For a running organization, there is only one bigger problem than signing-up new clients – collecting payments.
Even while simultaneously handling multiple clients, these fifteen right billing practices could make the difference between getting paid on-time and delayed payments that finally never make it to your bank account.
1. Issue Invoices at regular dates
When handling regular clients, issuing invoices at regular dates for each specific client is important. It helps you build a regular rapport with existing clients to release payments on a regular and systemized manner.
2. Get number of Licenses right first time
If you are a software provider levying a licensing fee, there could be a continually fluctuating number of the user associated with an account. A software vendor is expected to get a number of active user account right each and every time. In case numbers are not tallying, your payments may be delayed due to the non-tallying number of license numbers.
3. Reply to Invoice questions regularly and promptly
Even regular users have a practice of raising queries regarding issued invoices. If left unattended, it could lead to delayed payments and associated problems.
4. Create Custom Invoices for your business
An organization should be able to provide custom invoices for your particular business. When you use free online 3rd party invoicing platforms, there could be certain set-format highlighting a particular client. This invoicing practice could be actually seen as unprofessional or not proficient enough to have its own custom invoices.
5. System of Automated Client communications
A system of clearly categorized client accounts allows you to periodically communicate with each client. With a CRM system, you can create custom parameters for communicating each client based on birth date, special calendar dates etc.
6. Options for billing on a periodic Time-table
Some organizations follow a flat-rate billing practice upon monthly, quarterly or yearly usage. While certainly efficient, post-usage billing has its own benefits, especially in the case of small organizations. In these cases, both parties could decide to settle on a periodic timetable, according to the interest of both parties.
7. Send only Individual Custom Emails
It’s one of the worst mistakes to send default emails asking payments to a list segregated faulty clients. While it makes an easier system, it makes your effort seem unenergetic and half-hearted. The practice of sending unorganized emails are regularly beaten by outreach efforts with custom created emails.
8. Establish A system for Follow-up emails
One needs to establish a clear pattern for communication with a faulty customer for receiving prompt payments. But with the increasing number of clients, you could easily lose track of faulting customers. This could result in your sales representative giving-out ‘too many or too less’ frequent email outreach messages.
9. Find Right time to send your intimation mail
For every industry, there is an optimal time for sending intimation mail(after invoicing). For a hotelier, you are required to send intimation mail before a certain intimation client that could carry the best impact on a provided stay date. In a competitive accommodation industry, it could prove the difference between having your rooms empty and occupied.
10. Creating Invoices for Block Rate Customers
When creating a variable rates invoice, you could sometimes end-up handling too many variables during each calculation. Instead of creating quickly combined and mostly inaccurate invoices each individual client, you can integrate a tested rate calculating algorithm into your system. In this way, you can create an invoice that’s best suited for your given audience requirement.
11. Conveying Increased Payments
Every business needs to periodically upgrade payment structure. As payment increases are the primary reason for customer drop-out, a business needs to issue special invoices in these circumstances. This may go beyond the scope of a regular invoice, explaining additional service or increased quality that justifies the increased cost.
12. Sharing Necessary Documents
Although it may seem tempting to think that you will be receiving prompt payments for every issued invoice, it’s not essentially true. For every issued invoice, you will be required to issue a set of necessary documents that substantiate your billing. For the sake of clarity, you attach the essential service report along with an invoicing system.
13. Making it easier to complete payments
Today’s internet ecosystem, allows multiple ways to safely complete a payment. Every region and audience demographics have their own favourite way of completing payments. An elderly audience sticks with credit card payments, while a younger generation would likely choose Paypal or Dwolla. Ensure that you can integrate multiple payment methods into your gateway.
14. Send Custom ‘Thank You’ Messages
All transactions need to be completed with a ‘thank you’ message. But many online retailers and software providers tend to send a finished payment message, including their amount and procured service. Instead, you can send a custom message mentioning client needs and intended applications of your product.
15. Terminate Clients Agreeably
For every business there comes a time, when it has to terminate a client relationship for faulty payment. During that time one business still needs to educate clients about reasons for their service termination.
Otherwise, if you check online review platforms, you could see numerous angry reviews claiming their services were terminated unreasonably at a critical moment. Although it seems certainly plausible, most cases of business termination are caused due to off-putting client relations.
As described above, maintaining right billing practices could be a difficult task purely on personal oversight. An automated payment management system can manage and assist you with most of your billing related activities.