’s review the different ways you can automate payments on vcita.
Pre-pay at booking
Say goodbye to confusing spreadsheets with the pre-pay feature on vcita. Upon booking a service on the vcita client portal, customers will be asked to pay at that time. In other words, you are asking your clients to pay in advance.
Pre-pay at booking is great for first-time clients purchasing a single service, or return clients that purchase packages, or multiple services at one time. By getting the payment out of the way beforehand, both you and your customers will be able to fully enjoy the experience of working together knowing that the business portion is already taken care of.
Remember Buddies tutoring service we mentioned earlier? The pre-pay at booking feature helped them earn back their time and money.
The option to pre-pay at booking not only helps with organization on the business end, but it also helps convert potential clients into paying customers. When the customer experience is seamless, there is nothing standing in the way of clients booking your services, which is the way it should be!
Set up payment reminders
When a payment is due, the vcita system will recognize this and send a reminder to the client that it is time to pay. You can decide whether to send them via email or text. You can also schedule reminders to be sent at certain intervals if the invoice is not paid on time.
The reminder emails are already personalized to fit the rest of your brand’s identity in terms of style, colors, etc. Once you have put the information into the system once, you won’t have to lift a finger for any future reminders.
This is a great option for businesses like Holistic Hounds, a canine care clinic that offers a variety of payment options to their customers. When clients book a service, they are able to request a specific payment plan. If a client chooses to pay in installments, reminders will automatically be sent out until the full amount is paid.
No longer will you have to keep track of whether or not a client has finished paying out what they owe, which saves time and money on potentially forgotten invoices. With the help of vcita, Holistic Hounds cut their response time in half, which helped build major trust with their clients.
Auto Billing gives users the ability to completely automate payment collection through the vcita system. Users can decide if they want to automatically create and send invoices, or if they prefer to send automated payment links to clients.
The way the auto-billing feature works is that it looks at every open payment in the system and sends a request to the client to close their balance. You can decide if you want these requests to go out once a day, week, or month.
Auto Billing is great for recurring clients – those that typically have an open tab at your business. Unlike new or one-time clients, you have likely established a relationship with these people over time, and want to keep it that way! Auto-billing removes the need for you to ask them to pay every single time, which might be a little awk.
Billing clients, for example, once a month, allows clients to use as many services as they want, and rack up a bill to be paid at one time instead of paying every individual time. This is super convenient for the client and since they are a recurrent customer the business has trust that they will buy now and pay later.
Auto Billing reduces admin time and increases profits while maintaining boundaries and professionalism.
Automate your payments your way
As a small business owner, you are expected to wear multiple hats. Yoga guru, accountant, and debt collector isn’t exactly a combination that makes a ton of sense. The good news is that vcita can help take over some of these responsibilities.
Managing a small business is already difficult enough, and there is no reason to do all the heavy lifting, especially when this can take a toll on your business in the long run. With the help of vcita’s automated payment features, multiple small business owners have already been able to transform their visions into thriving businesses.
Using automated payments is really a win-win situation. Not only will you have more time to focus on yourself and your businesses, but you will also be taking advantage of all the benefits that come with going digital. Now that you’ve got the why and the how… nothing can stop you.