Sending an invoice isn’t the sexiest task on the planet, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen in style. Being on brand, consistent, and customizing invoices can have a huge effect on whether or not they get paid. After all, the first invoice a customer gets might be the first (and possibly the last) thing they receive from your business, so you want to make a good impression.
As a small business owner, you know how important it is to create a consistently branded online presence. Your website, your social media accounts, even your email signature: every aspect of your company’s digital footprint should match in terms of imagery, color scheme, and languaging. Have you customized your company’s invoicing to ensure that it matches the rest of your branded online presence?
There’s no reason not to customize invoices.
No extra knowledge is needed to customize invoices and reminders, and that’s part of the beauty of customizing invoices—not to mention they work to your advantage. Customizing invoices is much simpler than it was, say, five or ten years ago. Today, it’s an added benefit that is offered by the software partner, a benefit you don’t want to be left without.
Personalizing the invoices and reminders that customers receive does so much more than beautify your bills and emails. It’s basic psychology. People buy from and pay people and companies that they trust. When you customize, you’re not just getting a more easily recognizable invoice or reminder, but you’re also getting instant brand recognition. We live in a busy world and people spend minutes checking email. The likelihood of skipping over a bill that is uniform, unpersonalized, and unrecognizable is great. That’s not what you want to happen. The fact is that customizing invoices is no longer a nicety, it’s a necessity to getting paid on time, every time.
Customize the information in the invoice however works for you.
Customization doesn’t just come in the format and timing of an invoice, it also comes from the data within the customized invoice. When you personalize the bills and reminders that you send your customers, you’re also able to set specific terms and conditions that work best for you. Here are some examples:
- Set custom dates and timelines for invoices due. For example, bill using net 30. Net 30 on an invoice means that the client can pay up to 30 calendar days, not business days, after they have been billed.
- Personalize invoice terms and conditions. To manage business accounts receivables effectively, a very critical component is setting the invoice payment terms and conditions. The ability to set your own terms and conditions puts you in the driver’s seat to ensure your clients are always aware of updates to terms and conditions. It also enables you to personalize the terms and conditions to your business.
- Transaction fees are another great benefit of customized invoices. Set your processing fees to fit your needs. Fees are automatically added onto the existing invoice as a line item, not as a separate invoice, allowing for easy reconciliation.
- Give customers the option to pay by ACH. ACH payment options help customers avoid processing fees, driving your payment acceptance cost down. You can turn ACH payments on or off for customers, which is a great benefit and option customers often want.
- Late fees are another option. An invoice is not considered late until it is 30 days past due. After the 30 days, late fees will be applied on a recurring 30 day schedule. Late fees can only be applied to current, existing invoices.
Help the customer on their journey by personalizing their experience.
Seth Godin said, “True personalization is deeply understanding your customer’s journey.” Businesses of every type who excel and exceed expectations are those that put forth true effort to understand their customers’ journeys. The customer journey does not stop when someone makes a purchase. It doesn’t stop after they’ve paid. True customer journeys continue through with retention and advocacy. That’s not something you can buy or “market.” It is, however, something that customization can help do for you. So let it.
Options, options, options.
Choice can be a burden or a saving grace. At the grocery store, the risk of choice aversion is prominent. That’s not the case when it comes to choosing what you want for your business. That’s why the best partners will offer you a simple selection of customized invoice templates to choose from. Biller Genie, for example, offers three customized invoice templates.
Personalized invoices and reminders aren’t just tools for getting paid.
No one is arguing that personalized invoices don’t have a positive effect on the customer experience and increase the likelihood of getting you paid. Personalized invoices really matter, just ask QuickBooks. When you customize an invoice, you’re not just creating one-off receipts, you can truly use your invoicing process to strengthen your relationships with your customers—and to save you time, too. You have access to custom fields where you can input data that is unique to each customer. You’re also able to personalize how and when a customer receives an invoice. Perhaps they prefer email. Maybe they need paper mailed invoices. Each customer’s needs are different. Additionally, reminders are personalized so that they are received on a schedule you deem fitting for that customer. Most accounts receivable automation platforms default to standard timeframes for invoices and follow up, but those can be adjusted, or turned off completed (e.g., in the event that you want to stop a specific customer from getting a late payment notice because they’ve notified you that their payment was going to be late, etc.). Timing and frequency of getting invoices and invoice reminders are essential elements that must be taken into account.
The more you personalize with those who pay you, the more connected with them you will become. People care that a company takes the time to know that they spell Kara with a “K” and not a “C”. When it comes to getting positive customer feedback and, more importantly, frequent business and prompt payment, those little things matter more measurably to your bottom line than can be justly put into words.
What’s important to show on an invoice?
There are a number of things that should be clearly displayed on an invoice so your clients know exactly where the invoice is coming from (which is vital) and exactly what they need to do to easily pay the customized invoice. You should include:
- The legal name of your business, including its designation
- A correspondence address for your organization.
- A phone number and email for your accounts receivable department for any questions.
- Optional details include other contact methods, your website, etc.
Personalization Is Key
Personalization and customization are key in nearly every aspect of our lives, why, then, shouldn’t it also be key when it comes to something as important as sending invoices? Here are a few articles that can help guide you through the process of customizing an invoice.
- Biller Genie’s Invoice Messenger Feature Has Measurable Impact on Your Profit – Studies have proven that no matter the industry, companies have problems collecting customer invoice payments. These studies report that almost half of the small and medium-sized business invoices are paid late.
- 4 Ways Bookkeepers Can Improve Client Retention – Did you know that it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep an existing one? One study found that companies that increased their retention rates by just five percent also increased profits upwards of 95 percent.
- The #1 Way to Impress Your Bookkeeping Clients – The number one way to impress your bookkeeping clients? Deliver a first-class customer experience. As obvious as that may sound, it’s worth exploring the data and psychology behind it.
- Make it Easier for Customers to Pay their Invoices – Multiple payment options allow customers to quickly pay on time due to the added convenience, which in turn gets your business paid faster.
Is a Word doc or an Excel sheet good enough?
In short, no. Online invoice software from Biller Genie is much more efficient for invoicing purposes than traditional invoice templates. Professionally designed invoices have the effect of giving customers clear information and focusing on the action that matters most: Paying the invoice.
No. Using Excel or Word invoices and invoice templates doesn’t afford you the opportunity to provide your customers with the conveniences of paying by credit card, ACH, or Apple Pay. Unlike “stone-age” invoices, Biller Genie’s personalized and automated invoices and reminders include a “pay now” button that quickly enables the customer to pay on the spot at the exact moment that they get the invoice. Plus, as mentioned before, customizing the invoice also means sending it at a time that’s right for your customers.
When you customize invoices, you’re reinforcing your brand to your customers. You’re building trust and they’ll recognize your invoice when it hits their inbox—increasing the likelihood that they’ll swiftly pay.
Cash is King, But So Is Customization
You’ve heard us say it before and we’ll say it again. Cash is king. But, customization isn’t far behind. That’s because customization equals cash in your pocket. It’s absolutely true that in today’s sales environment, the amount of customization you can give your customer really matters in terms of getting their payment. Default templates are a thing of the past. Business is headed in a direction where settings configurations are going to determine, to a great extent, whether or not you get a payment, so start to customize your invoices and begin getting paid faster and more often. Consumers already expect customization, so it’s time to get ready! Learn more about how Biller Genie customizes invoices at billergenie.com. Learn more about how Biller Genie customizes invoices at billergenie.com.