A Print Processing Service Capitalizes On Your Billing Process
There are so many facets that go into operating a successful business. It is hard to pinpoint which is more valuable, but one can certainly agree that the billing process ranks at or near the top.
After all, you cannot expect to pay your team and even keep the lights on if you are not being paid for your goods and services.
Improve your billing process with a printing and mailing service by capitalizing on the following tactics:
Define Your Terms
We cannot stress the importance of communication when it comes to all aspects of business – especially when billing is involved. One of the best things you can do for all parties is to specifically define your billing terms.
Establishing the billing terms for your company’s good or services helps to maintain strong customer relations, avoid surprises, and greatly increases the odds of getting paid on time. Are you going to bill out hourly or bill out by the project or product? Think about how and when you’d like to be paid and plainly lay out the consequences of late payments or no payments.
Once you’ve laid out these expectations with your customers, you can now hold everyone (yourself included) to a certain standard that is defined as opposed to implied. Your company cannot thrive if you cannot pay your own bills. Your customers know that and, when clear terms and casual reminders, they are more likely to hold up their end of the bargain.
Understand Your Customers
Now that your terms are defined, it’s important to have a good understanding of exactly who your customers are. This begins with a strong relationship that is built upon strong communication.
If a customer is a part of a reciprocal communication process – as well as receiving good products and/or services – they are far more likely to respond to your bills. This is especially true if your bills capture the professionalism of your company in their own appearance and content. This means that they need to be easily understood, offer clear terms, provide clear payment options, include proper detail, have distinct deadlines, and all be done in a fashion that is clear, concise, and easy to read.
By partnering with a printing and mailing service, you can expect your customers to receive quality communication – especially when it comes to the billing process – that best represents your company and best suits your needs.
We all understand the term “billing cycle.” If you do not, this is when you can expect a bill to become due. Consider your electricity, internet, car insurance bills, etc. It is something we can plan for, therefore are able to properly budget for.
It is unfair to your customers should they receive bills that do not adhere to a consist billing cycle. This leaves them without the means to properly schedule their own responsibilities so they can make paying your bills a priority.
Some business owners may want to simply leave the scheduling in the hands of the customers. Unfortunately, customers are a reactive bunch. We react to bills, communication, and correspondence received in a consistent and timely manner. When a section of this cycle is broken, then that is when payments begin to lapse.
Your business is too valuable for lapsed payments. When you work with a quality printing and mailing service, you can expect your billing process to improve dramatically. Your customers will experience clear, easy-to-read bills that are printed, processed, delivered, and received on a schedule that you can set your clock to.
Once this process is in place, you can expect more consistent payments from your customers and can spend less time making follow-up phone calls and chasing payments. When you approach this matter proactively, you are making a sound investment that pays off.
Generate Clear And Detailed Bills
We cannot say this enough: You must generate clear and detailed bills to stop any chance of miscommunication before it can begin. It is imperative that all of the necessary details are included in the document while still maintaining clarity and readability.
A good rule of thumb is to label the document as “Bill”. “Invoice” or “Statement” ideally near the top, so the recipient understands exactly what it is at first glance. Include your contact information, as well as that of your client, and a tracking number or some other type of identifier. List out the products or services as clearly as possible, along with unit prices, quantities, taxes, applicable discounts, and the final amount you’re looking to collect. If you’re billing for only part of a job, make this clear in the invoice. The easier it is for your client to understand your invoice, the more likely you are to get paid quicker.
A quality printing and mailing service, such as Towne Mailer, has decades of experience in creating the exact type of correspondence you need. This will free up more time for you and save more money in the long run. Ultimately, your up-front costs are cheaper, and, over time, your receivables and payments of them will grow as they become more consistent. A printing and mailing service is a vital part of any business’s billing process.
Reminders and Follow-ups
Reminders are a part of good business. While you certainly do not want to be considered a pest or a bother, most customers will appreciate the timely and thoughtful reminder and follow-up.
Follow-ups are great ways to improve your customer service and often result in a longer life-span with the customers that consistently receive them. Thank you notes and check-ins regarding the quality and service are a great way to let the customer know you care and to find ways to improve upon your own operational processes.
When it comes to reminders, it is very beneficial to send notifications that bills are due and to certainly remind your customers that they are past due (but we’ll get to that later).
Overall, decide what works best for your customer base and for your business. Never forget that the end goal is to ensure you get paid on time and your customers do not pay needless late charges or have any bad marks on their credit history.
After you partner with a printing and mailing service, you can decide what schedule works best. They will help to automate the follow-up and reminder process and find the balance between too much contact and just plain good business.
Develop A Tracking System
When you are billing out your products and services to customers, you will want to keep track of who and what you are billing. We mentioned above to always include a tracking number or some sort of company-specific identifier to ensure you are on top of your game.
Be sure to include details about when you sent your bill, who you sent it to, when the service was performed or the product was sold, and if/when you were paid and for how much. This is very important should you have worked out some sort of payment plan with the customer.
Keeping track of your bills helps you to keep track of your books and is very important come tax season.
Capture Late Payments
The ugly reality of running a business is that sometimes you will not get paid for your hard work. It is easy to take this personally, but there are several reasons this could happen. Your customer could have a personal emergency, lost a job, or any other factor. You do not have control over whether they will pay you. What you do have control over, however, is the system you have put in place to track down and capture late payments.
If a payment deadline is missed and you have not received rightful compensation, you have the right to try and capture the late payment. Promptly send out a polite and professional late payment notification to your customer – after all, a late payment could simply be a mistake and you should always give your customers the initial benefit of the doubt.
Your reminder message should contain details about the invoice in question, including the tracking number, amount due, and the date it was due. This should be your first step. If you find yourself in ongoing collection efforts or even a legal battle, having a paper trail of your attempts can only help you get the money you earned.
When you work with a reputable printing and mailing service, you can put these safeguards into your business plan. Being on top of your collection efforts will result in less time wasted and more money in your company coffers.
Towne Mailer looks forward to being the supplier of all your printing and mailing needs – including your billing processes. We are happy to work with you and come up with a customizable solution that suits your needs. We are scalable and adaptable to your ever-evolving needs.
Give us a call today and find out how we can help!