When I started with company X, one of the first tasks assigned to me was to receive payments from twenty to thirty customers for their monthly subscriptions.
The goal was to process all the payments, to contact customers for credit card information updates, and correct the information to process the payments. If we could not get the payment or updated information, the owner wanted a list of the people who didn’t pay to take them off the list of subscribers for the next month.
Sounds simple, right? No!
I was shown the process they were following in the software Limo Anywhere to take payments and did it the way I was shown for the first time through. This took me almost 4 hours, including some phone calls to update some of the information.
The problems I encountered were the following:
1.) - No one wants to spend almost 4 hours on what they are sure can be done in a matter of minutes or even seconds with modern technology.
2.) - Limo Anywhere would not allow you to just take a payment and enter an amount.
3.) - To take a payment you had to create a fake trip and the owner wanted it done a certain way, so as to separate these fake trips out from the normal trips. A different color, trip type, driver, etc. all so he would know it’s separate from the real trips.
4.) - Limo Anywhere caused its own problems in that these fake trips had to have numerous details before they could be completed, date, drop off time, pick up time, locations, customer information, type of trip, vehicle, etc.
All that to put in one trip… to get one payment.
I thought to myself “There must be a better way! I know there’s a better way”
After completing this process the first time, I walked into the owner’s office and asked him “So what if I could automate that to where it’s done in seconds at 12:01 am at night and would probably give him a full list of credit cards we needed to update the next morning” His response was a more skeptical, but colorful version of Yes!
I then began talking to his payment processor, which was at the time Authorize.net, and sure enough, there was a way to take recurring payments, set the time, day, amount, and everything we needed. It took about 6 hours to transfer the credit card data, set up the payments, and figure out the next day where to get the list of failed cards, because the first time there were no failed payments.
So, 6 hours of my time saved me or the owner 4 hours per month! And that was just the beginning.