Optimizing Your Bread and Butter
Payment processing and billing are important aspects to your business. They are truly your bread and butter, therefore ensuring they are handled accurately is important. Affiliated Acceptance Corporation (AAC) goes beyond basic processing of payments for a gym’s recurring membership dues. Its service and support team handles customer issues and updates, credit card expiration, freezes and other basic contract-related concerns.
In addition, its team goes the extra step to follow up on overdue payments, chargebacks and billing disputes to resolve these problems quickly.
Here, Chris Mauro, the general manager of Fitness Works Philadelphia, explains how working with AAC has made the billing process smoother.
CS: How were you introduced to AAC, and why did you decide to partner with them?
CM: We were introduced to AAC back in 2000 when we started looking for a third-party billing company. Based on their customer and client service, as well as price, we decided to partner with them.
CS: What are the benefits to your business as a result of this partnership?
CM: The immediate benefit at the time we started with AAC was the ability to shift personnel resources. Since we were no longer trying to do our own billing in-house, we’ve been able to significantly grow our customer base by having AAC handle billing, collections and customer issues. We’ve now started using their FrontDesk Express program as our check-in system and love the ease of adding member pictures, having updated billing/account info available, as well as having easy check-in reports.
They’re also great at dealing with credit card chargebacks and other similar issues that come up. They’ve continued to update technology, so it’s easy to email members with billing issues, generate specific reports or mailing labels and the other things we need to stay in touch with members.
CS: What are the benefits to your members as a result of this partnership?
CM: Our members seem to like what AAC provides, although I don’t think they necessarily see AAC as separate from us, since they do a great job of telling the members the same things we would tell them (with regard to cancellations, freezes, other policies). We have gotten good feedback that AAC has been helpful and reasonable when dealing with members who have had payment issues. Even with some more difficult members/issues, they’ve generally been able to get us to a good resolution.
CS: Have you been pleasantly surprised by working with AAC in any way?
CM: We’ve gone through a couple ownership changes, and even through that I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the continued excellent service and great pricing that has kept us with them for 16-plus years. We’ve looked at competitors over the years and have always been happy with the product that AAC has provided. There are also a lot of people there who have been there long-term, which I always see as a good sign of a good company.
CS: What else can you tell other club owners about the benefits of working with AAC?
CM: I’ve had some experience with other billing companies (through some consulting work) and feel like AAC has a much better personalized service than some of the other companies. They’ve worked with us to resolve technical issues and made sure that we’re happy. We’ve been able to grow our businesses together over the years.
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