Surveys say that 79% of consumers want to make sure that brands care before making a purchasing decision. It’s evident that customers have become more demanding than ever, and if you don’t live up to their expectations, they’ll go to your competitors. While invoicing is usually discussed when it comes to cash flow management, it’s worth mentioning that it also plays an important role in improving customer satisfaction. So, here are a couple of invoicing tips which will help you make a lasting impression with your customers and give your retention rates a boost.
1. Call your customer before sending an invoice
It’s true that failing to send billing information to your customers in a timely manner can lead to late payments, which can subsequently hurt your cash flow. Given that 82% of small businesses fail because of poor cash flow management, it’s essential to handle this matter carefully. But, this doesn’t mean that you should rush into things and send out an invoice before you check whether everything has been properly delivered on your side, as well as whether your customers are satisfied. This will allow you to fix potential issues and show that you care.
2. Provide multiple payment methods
50% of people who regularly shop online are more likely to cancel their purchase in the case that their preferred payment method isn’t available. This stat perfectly illustrates the importance of providing multiple payment methods. By offering several payment gateways you’ll come off as more professional and it will allow you to expand your reach globally. As you know, different regions have different currencies and preferred payment options which means that your company could do business with different countries, or even continents, if you allow your customers to pick the option which suits them. And, if you have a subscription offering, people like when they can automate these recurring payments, so it’s a good idea to set up payment plans with reliable direct debit solutions that offer multiple payment methods and currencies.
3. Send reminders
While it’s OK not to send your invoices prematurely, you also shouldn’t wait until there are outstanding invoices on your hands. It’s very unpleasant to have to call your customers and ask them when they will make their payment since they’re late. Instead of that, you should set up automatic reminders which will inform them that the payment date is approaching. Be helpful and explain that your company charges interest on late payments. Sometimes your customers simply forget to pay because of their hectic schedules, and these automated reminders will do the trick. However, sometimes, when a payment is long-overdue, it’s time to pick up the phone and see what the problem is.
4. Find out who’s in charge of your account
Knowing who deals with payments, and your account, in particular, is essential for solving any issues. Bear in mind that that this doesn’t have to be the same person or department that green-lighted the project. There’s even a possibility that the company outsourced the payment process. Needless to say that sending invoices to the wrong person or department can be very unprofessional, so make sure to find out whom to contact regarding the payment. Once you get the contact information, reach out to the person directly, introduce yourself, and ask them how to make their job easier by following a certain established invoicing procedure and what you should do to ensure that your invoices are paid on time.
5. Remember that you’re dealing with human beings
Many business owners make a mistake by treating their customers simply as accounts or ATM machines. This way they’re wasting a valuable opportunity to build trust and loyalty. Sometimes it’s the little things that make a difference and matter the most, so try to find out as much as possible about your customers so that you can, for example, send them a birthday card or congratulate them on an achievement. Besides that, you can also personalize your invoices by providing discounts for early payments, or provide useful content which will help your customers make the most of your products or services.
6. Keep things simple
Sometimes entrepreneurs make a mistake and overcomplicate their invoices in an attempt to communicate all the nitty-gritty of their business and appear legit. There’s no need to add too much unnecessary information as that will only confuse your customers. Stick only to the details related to that particular transaction. By creating an easy-to-understand invoice you’ll accelerate the whole process, which means that you’ll get your money faster. Creating an effective invoice template can be easy as there are online tools which can help you do that in no time. In other words, you don’t have to hire consultants if you want to improve, personalize, and automate your invoicing system.
All these practices will help you get off on the right foot with your customers and make sure that they’re satisfied with the way you do business.