An invoice is naturally a cash generating document as it informs customers what they owe and how they need to pay it. But that is the very least an invoice can do for your business. With a little more strategic thinking and some creativity, your invoices and invoicing practices can do more than facilitate the collection of cash; they can improve cash flow and customer service, while also saving you money and driving repeat sales. Here are a few example of how you can make invoices them more than just an accounting document.
USING INVOICES TO GET CUSTOMER SERVICE FEEDBACK
Selling to current customers is the easiest way to make a sale. Therefore, ensuring your customers are happy is crucial to driving repeat sales. When is the last time you asked them how you’re doing?
A very short survey or a space comments at the bottom of the invoice, either paper or electronic depending on your delivery method, can be a great way to show customers that you care and give you the opportunity to improve their customer experience. The survey can be specifically about your invoicing process to help you improve it or about products/service you provide. While some of your customers might ignore it completely, others may express their frustrations, giving you the opportunity to make it right. There will surely be others who provide very positive feedback which will be good for morale and may even be useful to your sales and marketing departments.
In the end, you’re customers will appreciate that you asked and this is a great opportunity to take your customer service up a notch to increase cash flow.
USING INVOICES AS A PROMOTIONAL TOOL
If it works well in your business model, having a note about related products/services, discounts, or upcoming specials on your invoice can be another great way to keep customers engaged and drive repeat sales. Keep this simple and understated though, you don’t want to take away from the true point of the invoice- collecting on the current sale.
UPDATING INVOICE PRACTICES TO SAVE MONEY AND IMPROVE PERFORMANCE
How are you currently delivering invoices and collecting payment? Traditional paper-based processes can be costly and delay the invoice collection process which is why many companies are making the change to electronic invoice present and payment. In fact, research from Gartner shows that electronic invoicing can save organizations can save over $7.00 per invoice when using electronic methods compared to traditional process. Furthermore, invoices are delivered instantly, speeding up the order to cash cycle and increasing cash flow through savings and faster invoice collection.