The best bills–whether delivered by mail or online–are great communicators. And effective billing, thank goodness, isn’t rocket science. It just requires following a few basics and some common sense. Take a look at your invoices with fresh eyes to ensure you are delivering the information your customers need.
The two big questions customers have when they open a bill are ‘How much do I owe?’ and ‘When is it due?” Place the amount due and payment deadline in a prominent place on the invoice, and make the information stand out in some way–increase the type size, print it in bold, place it in a brightly colored bar. Whatever you do, make the information jump off the page. The point is to help customers pay their bill on time by making it clear how much they owe and when they must pay it.
We all want to know not only how much we owe but exactly what we are paying for. An itemized bill is the hallmark of a professional company. Don’t make your customers guess what they are paying for. Effective billing practices spell it out clearly and completely.
Your customers pay in many ways–some like credit cards, others use bank drafts, some continue to pay by check. Every bill you send should lay out the payment options you provide. And here’s a tip. The more payment options you offer, the higher your rate of collection will likely be.
When a customer has a question, make it easy for them to find a number to call. All too often, a customer service phone number is buried at the bottom of a bill in fine print. Like the billing amount owed, make your contact information prominent and easy to read. If your company has a list of commonly asked questions on its FAQs website page, include a weblink so that customers can opt to look there for an answer.
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