“I’m hitting a road block on implementing the ‘Stay Beautiful’ program!”

confused-bhcQuestion: How can I do the ‘Stay Beautiful program’s monthly automatic withdrawal when client’s don’t want to give us their credit card info?

Steve’s solution: Look into the ACH Debit form in your SFS Operations Manual or just check with your local bank. They do this all the time now.

Hi Steve,

Hope you are doing well. I need some advice. We have redone our pre-paid residential carpet cleaning Stay Beautiful program to a very close version of the one in the SFS Operations Manual. The benefits (two cleanings per year) are the same and the monthly payment (10% of the initial cleaning amount) is the same. But our sales percentage is a big fat ZERO for the newly restructured program!

My customers like the “service agreement” concept but are resisting giving out their credit card number to be charged monthly. We have pointed out we keep the numbers protected in a safe in our office but to no avail. I am about ready to dump the whole thing. I could do monthly billing but that would be a hassle for 20 to 40 bucks a pop.

By the way, all of my old Stay Beautiful customers dropped out which was fine with me because my old system didn’t work.  The client paid full price for the first cleaning and 60% for the second six month cleaning but most kept putting off the second cleaning and not scheduling for 8 to 12 months which kind of defeats the whole point.

Any way, Steve, both I and my clients love the pre-paid service agreement concept that the Stay Beautiful program promotes.  But how can I tweak it to get my customers on board?

Puzzled in North Carolina

Dear Puzzled,

First, I’m happy to see that you are testing different options such as the pre-paid Stay Beautiful program concept. And yes, I agree that your old “60% second cleaning price” would be a loser.  The key with the Stay Beautiful program is to get your customers into a low monthly payment that just flows!  Now for your question re: their reluctance to give your techs their credit card numbers.

Honestly, I haven’t had any negative feedback from any of our other SFS members on this problem.  (Maybe they just aren’t telling me!)  Do you give your customers the dual option of also having the regular monthly payment pulled out of their checking accounts?  If you check in your SFS Operations Manual under Paperwork/ Stay Beautiful- page 6 you will see a standard ACH debit form that the tech fills out, the customer signs and I believe the customer attaches a voided check to it. (Check with your bank to see if this works in your area.)

It could be that your clients will be more comfortable having two choices and the checking account one may be the way they want to go.  So how about training your techs to say this:

“You have two payment options on the Stay Beautiful program, Mrs. Jones.  We can set it up as a regular monthly debit to your checking account or as a charge to your credit card?  Which one would work better for you?”

The checking account debit is actually better for you because it avoids the credit card processing fees.  And don’t forget this automatic withdrawal from their checking account is a much more convenient option for your customers than writing you 12 monthly checks over the course of the year.  Try offering both options and let me know.


NOTE:  If you have not yet attended SFS (which means you don’t have the 950 page SFS Operations Manual mentioned above)  just go to your bank and ask for a standard ACH debit form which will allow you to debit funds from your customer’s checking account.

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