You are probably wondering how effective your billing process is, and it is normal to worry about this aspect since your company mainly depends on it to function correctly.
Whether an established business or a startup, customers must pay for the products or services offered. And, as every entrepreneur, you want them to do this on time and without effort. On paper, it might seem easy, but things are a bit different in real life.
You must consider many aspects to keep your cash flow solid and promptly collect payment. However, if you are serious about changing some habits, you have a great chance of winning. You will see automation plays a leading role in the list of things you can do to smooth out your pay and bill cycle.
For more insight into the subject, keep reading the following lines:
Expand payment options
The more payment methods you offer, the greater your chances of getting your customers to pay on time; that is how billing works.
Moreover, online payment options will significantly speed up the pay and bill process, as people will likely pay once they receive the payment notice. There are numerous forms of payment, so you have a choice, and your clients will have, too.
It is essential to consider your customers’ needs and preferences since they matter the most no matter the business you operate in.
If you accept, let us say, cash only, you risk losing some of your clients, as more and more people nowadays have turned to online payment, leaving physical money behind. The Covid-19 pandemic has also contributed to this major change in terms of payment.
Take the automation route
In today’s data-driven world, not automating your system would be a flight to Lost Time. Traditional billing had its moment of glory, but now it is time for electronic invoicing. Not only will it help you save time but also money.
Remember that paper implies costs, and printing it, too. Instead, an online payment system is the easiest way to guarantee complete and prompt payment at a small fee. As your company grows in complexity and size, it is even more recommended to orient towards electronic invoicing.
One of the most significant advantages of automating the pay and bill process is that it is free of error, thus guaranteeing more effective invoicing.
Besides, billing and accounting software can be used by various different sectors, such as IT, construction, healthcare, financial services, and education. Thus, just because you operate in the construction sector, for example, does not mean you cannot leverage an online invoicing system.
With the help of billing software, you can keep track of the company’s most important data and closely monitor the process so that it becomes almost impossible to miss a payment or let your bills go stale. You can log in, authorize payment, and transfer it straight to the corporate account in just a few seconds.
Invoice clients as quickly as possible
Customers must pay on the dot, but it is your duty to inform them about invoices ahead of time. Ensure the invoice clearly outlines what the customer is charged for and aligns with the terms and policies established before making the agreement.
It is crucial to have your customers’ trust before having their money. This way, you inspire professionalism, and trust us, with this market abounding in all kinds of products and services, this is a crucial aspect that will determine whether your clients will stay or change sides.
It would also be helpful to address late payments promptly to minimize the number of delinquent invoices. That is why it is vital to have billing and accounting software in place – this can identify such delays and inform you in this regard.
Also, how would it be to motivate customers to pay on time? Have you ever considered establishing a discount for loyal clients who always refund on time? And while it might be tempting to implement some fee for those paying late, we recommend not doing that.
Try instead to find the reasons for their late payment and consider alternative solutions. You may want to offer them the possibility to pay in installments – better keep customers than lose them. Besides, it is not always negligence the reason for their late payment but also financial problems.
Make online portals simple to use
Many online retailers overlook this aspect, but you would be surprised to learn how much it matters. Customers generally place a high value on everything from appearance to a user-friendly character.
And it is normal in this competitive market – if you do not align with consumers’ modern needs, you are likely to lose. That is why it is highly advisable to choose a streamlined online portal that allows for simple and quick payments.
Make sure it requests only essential data and explains error messages. We all know how annoying it is to get an error message and have no idea what needs to be changed. For this reason, many consumers abandon their buying journey and never return to that shopping website.
Do not forget to send confirmations and receipts once the purchase has been made to inform buyers the payment has been successful.
Write suggestive CTAs
CTA stands for “call to action” and implies a message that urges consumers to do something, usually purchasing a product or service.
These CTAs have long been used as practical tools in the buying process, but now they are successfully implemented in the pay and bill operations. Plus, they do not always have to be actual messages but simple emphasis.
For example, you can change the font or color to emphasize the amount that has to be paid by the client, as it is the most important part of the invoice. Or, you can integrate phrases like “if you have a hard time paying your bill, please contact us for alternative variants.”
This way, you show that you care about your clients and do not risk losing them. Showing understanding will always be a big plus no matter the type of your business, but make sure you have probable cause to be that reasonable.