In December, a mid-size company announced that it would launch electronic billing on New Year's Day. While the company's finance department was delighted, their clients were disappointed. Most customers had their doubts – and some even refused. "Our company is not ready," was the frequent refrain.
It is estimated that the average cost of sending a paper bill is $ 4. While this sounds overkill, consider the costs of preparing, printing, and shipping. This number is not far away.
Advantages for both
Electronic invoicing has benefits for both buyers and sellers. These include:
- Electronic invoices make distribution easier, faster and almost nil.
- Bills arrive earlier without being "lost" by the customer.
- Customers' questions about the information contained in invoices are processed up to three weeks more quickly.
Electronic invoicing costs approximately $ 2.15. For accounts payable, this total is higher. Overall, electronic invoicing can generate savings in the range of 60 to 80%.
Another hidden economy is the reduction of the required time. Invoices do not have to be created, organized, and managed. Rather than digitizing paid invoices and saving them, electronic invoices are automatically downloaded.
Once customers have made the leap, they will enjoy the benefits and enjoy the flexibility and convenience of having different payment options, including:
- Credit Card
- Debit Card
- ACH, or
- Maybe Bitcoin
Your customers can take control of their finances because electronic payment allows them to pay at the last minute, with the hidden benefit of being able to watch their account in real time.
If you include a "Pay Now" link in your bill, the billing process becomes even easier. The more pain you can eliminate from the billing process, the less stress the customer has and the more likely he is to develop a long-term alliance with you.
So what did the company learn and how can you learn from their methodology? Many, it seems.
The company decided to purify the register of customers first. This proved to be painful as only 20% of the buyers had confirmed their email address in the first 30 days.
Although it is almost five months later, only 20% have checked. The company 's goal of having 90% of its customers accept e – invoices by the end of the year may not take place. To avoid this, here are some helpful things to keep in mind.
Tips and Tricks for Starting E-Billing
Up to Date
Make sure the database is up to date and use the change as an opportunity to update not only customer addresses but also other contact information.
Do not suppose
Do not assume that your client's system is working properly, even after receiving payment for the first electronic invoice. Since most companies have not yet installed electronic billing process – nor software – it's usually a person who must take action when she receives the electronic bill.
Follow up with customers consistently and do it often. Send statements regularly so that buyers are used to waiting for them.
Ease of delivery, cost savings, and convenient payment options make electronic invoicing the most streamlined and efficient process for modern B2B transactions. Do you want to make the change?