There are a few strategies you can employ to create a user-friendly billing process your customers can easily keep up with.
Regular billing practices have their own rules and routines. As a security dealer, you rely on consistent monthly payments for services to create a stable cash flow. There are a few strategies you can employ to create a user-friendly billing process your customers can easily keep up with.
Creating the bill
You should never be coy about money. Some businesses try to put off talking about finances until they’ve completely sold their client. Worse, some sales departments talk about their billing practices in broad terms so that concerns and questions have to be dealt with by customer services down the line.
Determining a recurring bill is a practice you undertake with your client personally, and not behind their back. You must be very clear about the terms and finances involved in your regular cycle billing. Inc. recommended giving your customers options. A calendar month or calendar quarter cycle are pretty standard in the industry, but your client might prefer a different time frame. If your company can tailor recurring invoices to consumer preferences, let them know at your first meeting.
Once the billing and payment terms of the contract have been met, the bill should be delivered regularly without any surprises. Billing software for security dealers creates a consistent bill delivered at regular intervals. The bill is created using unique data from customer interactions and sent automatically. The billing technology will integrate with your other office software so the sales department, customer services and field techs can provide clients consistent information.
Altering the invoice
Regular billing provides stability but sometimes changes have to be made. In order to prevent unexpected amounts in a regular invoice, your business needs to keep an open line of communication with your clients.
If you charge extra in a particular month for a unique service or you provide a credit because of an error you made, inform your customer of the exact change to their bill and what they should see. Bill changes have to be part of your office software system. It allows employees to record and log customer changes and contacts.
If the customers have to change information, you want to encourage the same level of communication on their end.
VentureBeat suggested regular billing can cause customers to become overly comfortable. Customers set up credit card payments and forget about them. If the customer changes information, such as their card number, they may not remember to alert you to the change and cause a hiccup in your accounts receivable.
“Customers set up credit card payments and forget about them.”
First, you want to set up a system of alerts that will notify your company as soon as a payment is missing or late. The alert should indicate what went wrong. If the credit card information doesn’t work, you can contact the client and let them know. Second, take steps beforehand to avoid forgetfulness. Warn your clients about what might happen if a payment is missed and provide simple systems for them to change their information with your business.
When a client wants to upgrade or downgrade their account, this should be easily accommodated. Software will provide complete visibility of the customer’s history so a change in services and billing practices should be simple. All departments have be made aware of the adjustment so there is no surprise in the overall business cash flow.
When clients miss a payment or fall behind their financing, you don’t want to start “dunning.” Kissmetrics, an information source about market analytics, described dunning as when companies make persistent demands on their clients for payments.
It is necessary to get the money you are owed but you don’t want to overly stress a client who is trying to work with you. Try to address late payments before the first bill is sent. Tell them in exact terms how your company will handle late or missed payments so they are forewarned.
Automated billing software will send your clients warnings or statements when payments are late. If your software tracks consistent late payments, you want to contact your customer quickly and discuss options. See if you can assist them in meeting their bill. There may be a simple solution, like changing the due date to a different day in the month. Any changes or problems should be captured by your software system to create foresight into possible future problems.