How to Improve Your Business Invoicing: Remember the 2 C’s
No matter your business model, the way you collect payment from customers for the goods and services you provide is an essential part of your success. Technology, big data, and the evolving electronic payment landscape are forcing companies to rethink their business invoicing process. For some, improving invoicing means extending more aggressive trade credits. Others are switching to electronic payments or outsourcing their payment services altogether.
But the truth is, most corporations have slow internal processes and are struggling to modernize their payment systems with invoicing solutions that keep up with their customers’ expectations.
If you’ve already started on an effort to update your payment process, you’re likely well aware of how intensive a full implementation can be. But don’t despair. There are many opportunities for you to show your customers your commitment to payments innovation in the near term. Look for easy ways to improve your customer experience, like extending better terms and more flexibility in how your customers can pay, along the path to a full modernization of your process.
The 20-Minute Invoice Makeover
Simply changing the way your business invoices look can radically improve your customers’ payment experience. A company’s invoice is a reflection of itself. You want to demonstrate to consumers that your company has a pulse on the times and is not a dinosaur from the Mesozoic Era of your respective industry.
Better yet, changing the template of your business invoice will not take nearly as much time or energy as it would to restructure the way your customers pay. As part of your payments modernization roadmap, you should take the first step by evaluating what kind of message your current invoice template sends. You can use the fresh new look to signal the innovative technological changes in infrastructure that are on the road ahead.
Convenience & Clarity Are the Key to Modern Business Invoicing
To further improve your invoicing, check your process against the two C’s: convenience and clarity.
1) Convenience: Say Goodbye to Paper
Your company’s business invoice must be easy to access and pay. Technology has made everything faster and more convenient. As a result, people have less patience for a drawn out and lengthy payment process.
The last thing your company wants is a time consuming payment process that discourages customers from returning. Ditch the paper invoices — the days of sending invoices via mail are in the past. Electronic invoices are achievable, and expected, with online payment solutions that make things easier for your customer AND your accounts receivables department.
2) Clarity: Make Who, When, and How to Pay Loud and Clear
Make sure the terms and language on your company’s invoice are abundantly clear. Spell everything out for customers; nothing should be left up to interpretation. Simply saying “Net 30” is too vague. The phrase could be interpreted as 30 days from when the business invoice was sent or when it was received. Instead, give an exact due date.
You can also improve invoicing by making the invoice identifiers clear. Using a business invoice number system makes it easier to identify orders. To ensure you get paid faster, emphasize your array of payment options and any discounts for selecting specific terms in big, bold print. Your primary goal should be to move your company’s business invoice to the top of the to-pay pile.
Satisfying the two C’s will go a long way to convey your company’s commitment to providing customers with a positive payment experience. Technology and big data are quickly reshaping the business world. When your company’s antiquated business invoices hit your customers each month, you are unknowingly reminding them that there might be a better, more innovative service out there. Don’t let old school payment practices make your customers consider whether they should be moving on.
Once your company is ready to move upstream into payments technology, like modern invoicing solutions, you will discover a universe of ways to delight your customers with innovative payment experiences. Just remember — our team is here to help!
*This post is for informational purposes only, not financial advice. Any reference to a web site of another party, does not constitute or imply endorsement.