Sending invoices to your customers should be a simple process. Just send it and it’s paid. Well not exactly. The billing process can be a bit strenuous at times. It’s important to hold on to those valued customers by providing excellent customer service and making sure invoices and payments are on time.
Follow these best practices to help navigate and eliminate the challenges that come with a billing cycle.
1) Reach the Right Person
We all know that employees don’t stay at the same company in the same role until they retire. This proves problematic when you send an invoice out, only to find out months later that an individual is no longer with the company. Take the time to review the Customer Account. Make sure you have the right contact or that you have more than one contact…just in case.
2) Timing is everything
Define your billing cycle requirements. Are these monthly invoices, or annual? Make sure to generate invoices early, giving the customer plenty of time to review and pay them. If possible, you may want to consider automating the processing by utilizing nightly jobs to create the invoices for you!
3) Value in Accuracy
Check for accuracy. Make sure that the quantity and the products or services you are billing for are correct. Nobody wants to call the customer informing them of an error and they owe more!
4) Show the Detail
It’s great to know what you’re paying for. Ever get that invoice with just the amount due, like a medical bill that makes you ponder what you are paying for?Showing detail on the invoice so the customer knows what product or service they are paying for is meaningful and necessary.
5) Highlight Important Information
Call Attention to Due Dates and Amount Due. Make it easy for your customers to know what amount to pay and when it’s due. Highlight or Bold those fields to draw attention to them.
6) Promote Early Payment
You may want to consider offering discounts if paid early. Think about it, the quicker you have the money in your account, the better. Of course, on the flip side, if customers are behind on paying those invoices, you may want to consider assessing penalties.
7) Leverage the Invoice for Marketing
Add promotions, discounts for early payments, or services you may provide that the customer might not know about. Make every touch point count!
8) Provide Payment Options
Who doesn’t like options? Make sure you provide value to your customers by accepting multiple forms of payments such as Credit Cards, Wire Transfers, or PayPal. You may even consider adding an additional convenience; have the customer credit card on file (PCI complaint of course) and process the invoice automatically, sending the paid invoice with a BIG Thank you to your customer.
9) Track It
Ever get a call from a customer wanting to know their account balance? Wonder how many invoices were paid this month vs. last month or even last year? Tracking information so you can quickly find it is crucial to the longevity of a business. Make sure you are utilizing reports, dashboards or some quick visual cues to identify the health of an Account.
10) Don’t Forget the Follow Up
Don’t forget to send that email letting your customer know you value their business. For larger invoices, a phone call is even better! Or to put that cherry on top, send a small gift at the end of the year to your MVC’s (most valued customers).
Like these tips? See how you can put them into action in our upcoming webinar on March 21st. Click here to register!