Should carpet cleaners accept credit cards?

Hi Steve,

sales-carpet-cleaning-credit-cards-lI was wondering what your opinion is about offering my carpet cleaning customers the option of paying with a credit card?  Do you think it would increase my average carpet cleaning ticket sales? For the last 22 years I’ve only accepted personal checks (or CASH, of course!) but now I’m considering accepting credit cards.  But it is yet another monthly expense so I’m wondering if it makes sense.  It seems like I’ve had a few people at least a couple times a month ask if I accept VISA and MasterCard.  I would think you could make more money accepting them, to charge add-on extras such as additional rooms, Scotchgard, upholstery cleaning, etc, etc.  Taking their credit card number also might be a good safeguard on those moving out of town. And accepting credit cards would also be super helpful to have for those Stay Beautiful carpet cleaning maintenance contracts you told us about in the Strategies for Success seminar and yes, I know I still need to get my S/B program set up!  Of course the credit card sales people all say I need to accept credit cards, but you know how that goes!

Pondering in San Diego

Hey Pondering,

If you read over your query above I think you’ll see you have already answered your own question!  Just look at all the extremely valid advantages you list on accepting credit cards for cleaning payment and all without any “prompting” from me!

So yes, I always recommend offering the option of payment by credit cards.  (Many SFS members tell me the American Express card is very popular among their clients but that may depend on where you live.)  All the points you mention above are valid plus being able to make automatic withdrawals from your cleaning customer’s credit card is essential to the Stay Beautiful plan’s success.

In addition, numerous studies have shown people are likely to spend more per ticket when paying by credit card. (This obviously means more sales for your carpet cleaning services and a good thing for you!) Plus don’t forget to use this SFS “skyrocket your Scotchgard sales” technique of:

a) On the initial phone call get permission to phone them at work and then …

b) Call the customer at the end of the job and review/qualify the job and finally …

c) Just ask them if they would like to have their Scotchgard finish “renewed”?  When the customer agrees to this “impulse buy” getting their credit card for the Scotchgard finish means you get your money right away and you avoid the hassle of having to bill them.

Let me know how you are doing and get that Stay Beautiful program up and running!


P.S.  One suggestion, Pondering, would be to check around on credit card provider rates.  Some have gotten very competitive on rates they charge.  If you are going to process a lot of credit cards I would look at the wireless terminal option.  You might post this credit card question on the different industry discussion forums out there as these folks are down in the trenches and can give you some very up-to-date information.

6 thoughts on “Should carpet cleaners accept credit cards?”

  1. We saw a signficant increase in average job ticket when we added credit card service about 5 years ago. People love to get their miles/points and if they can buy now and pay later (not feel the pinch by paying from their “disposable” cash flow) they are apt to buy more.

    With the internet and things like Pay Pal, you can do credit card processing so inexpensively. We opted not to used a web-based application to do it because we didn’t want to have CC numbers written down and then go back and manually input them. However, now with the Iphone you can do it right from it in the customers house. They also make card swipers that hook up to your smart phone (Blackberry etc if you don’t have an I phone) and you can swipe and send the info using the internet connection on the phone.

    We shopped around and found the best CC processing to be with Costco. Their terminals were reasonable (I think they are offering a free one right now) and their processing fees were the least expensive of all the independent processing companies.

    Good luck…and many more profits to you!


  2. Based on the class survey I took last week, Meg, we may be “preaching to the choir” here. At least in our Langhorne SFS class it seemed that almost everyone there was offering credit cards. I agree with your points above completely.


  3. Agree with my points completely….WOW. I’m framing that and hanging it in a prominent place.

    Honestly, it’s more fun when we disagree! I enjoy the debate and stimulating conversation on the things we don’t see eye to eye.


  4. Good advice Meg. And I don’t think you guys are “preaching to the choir” because we’ve been in the residential market for a year now (100% commercial prior to that), and until a few weeks ago, never put much thought into accepting credit cards. And we’ve only been asked by a few customers. Sounds like it’s something we should consider anyway.

    Never thought to check with Costco either, so I’ll be sure to do that.



  5. Yep, Dusty, it is a no-brainer to offer the credit card options. Letting people “charge it” will let you sell more up-sells like Scotchgard, etc. Plus you need CC’s to set up your Stay Beautiful program. Check out my special Report on the SB plan.


  6. About a year ago I realized I could have made a big upsell IF I accepted credit cards.

    That day I set about finding a merchant service.

    Today I can tell you that I see a lot more credit cards than I suspected! It seems that by accepting credit cards I am providing more options for the customer to use and I am giving my business a boost to it’s professional appearance.

    I am using a wireless terminal. This means no imprints for the customer to worry about and the card never leaves the customers sight!

    It is simply a win win situation for everybody!

    Jay Jetty
    Carpet Cleaning in Las Vegas

    Carpet Cleaning Pahrump

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