One of the most important aspects of running a business is, unsurprisingly, customer service. For practitioners, that doesn’t just mean the care your patients receive in the treatment room; it means every interaction they have with your practice, from booking online to paying for their appointment.
The longer and more stressful it is for them to complete these tasks, the worse their overall experience will be, and the less likely they are to return – even if they enjoyed their time with you.
Dr. Nick Meier, of Meier Family Chiropractic, prefers his patients focus on healing over paying for treatment. He creates a smooth checkout experience by securely storing their cards on file and taking payment automatically.
“Psychologically, if somebody has to take a card out and swipe a terminal before they leave my practice, then the very last thing going through their brain is payment and money,” says Nick. Instead, he prefers his patients’ last interaction be about their healing, and the recommendations he’s given them. “That’s way more important to me.”
Creating maximum efficiency as a solo practitioner
Meier Family Chiropractic is truly a one-person-operation. “I have no staff,” Nick shares. “I make the decisions on every single thing in my office as the owner and sole employee.”
With limited time in his schedule, Nick’s ideal payment solution is one that streamlines administrative tasks so he can focus on helping his patients recover from injury and maintain their health.
“It used to be that I would have to manually plug everything in,” Nick explains, adding that he values being able to collect credit card information when he sends patients their intake form, or when they book online. “[Those] are fantastic features.”
Taking and recording payments all in one place limits the possiblity of billing errors that come with manual entry, and make transactions easier to track. “It saves time of having to double-check the books from an external system,” he adds.
Those same features also allow him to easily charge for late cancellations and no-shows. His policy is included in his intake form, and it’s something that patients consent to when they enter their information. “[Payment] is due at the time of the no-show and will be automatically taken,” Nick says.
Since moving to an integrated solution like Jane Payments, he’s been able to collect on 96.5% of his no-show appointment invoices.
The Cost-Benefit Analysis of Credit Card Processing Fees
When it comes to investing in his practice, Nick is the first to admit he’s frugal. He divides his expenses into two categories: necessities and luxuries, and prioritizes them accordingly. For example, he sees a payments solution as a necessity, and decorating his office as more of a luxury – one that he can work on slowly, adding small improvements, like plants to the reception area or mirrors to his changing rooms, over time.
As for credit card processing fees, Nick doesn’t let them overwhelm him. He recognizes that while they may seem like a significant cost upfront, they’re relatively minimal when factored over a 12 month period.
“Ultimately, it’s a very small cost,” Nick says. “If you look at the numbers, then it truly makes not much of a difference over the course of a year. I look at it as: if my credit card processing fees are more than I would like, then I can just raise my prices, even by a dollar. And that compensates for it for the most part.”
“Alternatively, I can be more diligent with asking for referrals or marketing strategies to increase income, which would offset the expense even more. Focusing time on those areas is more valuable than a fraction of a percent of a processing fee.”
To Nick, the benefits of a streamlined payment process – saving his clients’ cards on file, automatically taking payment, and generating reports for reconciliation and bookkeeping – make the money he’s spending on fees worthwhile.
Asking the right questions before investing:
Be it a payments solution or another tool for your business, here are some things to consider before pulling out your wallet.
- What is a necessity and what is a luxury? Divide your expenses into one of these two categories to help you prioritize your spending.
- Instead of cost-per-transaction, ask yourself what your total cost would be over the course of a year based on your patient volume.
- Will the tool you’re considering help boost your overall revenue? If you believe that it will, subtract that estimate from your total cost.
- Calculate where your time is currently going. Is there somewhere it might be better spent? Ask yourself: what is an hour worth to you?
- Are there areas where you can adjust your prices to cover the cost of a new solution?
- Consider the client experience when you’re making a final decision – is this making their lives easier? Is it quicker and more convenient for them?
Find out if Jane Payments is the right solution for your business.